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!

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.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Cinnamon Cayenne & Cherries

My co-worker Matt S. gave me another Endangered Species bar.

This one also had an insert about the species being protected by the money raised by this bar. In this case, it was a tamarin in Brazil.

As for the bar, it was OK. The chocolate was decently dark at 60% cacao, but while I liked the touch of cinnamon and even the dried (but not freeze-dried, which I prefer) cherries, the cayenne pepper masked most of the chocolate flavor of the bar, as it often does when added to chocolate. I don’t understand the infatuation that chocolatiers have with chocolate and heat, but I am over it. It was the “in thing” a decade ago, but they need to let it go. I think this would be a wonderful bar with just the cinnamon and cherries.

Thanks Matt.

Charles Chocolates Toffee Coffee Bar

I got this bar from my co-worker Cathy N.

This bar was a 55% cacao dark milk chocolate bar, flavored with coffee and sprinkled with chunks of toffee. I liked it, and my co-workers did too, even the coffee-hating one. I liked their crisped rice bar better, but that one was 65% dark chocolate. Still, this company makes some good chocolate.

Thanks Cathy!

Compartés Old Hollywood

I received this bar as a gift from a co-worker, Dave W., who did not know that Compartés was my arch enemy.

This bar was pretty good. The chocolate was a decent dark 75% cacao, and the smoked sea salt added a nice layer of flavor. Like their chocolate brownie bar, this was a nice chocolate bar, but not enough to forgive their horrible betrayal.

Thanks Dave!