Choco Latte

I bought this bar in a grocery store in Croatia in May 2017, but I didn’t get around to eating it until July.

This bar was OK. At 46% cacao, it was not very dark at all, but I did like the profusion of whole hazelnuts, and it was big enough to share at work with everyone having seconds. I just wished it was a little darker. OK, a lot darker.

Interestingly, this was NOT a Croatian bar. It was made in Slovenia, and it’s my second bar from there. The first one was a little odd, being made with pumpkin seed oil, so I would say this bar is a better example of their chocolate.

Classic Wheels Extra Dark 72% Belgian Chocolate

My co-worker Leon B. found this bar in Iowa (yes, Iowa!) while he was there visiting his girlfriend’s family.

This bar was really good! At 72% cacao, it had a nice rich chocolate flavor, and it was surprisingly creamy too. It was big enough for everyone to have seconds and thirds, and they loved it. On top of that, it had a really cool cover with an old-timey racing car! Woo hoo!

Thanks Leon!

Trader Joe’s Campfire S’Mores Bar

My co-worker Charlie S.brought this bar from Trader Joe’s to a chocolate eating meeting.

It was a big square of milk chocolate, filled and topped with mini marshmallows and graham cracker pieces. It was pretty heavy too, over 4 ounces. I broke it into sixteen squares and shared it, and everyone liked it. As milk chocolate, it was a little too sweet for my tastes, but the graham crackers and marshmallows cut down the sweetness, and it did have a nice s’mores taste that everyone who ever camped remembers from their childhood.

Thanks Charlie!

Montezuma’s Absolute Black With Cacoa Nibs

I found this bar at Trader Joe’s. I saw the 100% on the label and I had to have it.

I have had 100% cacao bars before (including several Cacao Parlor ones recently), and I have even had a Montezuma bar before, but I have never had a 100% bar with cocoa nibs in it. In addition to adding texture, these nibs made the bar seem even darker and more astringent, but I really liked it. Yes, the bar pulled all of the water from my mouth, but the chocolate flavor was strong and quite pronounced. And my co-workers liked it too, which surprised me. A year ago a 100% bar had them cringing and saying it was too much, but this bar had them reaching for seconds and thirds. I think I have refined their palettes for chocolate!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Peppermint

I bought this milk chocolate Cadbury bar in Sydney, because I wanted one of their normal milk chocolate bars to compare to their dark milk bar.

This bar was OK. The chocolate was weak and meh (what do you expect from milk chocolate?), but the inner peppermint goo was pretty good. And according to my co-workers, it was as brightly green as the label shows. And they liked it, comparing it to a Junior Mint. And at 200g (or 7 oz) there was a LOT to like, with the bar breaking up into 32 individual squares of chocolate. I had one of my co-workers take a dozen squares back to her office to share with people there. There was just too much!

Zotter Labooko

I found this unusual bar at the high-end grocery store in Pike Market in Seattle.

This bar is made by Zotter, the company that makes the great mousse bar and the good chocolate mint bar. This bar caught my eye with its Latin American version of Prince on the front label. He wanted me to eat this chocolate like it was 1999.

When I opened the package, this card fell out.

Who is this woman telling me how to eat chocolate? She looked like Lucille Ball and the Joker had a baby, whose nose then fell off. And the back side was even more weird.

“Tickle the chocolate with your tongue”? “Feel the aromas”? Who writes this stuff?

Anyway, I discovered the package held two chocolate bars, and even more story.

So while this chocolate is single origin, it is a mix of criollo and white criollo (or Porcelana) beans. I love Porcelana chocolate, so I was grinning as much as crazy Josef there on the right.

And when I folded the package open, there was even more story.

OK, this bar is vegan and organic and fair-trade. So that is why it was so expensive. But is it good?!

Yes!

This bar had a deep rich chocolate flavor that I really liked. It didn’t have much of a single origin note, possibly because different cacao beans were blended, but it was still very good. I think the addition of the Porcelana beans added some extra chocolate umph! My co-workers liked it but didn’t love it, with some of them thinking it tasted a little off. Maybe the sight of Peruvian Prince on the front cover put them off. Who knows? I liked it.

Vanini Dark Chocolate 62% With Pear And Cinnamon

My co-worker Charlie S. gave me this bar, which he found in a local grocery store.

The inside label had a description of where this Italian company buys its chocolate.

I have had a couple of Vanini bars before, one with cacao nibs and the other with rosemary, and I liked them both. This bar was no exception. I liked the chocolate flavor paired with pear bits and natural pear flavor, with just a hint of cinnamon. Many of my co-workers thought it tasted like bananas (except one guy who thought he tasted rum), and I agree that there was a banana-like aftertaste, but it could have just been the pear flavor. All I know is that this was a really good bar, and so far Vanini is three for three.

Thanks Charlie.