My boss Jeremy returned from a trip to Las Vegas with a most wonderful gift box of Ethel M’s chocolate bars. I want to capture the moment, so let’s go through this step by step (yes, this will be a long post). First there was the bag.
I had heard of Ethel M’s Chocolates, but I had never had it before. The company was started in 1980 by the man behind the Mars candy company, after he had retired and grown bored. He wanted to make fine chocolates, and he named the company after his mother, who had taught him about chocolate making.
Inside the bag was a box and a card. The card attempted to prepare me for what lay in store.
I turned my attention to the box, and its label made my mouth water.
The box contained five different dark chocolate bars, each one with a different taste created solely with chocolates from particular countries around the world. I was so excited that I immediately called a chocolate eating meeting so that we could explore these chocolates.
The first bar was a single origin bar from Trinidad.
This bar was only 55% cacao, but it tasted much richer than that. There was a very earthy taste to the chocolate, almost like coffee. It was very good!
Then we turned our attention to the red vanilla bar.
This bar was great! It has a surprising smokey taste, but the vanilla flavor was strong too. Neither flavor overpowered the chocolate, which was creamy and very good too.
We quickly moved on to the remaining three bars.
The Madagascar-Peru bar was our first (and only) disappointment. It tasted like a cheap dark chocolate bar – waxy, not very flavorful, brittle. I was shocked, since the other 55% cacao bar was excellent. I was also disappointed because this was my first chocolate bar from Peru.
The Venezuelan-Trinidad bar was very good, and it had the same earthy notes as the Trinidad bar above. Everyone really liked it, and it made up for the previous disappointing bar.
Finally, there was the Porcelana bar. At 70% cacao, it was very bitter, but it was awesome in its flavor. Very deep and rich, and this was the first time I had ever tried a bar made from the famous white-hulled porcelana beans. If this bar is an example of how those cacao beans taste, I am a convert!
All in all, this was one of the finest chocolate gifts I have ever received. The packaging and presentation were excellent, and the chocolate itself was fantastic. I must visit the Ethel M store the next time I am in Las Vegas.