Hägeland Pear & Almonds

My friend and co-worker Steve M. brought this bar to a chocolate eating meeting in the summer of 2011.

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This was a very good bar. The rich dark chocolate paired well with the slivers of almonds and bits of dried pear. But like I noted a few days before, this brand Hägeland is the same as Cachet, and I had had this bar before. If you check out that label, it looks exactly like this one! I debated whether to add this label, but I decided I wanted to, just to memorialize these different labels on identical chocolate.

Million Dollar Bar

I found this chocolate bar at the Candy Baron store in Laguna Beach in June 2011.

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I saw this bar and thought “this will be a great way to kick off volume five”! Unfortunately, it was some of the grossest milk chocolate I have had in a long time. Chalky, gritty, waxy, and with very little chocolate flavor, this bar was barely touched at the chocolate eating meeting that I brought it to. It ended up in the office kitchen where brave souls pecked away at it for the rest of the day.

On that note…welcome to Volume Five of Chocolate I have Known! Unlike Volume Four, which took only six months to fill, Volume Five took me over two years to collect. Either I’m getting slower in my old age, or I’m running out of new chocolate labels!

Belgian Dark Chocolate Mint Thins

Here’s another find from CostPlus World Market.

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Remember the plain dark chocolate thins, and how I said I would go back for more flavors? Well, I did, and I found these thins, which were pretty much the same thing except with some mint flavoring in the chocolate.  But dang, that made them even more delicious! At the chocolate eating meeting, these things flew off the plate faster than any other chocolate. I was almost afraid I would lose a finger trying to get one myself!

And with this awesome chocolate, we conclude Volume 4 of “Chocolate I Have Known”. This volume was filled in just six months, thanks to the generous contributions and voracious appetites of my fellow co-workers and our chocolate eating meetings. Tomorrow, posting from Volume 5 will begin, starting with the traditional money-oriented label.

Hägeland Costa Rica

My friend and co-worker Steve M. brought this bar to a chocolate eating meeting in May 2011.

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I liked this bar. The chocolate was very good and a very deep flavor. It wasn’t fruity or nutty or bright, like other single origin chocolates I have tasted. It was just rich.

Interestingly, this chocolate brand is the same as Cachet, a brand whose single-origin bars I have tended to dislike. You can read about the connection of these two brands here. For some reason, no mention is made of this connection at the Hägeland site (warning! Lots of Flash use and ambient music!).

Colonial Candies

My co-worker Doug K. picked these up in New York (or possibly Boston, he couldn’t remember) in late spring 2011, and he brought them into work for a chocolate eating meeting.

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First off, let me just say how much I love this label. I am a sucker for pencil or charcoal sketches, and I thought this was a cool looking house. There are lots of houses like this back east, where I grew up, but not a lot of them here in California. So this chocolate already had me feeling nostalgic.

As for the the chocolate itself, it consisted of little solid nuggets of dark chocolate. They were good but not great. They reminded me of chocolate I would buy to melt into chocolate coating, since they had that “I will not melt in your hand” texture of well-tempered chocolate. Most of the chocolate eating meeting group declared them to be “OK”.

Meltyblend

I found these chocolates at Mitsuwa, my local Japanese grocery store, in May 2011.

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I liked these little cubes, but the plain chocolate ones are a lot better. I think the caramel flavor overpowers the chocolate in this mix, and I am not a huge fan of caramel by itself. It’s OK as a supporting player in a blend of ingredients, but when it is front and center, I don’t like it as much.