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!

Star Wars Chocolate Bars

My friend Lucy H. sent me this package of Star Wars chocolate from Japan (although it was made in Great Britain).

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Inside the package was six individually-wrapped milk chocolate bars.

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Each one contained a small twelve gram milk chocolate bar, made of relatively run-of-the-mill milk chocolate, the kind you expect children to love. They probably were about 10-15% cacao and very sweet.

There was also this sweet activity card.

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I totally reached the Death Star and helped Luke Skywalker avoid the Tie fighters!

Thank you Lucy!

Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel Puddles

My co-worker Matt P. (seen in the upper corner of the photo) brought these chocolates from London into work for everyone to try.

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These were thin wafers of caramel, slightly salted and covered in milk chocolate. The caramel was soft but not gooey, and the milk chocolate was pretty good, not too sweet and still with a good chocolate flavor, but wow, these would have been so much better as dark chocolate. I see on their website that they offer lots of different puddles, so I hope to try more of them soon.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

I found this beer at CostPlus World Market over the weekend and wanted to try it.

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Unlike many chocolate stouts that are brewed to taste like chocolate but have no actual cacao in them, this stout has real chocolate added to it. When I opened it, it smelled like beer and coffee, but after a minute or two I could smell the chocolate. The chocolate taste was present too, but it was very mild. All in all, it was a good stout. I am not much of a beer drinker, but I would have this one again.

Thorntons Decadently Dark Collection

I found this at CostPlus after Christmas.

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This collection of dark chocolates was from the United Kingdom, and it contained seven different kinds of truffles, all with 70% cacao: passionfruit caramel, lime and chili, crunchy praline, salted caramel, sour cherry, double chocolate and a solid dark chocolate. Of course, I tried the double chocolate one first, and it was pretty good. Nice dark chocolate flavor, but nothing special. Then I tried a passionfruit caramel, and I really liked it. Passionfruit is an uncommon flavor, and it went very well with the caramel and the chocolate. I also split a lime and chili truffle with a co-worker, and we agreed it tasted more like lavender than lime or chili. The praline and salted caramel were reportedly good, but the sour cherry was very sweet (“too much like candy” said one co-worker), and the solid one was “boring”. Oh well, they can’t all be winners.

All in all, this was a great way to kick off the new year at the office!

Rococo Rose Dark Chocolate

My friend Lucy H. sent me this intriguing bar from the United Kingdom.

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This bar was 65% cacao and had rose essential oil mixed into it, and wow, you could tell when you unwrapped it. The fragrance of rose wafted out of the wrapper, and as I tried a bite, the rich chocolate flavor gave way to the taste of the smell of a rose. Yes, this bar tasted like the smell of a rose. I loved it, and it reminded me of their violet bar that I tried a few years back. That was yummy too.

Oddly, most of my co-workers did not like this bar, finding it to taste “medicinal” or “soapy”. A couple of them loved it though, and we felt we must have refined tastes.

Thanks Lucy!