Hu Vanilla Quinoa Qrispy Dark Chocolate

My producer Shana B. gave me this unusual bar.

This bar had no artificial ingredients. Coconut sugar is used instead of cane sugar. Vanilla beans are used instead of vanilla extract. And of course being dark chocolate, there was no dairy.

And this bar was delicious! It was 70% cacao so it was quite rich, and the rough texture of the stone-ground cacao was masked by the puffed quinoa. My co-workers liked it too, and even though the bar is a little small, two lucky people (including me) had seconds.

Thanks Shana!

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omNom Nicaragua 73% Dark Chocolate

I found a store in Seattle that sold a whole line of single origin dark chocolate bars from omNom, and I wanted to see if these bars tasted better than their burnt barley bar. I started with their Nicaragua bar.

This bar was very good. It was dark and rich, and its single origin note tasted like figs (thanks to my co-worker Dini M. for that fast and accurate identification). I loved the label too, covered with crocodiles and wrapped in a wolf head logo.

Note: this bar is made in Iceland with cacao from Nicaragua, so I tagged both countries.

More Intrigue Truffle Bites

I returned to Seattle for a long weekend, and Robert and I went to Intrigue Chocolate again for more of their truffle bites.

This time we tried the mocha and the cacao nib flavors. The mocha was just what I expected: dark rich chocolate with a nice roasted coffee flavor. It was delicious. And the cacao nib was fantastic too. A dark chocolate truffle with extra richness from ground cacao nibs. It was super chocolatey.

Honestly, if you are in the downtown Seattle area, you should try some of these truffle bites. They are wonderful.

omNom Black n’ Burnt Barley

My friend Sissie C. went to Iceland and brought me back some chocolate. This was the first bar I tried.

I have never had the omNom brand before. In fact, the only Icelandic chocolate I have ever had has been been from the brand Nói Síríus, and that was mostly dark chocolate (with one milk chocolate exception). Technically, this bar was a white chocolate bar, since it contained 0% cacao. But it did not look like any white chocolate bar I have ever seen.

Why is it so dark? It contains activated charcoal. And lava salt. And deliberately burnt pieces of puffed barley.

How did it taste? Well…I thought it tasted like breakfast cereal that had been toasted, salted and sweetened. Or as one co-worker put it “like a burnt pop tart that you eat because you have nothing else in the house”. And she ate four pieces!

Still, I appreciated trying this bar. It’s one of the most unusual bars in my collection.

Thanks Sissie!

The Ganachery Sleeping Beauty Dark Chocolate

My boss Feargus U. (that’ll keep his identity a secret, huh?) gave me this bar that he got on a trip to France.

This bar was made by Valrhona, with cacao from the Dominican Republic. It was only 65% cacao, but it tasted (and looked) much darker, with a light berry singular note at the end of tasting it. It was quite an amazing little bar, and I plan to sample more from this brand.

Thanks Feargus!