Thursday, April 3, 2008

3400 Phinney: Fig, Fennel & Almond and Hazelnut Crunch

Theo 3400 Phinney - New BarsTheo Chocolate, the only all Fair Trade and Organic chocolate company that makes their confections from bean to bar in the United States is growing. This year they added two new bars to their 3400 Phinney line, bringing the total to four milk chocolate bars and four dark chocolate bars.

They are all a standard format of two ounces in four sections and feature artwork on the wrapper by Kitten Chops.

3400 Phinney - Fig, Fennel & Almond in 65% Dark

I picked my full-sized samples of the new bars at the Natural Products Expo last month. The Fig, Fennel & Almond in 65% Dark was the one I was most looking forward to.

Let’s see, favorite things:

Figs? I never knew fig love until I had my own tree. Check!

Fennel? Love it in salads, prefer licorice in candy. Check!

Almonds? I eat them every day. Check!

65% Dark Chocolate? Not too dark, not too dry is the way I like it. Check!

Upon first bite this was too dark, too complex, kind of a mess. But like some Philip Glass piece, the spareness of each note eventually started making music.

It took about half the bar, but I started liking it more and more. The fennel stands out in the scent of the bar, a light and grassy licorice or anise note. Upon letting a bite melt it becomes a bit acidic, a little tangy and rather like raisins, but fresher. Not quite figgy but the seeds help. Later the little bits of crushed almonds pull it all back together.

The chocolate is dry and not quite as buttery as I’d like for a “candy bar” but for a chocolate bar, it has a nice bitter component that keeps the figs from feeling to sticky sweet. Still, it requires a bit too much effort for me to just eat the bar.

Rating: 6 out of 10

3400 Phinney Hazelnut Crunch in Milk Chocolate

I had a very hard time with this bar ... I have a very hard time not eating it all before I finished writing this review.

It’s simply called Hazelnut Crunch Milk Chocolate.

It smells hazelnutty, and has little bits of crushed hazelnuts and a toffee crunch mixed into the creamy and rather dark milk chocolate.

The toffee bits are what makes this really fabulous. They’re very salty (in fact, there’s a lot of salt in this bar: 140 mgs) but man, each little milligram makes a little jolt of electrical energy delivering those flavors right to the pleasure centers of my brain.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Where I had trouble with the FF&A, the Hazelnut Crunch was one I couldn’t believe I ate the whole thing when it was gone. It’s a perfect afternoon bar, not too filling, not too sickly sweet and the little dose of nuts makes it feel very satisfying. In fact, I’d probably eat it anytime, anywhere ... but the Fig, Fennel & Almond would definitely need to be the kind of bar where I’d need to be in the mood.

Theo’s 3400 Phinney line is now Kosher (dairy).

Related Candies

  1. Zotter Candy Bars
  2. Theo Confections
  3. Vosges Haut-Chocolate
  4. Figamajigs
Name: 3400 Phinney: Fig, Fennel & Almond and Hazelnut Crunch
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Theo Chocolate
Place Purchased: samples from ExpoWest
Price: $3.25 retail
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140 & 165
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Toffee, United States, Theo, Kosher, Fair Trade, Organic, All-Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:22 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Oh, oh, oh! I’m so excited about these bars. I’ve been keeping an eye out for them since I first heard. Guess I’ll get to sample them at the SF Choco Salon in 2 weeks. Yay!

    The fig/fennel seems to be in the same category as the curry bar. You have to be in the right mood for it, then it rocks. The hazelnut seems like an everyday bar. As you point out smile.

    Comment by KateC on 4/03/08 at 1:29 pm #
  2. I wonder how that Fennel bar would pair with Absinthe…

    Comment by Fatemeh on 4/03/08 at 1:34 pm #
  3. The fig and fennel bar sounds interesting to try once, but I couldn’t imagine eating a bar like that regularly. Chocolate and hazelnuts on the other hand… I could eat that every day.

    Comment by Kevin on 4/03/08 at 6:59 pm #
  4. OOOH… now I’m intrigued.

    Guess a stop at the factory is in order for me this weekend… I’m a sucker for toffee… as long as I can stay away for the bread and chocolate and the cocoa nib samples…

    Comment by Mione on 4/03/08 at 7:08 pm #
  5. I love those bars. I was first lured to them by their adorable wrappers, but then the quality of their chocolate kept me coming back for more.

    My favorite flavor of theirs is Coconut Curry. An odd combination, but delicious! A slight spicy tingle, overpowered my rich chocolate. :D

    Comment by S.Leigh on 4/04/08 at 12:27 am #
  6. Ha! I love Theo Chocolate (the place). The circus where I train is in a warehouse-like space in the back of their factory at 3400 Phinney, so I’m there all the time doing trapeze in the cocoa-scented air. Sadly, I’ve never actually eaten the chocolate. One day…

    Comment by A.H. on 4/04/08 at 1:31 am #
  7. YUM! That’s kosher? Nice! It looks delicious.

    Comment by Hillary on 4/04/08 at 6:50 am #
  8. love their chocolate…if you get a chance, order a box of their filled chocolates; the lemon-white chocolate filled one is crazy-good

    Comment by David on 4/06/08 at 4:04 am #
  9. Went to Whole Foods, but they didn’t have any :(

    Comment by CydeWeyz on 4/06/08 at 5:48 pm #
  10. this is my favorite brand of chocolate.  i’ve never had this bar before but i’m certianly intrigued.  thus far, their chi is my favorite, though i also had a 90 cocoa bar (limited edition) that blew me away!  many thanks for the review.  i’ll keep my eyes peeled for this one!

    Comment by Linda on 4/07/08 at 3:22 pm #

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