Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chocolate Review

** I am resurrecting this post from an old blog for the sake of reference. Ye Old Google Reader Users, please enjoy this ancient post.

At first, Sam and I were disappointed when we got to Body Worlds and it was sold out, but then we decided to grab dinner at Caputo's (in downtown Salt Lake) and it made missing Body Worlds totally worth it.
After enjoying some fine Italian sandwiches (prosciuttio for me, italian cold cut for sam), we wandered over to the chocolate section of the market. We started perusing the various sweets for a dessert. The woman working at the counter asked us if we had any questions, and that's when the real fun began. We didn't have any questions per se, but she did see us eyeing the Vosges' Bacon Bar. She said we could have a taste, which then turned in to a half hour of tasting some of the world's finest chocolates. Here is a review of what we tasted:

The Bacon Bar: The creamy chocolate melts into a smoky taste with a definite salty flair. The aftertaste is distinctly smoky-- definitely the dominant aspect of the chocolate. She described it as when your bacon gets hit with the maple syrup when you're eating breakfast-- a fine assessment. I would definitely eat it again. Sam didn't enjoy the smoky aftertaste, so wouldn't eat it again.

Barcelona Bar:Our first sample of chocolate flavored with salt. It may seem to go against what seems natural in a chocolate bar, but the subtle salty flavor enhances the chocolate flavor. Instead of being overwhelmed with strict sweet chocolate of the bar, you are left with a satisfying salty taste at the end, and of coursed, this is accent with a subtle nutty taste from the almonds. More of a milk chocolate at 45% dark. This was my favorite, and the one I bought. Sam thought this was fine. The Bacon Bar really threw him off to the salty ones, so they weren't his favorite.

Indonesie:"This is a man's chocolate." She told us that she rarely finds a woman who likes this, while men go nuts for it. The Indonesian coco beans create a dark, bitter, smoky (not like the bacon smoke) flavor. The chocolate is rich and dark. She described it as going to a cigar bar. This was Sam's favorite. I could appreciate the quality of the chocolate. It was very fun to try, but I wouldn't want to eat more of it. The aftertaste was primarily bitter, which is not what I look for in a chocolate.
*We also tried the Tunisie. This was even darker and even more bitter. I didn't try this one, since it was an even more intense version of the Indonesie

Madagascar:These Madagascar coco beans provide a stark contrast to the Indonesian beans in the Pralus bars we tried. The Madagascar chocolate is much sweeter, more floral, and lighter. She described it even as a balsamic vinegar taste. Though it is the same darkness, I would eat this chocolate bar all day every day. Sam also enjoyed this one. Amano is quickly becoming known as the "best chocolate in America" and it is made in (you'll never guess) Orem, Utah. That's right.

Latte Sal

This was a milk chocolate variety with the added salt. The Italians are starting to get into the chocolate, and I must say, they are succeeding! While most chocolate snobs turn their noses at non-dark (not me), when people taste this chocolate, they swoon. The chocolate melts incredibly smoothly. It has a comforting, almost soothing characteristic as it slowly and easily melts. The subtle salty flavor is just enough to counter the typical super sweetness of milk chocolate. This was a tough decision to pick between this and the Barcelona bar. Pure heaven.

We also tried another French kind, but I can't remember what it was called! It was a white chocolate with cow nips and freeze-dried raspberries. I said it tasted like Trix, and Sam said it tasted like Fruity Pebbles. I did not enjoy this sugar-intense bar, while Sam was nearly head-over-heels.

In the end, we left with the two bars (Indonesie and Barcelona) and two macadamia nut butter truffles. It was an amazing way to spend our night out. I love chocolate.

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