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Chocolate

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dove Milk Chocolate & Red Velvet Swirl Promises

Dove Red Velvet SwirlLast year Mars released Red Velvet M&Ms as a Walmart exclusive for Valentine’s Day. This year they’ve created Dove Milk Chocolate & Red Velvet Swirl Promises which are found only at Target.

The description on the bag of the bag is vague about what a Red Velvet Swirl Heart is actually like, only saying that it’s “a delicious blend of luxuriously smooth chocolate and rich red velvet flavor.” But it never elaborates what constitutes red velvet’s flavor ... which might be the buttermilk touched with cocoa of the cake or the cream cheese frosting.

DSC_8344rb

There are two different colors of foil, but the pieces inside are the same inside. The heart shapes and foil colors are elegant, I always appreciate how well Dove does the packaging of their Promises. I was surprised at how light colored the actual pieces are. I know it’s a milk chocolate Promise, but the combination of the lightness of the milk chocolate and the pink swirled white chocolate makes it a very pale candy.

The scent is odd, I’ve had a few red velvet flavored chocolates now, but this one is not quite the same. It’s not just vanilla or pound cake scented, there’s a note of strawberry in there. Now, I have nothing against vanilla, strawberry and chocolate as a combination, there’s actually a lot of history to the Neapolitan. The melt is nice, as always, it’s excpetionally sweet and there is an immediately “cake” flavor that I can’t quite figure out ... but then there are other flavors that just sit on top of the experience. There’s something that’s a little cheesy and something that’s a little metallic. It’s all dreadful, as far as I’m concerned.

I’m absolutely the wrong target demographic for this candy, as I’m not a fan of Red Velvet cake in the first place, but I haven’t seen anyone who I’ve offered this to (that will eat it) that actually liked it.

On a side note, there will be Red Velvet Oreos this year, which makes a bit more sense as a platform for the flavors.

Related Candies

  1. Red Velvet Peeps
  2. Dove Hazelnut Crisp Dark Chocolate Promises
  3. Candy Made to Taste Like Cake
  4. M&Ms Milk Chocolate Red Velvet
  5. Dove Mint & Dark Chocolate Swirl Promises
  6. Dove 71% Cacao Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate (Rainforest Alliance)
  7. Russell Stover Red Velvet Santa
  8. Dove Promises White Chocolate


Name: Dove Milk Chocolate & Red Velvet Swirl Promises
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (San Francisco)
Price: $3.59
Size: 7.94 ounces
Calories per ounce: 155
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, 4-Benign, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:26 pm     CandyReviewValentinesMarsChocolateKosher4-BenignUnited StatesTargetComments (1)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hershey’s Symphony with Almonds and Toffee Chips

DSC_7990rbIt’s odd to think that the 10 most popular chocolate candy bars have been around longer than most of us. Those bars are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, M&Ms, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and KitKat, all of which were introduced before 1950. Plenty of candy bars have come and gone over the past century, but it’s so crowded at the top with those tried and true favorites. I bring this up because it’s rare for me to remember the introduction of a new candy bar that’s actually still on the market 25 years later.

Hershey’s launched a new line of chocolate bars in 1989 with a simple idea, that they were a little creamier than their famous Milk Chocolate and Milk Chocolate with Almonds. They came up with the brand called Symphony and introduced them with actual fanfare ... commercials featuring classical music.

Their tagline was pretty good: They’ll never be another unfinished Symphony.

The packaging design is largely unchanged since their introduction in 1989. There are two different bars in the line, the same as at the launch. There’s a plain milk chocolate bar (with red accents) and the Symphony Creamy Milk Chocolate Almonds & Toffee Chips with blue accents. Though they’re both still on the market, the Almond and Toffee Chips is the easiest to find, since it’s distinctively different from those other top 10 bars.

DSC_7993rb

The bars themselves have changed quite a bit, partly because Hershey’s no longer wraps their bars in foil with a paper sleeve. The Symphony bar I picked up bore a striking resemblance in shape to the Hershey’s Almond bar ... once I opened it, it was pretty clear why. It’s now the same mold. The previous versions of the bar had segments with the Symphony logo at the center of each.

The current ingredients are not at all premium:

Milk Chocolate (Sugar; Milk; Cocoa Butter; Chocolate; Milk Fat; Soy Lecithin; PGPR; Vanillin) ; Sugar; Almonds (Roasted in Cocoa Butter and/or Sunflower Oil) ; Palm Oil; Dairy Butter; Salt; Artificial Flavor; Soy Lecithin

I found a wrapper online from 2001 that tells a simpler story (but the current bar is .1 ounces larger):

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk, Chocolate, Soya Lecithin, Vanillin), Almonds, Sugar, Dairy Butter, Milk and Salt

DSC_7996rb

When I was photographing the bar, I noticed that it had a lot of voids and bubbles in it, so I weighed it to make sure that it was accounted for in the bar. Sure enough, the bar weighed 43 grams, the wrapper states 42 grams.

Though it looks like a Hershey’s chocolate bar, it doesn’t taste like it. That’s not to say that it’s spectacular or that different from many of the other inexpensive chocolate bars, but it definitely doesn’t have the Hershey’s sharpness. Instead of the bar is fudgy sweet, so sweet that there’s very little chocolate flavor. The dairy notes are good, and combine well with the toasty flavors of the toffee chips and almond bits. It’s exceptionally sweet overall, only the inclusions give a little relief.

For the most part the bar gave me a sore throat. The combination is refreshing for the price point, but for a little more I could just get a Ritter Sport bar or even a Toblerone (but really the same price per ounce), since their bars are two times or more the size). If Hershey’s wants to step up their game with this bar, I think it needs a brand refresh - I’m not saying they need to go dark chocolate, but actual better chocolate like the Bliss line or going with a certified cacao source would help it stand out.

Related Candies

  1. See’s Bridge Mix
  2. Hershey’s Heath Pieces
  3. Eclat Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts 65%
  4. Trader Joe’s Almondictive Bits
  5. Poco Dolce Popcorn Toffee
  6. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt
  7. Lindt Excellence Toffee Crunch


Name: Symphony with Almonds and Toffee Chips
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Glendale)
Price: $.99
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chocolate, Kosher, Nuts, Toffee, 6-Tempting, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:57 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sChocolateKosherNutsToffee6-TemptingUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (3)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Alter Eco Organic Black Truffles

Alter Eco Black TrufflesAlter Eco Organic Black Truffles were on sale before Christmas, so I picked up a box to put in the mix for Christmas stockings.

The box is very simple and reminiscent of the Lindt Lindor range of truffles. They’re quite similar in many ways. The back of the box notes that this is a classic redefined. Then it goes on to mention the filling is made with nourishing coconut oil. It’s no wonder then that I think these are the fattiest fat bombs I’ve ever reviewed, at 180 calories per ounce (note: I think the Ferrero Raffaello ended up at the same calculation in review, but newer packaging has it down to 170).

Ingredients: Cane sugar, cocoa beans, coconut oil, cocoa butter, whole milk, natural flavors, vanilla beans.

The ingredients are 97% fair trade (probably the milk ingredient is keeping it from 100%) and all organic (except for the natural flavors). The cacao is only 58%, which seemed a little paltry for something called black. There’s also milk in there, which is disappointing as well, since I thought maybe these were vegan. (The top of the box says “made with pure coconut oil” which I guess is just to distinguish it from Lindt’s Lindor line which uses palm kernel oil in addition to coconut.)

Alter Eco Black Truffles

There are a lot of little symbols on the back: fair trade certified, non-gmo, organic, gluten free and carbon neutral. There’s no soy in there, either, though the chocolates are made on shared equipment with soy, hazelnuts and almonds. They’re not kosher (though Lindt Lindor truffle range is.)

They look like Lindor, little chocolate spheres, with a small seam around the center where you can press carefully to separate the sides if you wish. Alter Eco has a little fluting on it. They’re glossy dark and smell quite rich.

DSC_8051rb

The Ecuadorian chocolate shell is dreamy smooth. There are lots of berry notes like dark cherries, blackberries and a little hint of coffee and tobacco. There’s an acidic finish to the shell, but it’s moderated by the filling if you eat them together. (I seemed to end up with more shell than filling at some point, either at the beginning or the end of each piece.)

The center is smooth and varies in texture depending on the temperature. It was quite cold in Los Angeles when I prepared this review, so the centers were very firm and almost fudgy to the bite. (My little candy studio was about 62 degrees.) At a more normal room temperature like 70, the center is like a whipped cream, quite soft to the bite but not flowing. The flavor is a thinned out version of the shell. The milk doesn’t do much, it’s mostly coconut which doesn’t provide any additional flavors here, except to keep the berry flavors muted.

These are very expensive, I think about $7 or $8 a box. I got mine on sale, and think that $5 is about as high as I’d go for a package, even though they’re fair trade and all that. The good news is that a couple of stores near me sell these individually, I think for 75 cents each. So, I don’t have to commit to a whole box, just a little fix now and then.

Related Candies

  1. Dove 71% Cacao Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate (Rainforest Alliance)
  2. Zotter Scotch Whisky
  3. Lindt Fioretto
  4. Cholive
  5. Moser Roth Chocolate
  6. Trader Joe’s French Truffles
  7. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  8. Lindt: 60% Extra Dark Truffles


Name: Organic Black Truffles
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Alter Eco
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.99
Size: 4.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 180
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Organic, 9-Yummy, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:17 am     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateEthically SourcedOrganic9-YummyUnited StatesWhole FoodsComments (0)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dove Mocha Latte & Dark Chocolate Swirl Promises

Dove Mocha Latte & Dark Chocolate SwirlFriday is good coffee day for me. All days are coffee days, but on Fridays I treat myself to a simple cappuccino in the morning when I get to the office. So, it’s only fitting that this week my Friday review is of a coffee flavored product: Dove Mocha Latte & Dark Chocolate Swirl Promises.

I spotted them at CVS earlier this week, though it’s hard to believe I was able to tell that they were new. There’s no “new” flag in the corner of the package and the muted amber and brown doesn’t look that different from the burnt orange and brown of the peanut butter version.

It’s a very long ingredients list.

Ingredients: Semisweet Chocolate (sugar, chocolate, chocolate processed with alkali, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial and natural flavors), Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Skim Milk, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, Salt, PGPR, Coloring (Yellow 5, Red 50, Blue 1), Natural and Artificial Flavors

I was sorry to see the use of artificial colors and PGPR in there. I think of Dove as trying to be premium, sometimes, but this wasn’t as promising as I’d hoped. I had this problem with too much coloring with the Mint Swirl as well. What was also missing from the back was the Rainforest Alliance logo, Dove has been working towards certified sustainable cacao for a while, and some packages feature the logo (I picked up the dark chocolate RA ones for Christmas stockings).

It’s been a long time coming: a coffee Dove chocolate. There were Tiramisu Dessert Promises seven or eight years ago, but they were caramel filled just had too much going on. Dove has a pretty good track record of putting an appealing coffee flavoring into chocolate, as I did like their Mocha Premium M&Ms and Cappuccino 3 Musketeers (why don’t they make a coffee Milky Way?).

Dove Mocha Latte & Dark Chocolate Swirl

I don’t know what manufacturing magic creates the swirl of dark chocolate and the mocha latte in the Dove Promises, but it’s genius. Each piece is like work of art, like looking at beautifully polished redwood burls.

When it comes to how I like my coffee, I’m very close to black. For brewed coffee, a little dribble of half and half (enough to cover the bottom of the cup) is all I need to give the bitterness a creamy edge. For an espresso drink, I lean towards the flat white or a less milky cappuccino (basically, only crema and a touch of steamed milk). So, I’ve been looking for a chocolate coffee candy that simulates that - not a milk chocolate candy or a chocolate with whole bits of coffee beans in it.

The pieces smell sweet, but authentically like brewed coffee. The bite is pretty stiff, but the melt is smooth. The flavors are balanced, I catch plenty of robust chocolate notes to go with the woodsy coffee. There’s a hint of bitterness along with the sweet aftertaste of the milk.

Basically, these hit all the right elements for an ideal chocolate & coffee candy for me: not too sweet, lots of coffee flavor, touch of bitterness and a creamy mouthfeel. With those met, I consider this great. They’re expensive, at least at my CVS they were marked at $5.29 though I did get them on sale for $3.50 and they’re not Rainforest Alliance yet. Other than that, I find them spectacular. Your mileage may vary, depending on how you like your coffee and your coffee flavored candies.

Related Candies

  1. Tcho Mokaccino
  2. Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)
  3. Good and DeLISH Morning Rush Coffee Bites
  4. Dove Hazelnut Crisp Dark Chocolate Promises
  5. Dove 71% Cacao Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate (Rainforest Alliance)
  6. Dove Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Promises
  7. Meiji Corot & CoffeeBeat
  8. Javaz - Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
  9. Pocket Coffee


Name: Mocha Latte & Dark Chocolate Swirl Promises
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.50 (on sale - regular price was 5.29)
Size: 8.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Coffee, Kosher, 9-Yummy, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:43 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateCoffeeKosher9-YummyUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (2)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Guinness Luxury Milk Chocolate Caramel Bar

DSC_7977rbCombining spirits with chocolate is pretty common. There’s a new genre, though, the combination of brewed drinks added to chocolate. I picked up the Guinness Luxury Milk Chocolate Caramel Bar at an after Christmas sale, when it was only $1.49 for the Ireland-made bar.

I’m not a beer drinker, as I don’t care for very bitter things, so Guinness has long been on my list of things that I don’t drink. Guinness is a dry stout introduced in Ireland in 1759. It’s quite dark and has a very distinctive look and long history.

Flowing caramel skilfully handcrafted in small batches, flavoured with GUINNESS and set in a creamy milk chocolate shell to create a unique bitter sweet chocolate experience.

So, as is the case with most alcohol-infused chocolates, the stout is mixed with the caramel, not the chocolate itself.

DSC_7984rb

The bar is nicely crafted. It’s a long bar, with domed segments. The indentations between the segments are pretty thin, so my bar was broken in several places, but along those margins. The good news is that the caramel does not enter those segment breaks, so it didn’t become an oozy mess.

It smells distinctly of beer and milk, which really isn’t a pleasant smell in itself, only by association with pleasant experience with actual beer products. The yeasty notes reminded me more of bread, which is a nice combination with chocolate. The milk chocolate is quite sweet, though smooth and a bit on the fudgy side. The caramel filling dominated the flavors, though.

There’s not a lot of caramel in there, but certainly flavorful stuff. It’s the flowing kind, with bready, malty flavors and a definite bitter hop note that wasn’t too distracting. There’s a smidge of salt, but not a lot of toffee or toasted sugar.

I’m curious to try their Guinness Fudge, if it’s done with a lot of butter, because I think the yeasty flavors might go well. I’ll pass on the beer, caramel and chocolate here, though. It’s just too sweet, which is exactly what I wouldn’t want with beer.

Related Candies

  1. Jelly Belly Draft Beer Beans
  2. Meiji Dark Rum Chocolate Sticks
  3. Michael Mischer Kentucky Bourbon Whisky Truffles
  4. La Higuera Rabitos Royale (Chocolate Truffle Filled Figs)
  5. Doulton Liqueur Chocolates (Cointreau & Teacher’s)
  6. Bouquet of Fruits Vinyeard - Wine Filled Chocolates


Name: Guinness Luxury Milk Chocolate Caramel Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lir Chocolate
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Park La Brea)
Price: $1.49 (on clearance)
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Alcohol, Caramel, Chocolate, 7-Worth It, Ireland, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:48 pm     CandyReviewAlcoholCaramelChocolate7-Worth ItIrelandCost PlusComments (2)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nestle Damak Pistachio

DSC_7955rbI found this curious little Nestle bar at Ralph’s grocery store tucked in with the Christmas merchandise last month. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but I wanted to know more.

So, I bought the Nestle Damak bar, without even knowing how much it was ($3.99, I find out).

It’s square, its made in Turkey. It’s just milk chocolate with pistachios. I figured I’ve probably spent most of my life eating California pistachios, it’s nice to find a bar that actually lists the sourcing of their pistachios ... would they taste different?

Taking its name from the Turkish word for taste, NESTLÉ® Damak™ /dih-mok/ features a unique combination of creamy chocolate and world-renowned Turkish pistachios. Backed by an over-80-year heritage, this beloved indulgence derives its deliciously distinct taste from Turkey’s time-honored craft of cultivating the world’s most savory and intensely flavored pistachios. Each piece is packed with whole pistachios from the revered Gaziantep region, surrounded by silky smooth chocolate.

Nestle Damak

The bar is similar to a Ritter Sport in shape and format. It’s just shy of 3 ounces. The bar is wrapped in foil and that is wrapped in the paper label. Inside, it was glossy and quite fresh, divided into 15 pieces sporting the Nestle logo.

DSC_7962rb

The bar smells nice, sweet and milky but with a little grassy note which I’m guessing is the pistachios. There’s no fake pistachio flavor to it. The ingredients are good, plenty of sugar, pistachios and cocoa butter (actually listed in that order). They use sunflower lecithin instead of soy lecithin.

The milk chocolate is so different from normal Nestle milk chocolate, it’s hard to believe it’s the same company. The flavor is authentically dairy, rich and with a toasted note to it. The melt is exceptionally smooth. The pistachios are crisp and buttery, with a crunch that’s almost like a macadamia nut but with a sort of green tea freshness to it. There’s a hint of salt. Though sugar was listed first, it’s not that sweet.

I ate the whole bar, and I’d try the Turkish Nestle items again if the opportunity presented itself. I’d also seek out some Turkish pistachios too, they were exceptional.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Kisses with Macadamia Nuts
  2. Nestle Crunch Noisettes
  3. Ritter Sport 100th Anniversary Edel-Nuss Mix + Bonus Previews
  4. Nestle Milo Bar
  5. An Easter Dash - Reviews in Short
  6. Fard’s Persian Pistachio Nougat
  7. Askinosie White Chocolate (Plain, Nibble & Pistachio)
  8. Nougat de Montelimar


Name: Damak
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Ralph's (Miracle Mile)
Price: $3.99
Size: 2.82 ounces
Calories per ounce: 156
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Chocolate, Nuts, 8-Tasty, Turkey, Ralph's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:05 pm     CandyReviewNestleChocolateNuts8-TastyTurkeyRalph'sComments (3)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Lindt Hello Dark Chocolate Cookie

DSC_7491rbLindt‘s line of Hello chocolates seems to be well established now. I’ve seen them at a few stores regularly, though Target seems to have a few exclusive flavors from time to time.

I picked up the Lindt Hello Dark Chocolate Cookie while they had a sale earlier in December, as I was interested in trying a less-sweet dark bar from them. Dark chocolate with a creamy chocolate filling and dark cookie pieces. Experience your dark side!

The packaging and molding rivals a Godiva item for a fraction of the price. The box it comes in opens like a clutch style purse, and has some very nicely done graphics on the inside that really enhance the experience of decadence. The brown foil wrapper is generous enough that it’s easy to reseal the bar and tuck it back in the box for later. (There are 2.5 portions, according to the nutrition panel.).

Lindt Hello

The bar mold is enchanting. The pieces are domed and shiny with various motifs like the Lindt logo, the Hello logo, the motto “nice to sweet you,” and little hearts. It’s easy to break the pieces off, and each is a good portion in itself if you’re moderating.

There’s no mention of how dark the dark chocolate is, but I’m going to guess it’s not darker than 60%.

Lindt Hello Chocolate Cookie

It smells sweet, more like milk chocolate than dark. The bite is pretty soft, since the domed pieces are filled and the filling is a bit softer. The chocolate is smooth, with a silky melt and slightly acidic finish. The filling is very much like the usual Lindt Lindor Tuffle, only with little crispy cookie bits in it.

As with the other Lindor items, the thinness of the ganache melt is disappointing, because the tropical oils do nothing to support and release the natural chocolate flavors. It’s a pleasant bar, but nothing I’d buy again. I’ve had it for about a month and still haven’t finished it. It sounds like it should be great, but it’s just okay. The quality of the chocolate is much better than most candy bars, but the use of palm oil really tips the saturated fat levels up to a space where it just wasn’t worth it to me to finish the bar.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Cake Assortment Chocolates
  2. Ghirardelli Minis - Sweet Dark Chocolate and Cookie Bits
  3. Lindt Bars: Wafer, Cresta and Dark Hazelnut
  4. Droste Cookie Milkchocolate XXL Pastille
  5. Lindt Hello Coffee Blast (Limited Edition)
  6. Lindt Hello Crunchy Nougat
  7. Dove Cookies and Creme + Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee
  8. Cookie Dough Bites
  9. Hershey’s Cookies and Brownies


Name: Hello Dark Chocolate Cookie
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lindt
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Candy, Lindt, Chocolate, Cookie, 6-Tempting, Germany, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:24 pm     CandyReviewLindtChocolateCookie6-TemptingGermanyTargetComments (0)

Monday, December 29, 2014

barkTHINS: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed

Bark ThinsbarkTHINS comes in seven varieties. They bill themselves as snacking chocolate ... as we’d be confused and think it’s for dinner or to be used as drink coasters.

barkTHINS won the Most Innovative New Product award at the Sweets & Snacks Expo for the Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut variety. I can’t see quite what’s so innovative about that. I picked up a package of the barkTHINS Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed because it was on sale. The stand up package holds 4.7 ounces and was on sale for $3.99.

The top of the package says that it’s a serious twist on snacking. Which is a grandiose statement for a bunch of seeds in chocolate, which is one of the oldest forms of chocolate inclusions. Perhaps the twist they’re referring to is the fact that the chocolate and the sugar in the chocolate is Fair Trade certified. And the soy lecithin is non-GMO. There are no dairy ingredients, though it may contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat or eggs. The FAQ on their website explains that their innovation is the fact that the bark is thin enough to snap into pieces.

All my grumbling aside, I like what I saw on the ingredients label and the concept of simple, ethically sourced dark chocolate with some fresh toasted seeds in it.

Bark Thins

I’ve never quite understood the appeal of bark as a product. I understand why I make it, because I have leftover chocolate from a kitchen project and then just mix up some stuff I have sitting around and call it a tasty mess. I can’t imagine selling it. I want my pieces consistent and I want my seeds integrated.

The good news is that the pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are actually integrated into the chocolate. The pieces are pretty consistent in size and thickness and with a good amount of pepitas. The general size of the pieces is what I’d call, “too large.” They’re about 2.5” by 1.5”. This is a nice portion, however, I found them a bit large and wanted more small pieces. Luckily, I could make my own ... while providing lots of small pieces would mean that large piece lovers would have some assembly to do.

The chocolate is nice, a little on the fatty side which means that there’s a nice silky melt, but also that the calories per ounce on this were 164 ...quite high. (Pepitas have between 145 and 160 calories per ounce, depending on the variety.) The cocoa flavors have a lot of toasty toffee notes and a little hint of grassy olives (or maybe that’s the pepitas). There’s a hint of salt, which offsets the sweetness very well. The pumpkin seeds are crunchy and crisp with no really flavor of their own, just a clean chew with maybe a hint of pistachio.

I enjoyed it, though I do find snacking on bark to simply be difficult. The inconsistency of the sizes and the inclination for me to want to pick through and find the right size and density of seeds is problematic. I’m not sure why they can’t be little bars or puddles. The use of pumpkin seeds is different enough, though the price on these is a bit steep. I’ll finish the bag and probably consider the salted almond and coconut version in the future if I see them on sale again.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Seed Brittle
  2. Cacao Prieto 72% Dark Chocolate Pecan & Sour Cherry
  3. Las Trojes Pepitoria Brittles
  4. Joyva Sesame Crunch
  5. Eat with your Eyes: Gummi Bear Rings
  6. Vosges Bombalinas - Black Pearl Cashews
  7. Lake Champlain Organic Dark Bars


Name: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ripple Brand Collective
Place Purchased: Gelson's (Silver Lake)
Price: $3.99
Size: 4.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 164
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Nuts, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:28 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateEthically SourcedNuts8-TastyUnited StatesComments (0)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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COUNTDOWN.

Candy Season Ends

71 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Seely’s Mint Patties and Ivory Melts

• Honey Acres Patties

• Yum Junkie Pufflettes

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

 

 

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