Friday, August 14, 2009

Chuao Chocolate Blocks from LEGOLAND

Legoland Chocolate from ChuaoIn the last of my vacation candy theme week, I’ve got something that I didn’t actually get on my vacation last week. But it’s something that you might.

The Man went to LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, CA yesterday, and I asked him to check in the gift shop while he was there to see if they had anything LEGO-ish to complete my week.

He called me from the store and said, “Guess what chocolate LEGOLAND has?”

He just about dropped the phone when I excitedly said, “Chuao!” (It’s not like I actually knew that, but I know his love of Chuao and their proximity to LEGOLAND.)

So he picked up a nice package of the “not quite LEGO branded” blocks. (There’s no actual name on the package of the product, it never uses the name LEGO and it’s not on Chuao’s website, so I’m guessing it’s something that’s only available at the theme park.)

There were three varieties to chose from: all milk, all white or a half & half mix. Each sleeve holds 16 blocks.

Legoland Chocolate from Chuao

Each little block is sized to approximate real LEGO.

A true LEGO 8 block (two rows of four pegs) is 9.6 mm by 32 mm by 16 mm and are basically hollow.

The Chuao version takes some liberties and is 15 mm by 35 mm by 19 mm - which as far as I’m concerned means more chocolate!

Legoland Chocolate from ChuaoI noticed that the sides are not straight verticals, the block is slightly trapezoidal. This is likely an engineering issue - chocolate is rarely injection molded as plastic LEGO blocks are. In order to get most chocolates out of a stiff mold, a little angle can make all the difference.

Also, injection molding means that the item is molded in three dimensions, in the case of chocolate blocks, the bottom is not molded, just leveled flat by gravity when the chocolate is molten.

Each block weighed 10 grams (.35 ounces) ... see, being solid has its advantages.

As I mentioned before, the packaging was so spare and minimalist it didn’t even say what kind of chocolate this is so I’m going to guess. (Hopefully I’ll get a response from Chuao soon and can revise this.)

Legoland Chocolate from Chuao

The Milk Chocolate blocks were practically flawless. The molding was excellent with no voids. The color is a deep, milky brown ... so dark that I wasn’t sure if this was milk chocolate at first.

I suspect that this is El Rey’s beautiful dark milk called Caoba which Chuao is known to favor (though they may have a custom blend done for them).

The chocolate has a beautiful snap. Mine smelled rather milky, but that might be because it was intermingled with the white.

The flavors are dark but the melt is clean and only slightly sweet. There’s a wonderful smokiness to it with a slight background bitterness. It’s quite smooth and has a thinner melt that keeps it from feeling sticky or milky-cloying. It’s good munched up for an immediate bolt of flavor or a lingering melt on the tongue.

Legoland Chocolate from ChuaoChuao’s White Chocolate is dreamy.

The color is a crisp ivory. The molding is precise and the snap is good.

It smells like milky cocoa and pound cake.

The texture is pure, solid silk. It’s sweet but has a consistent melt that is neither greasy nor watery. The sugar is ultrafine so the vanilla flavor as well as some of the cocoa-ness comes through. It’s cool on the tongue so it feels like a great, refreshing summer version of chocolate.

I suspect that this is El Rey ICOA, which is a premium un-deodorized white chocolate.

The final thing to tell you about these adorable, well made and great-tasting chocolates is the price. It was $14.95 for the sleeve. Yes, that’s nearly $1 for each block. At this point I’m just going to buy El Rey or Chuao bars (which are more widely available at grocery and gourmet stores anyway). As it is, these are not kid treats ... they’re a grown-up way to revisit a childhood favorite. Since the only place to get them is LEGOLAND, if you’ve paid $65 just to get in the gate, may as well go for broke (and satisfied).

LEGOLAND - California
One LEGOLAND Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 918-LEGO
(List of Legoland Stores)

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Name: Chocolate Blocks from LEGOLAND
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Chuao Chocolatier
Place Purchased: LEGOLAND (Carlsbad, CA)
Price: $14.95
Size: ~5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, United States, Chuao, Fair Trade, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:50 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. These are just too cool on so many levels. Good find, The Man!!

    Comment by KateC on 8/14/09 at 12:38 pm #
  2. These are just way too cool!!!

    Comment by Ann on 8/14/09 at 3:13 pm #
  3. That is so cool! I want some. Fantastic find.

    I wonder if they will sell these at the Lego store or if it is too high end for the retail stores?

    Comment by Greg: The Frozen Food Master on 8/15/09 at 1:56 am #
  4. Sera's avatar

    Oh WOW those are so cool! I need to get myself some! ^___^

    Comment by Sera on 8/15/09 at 6:03 am #
  5. Thanks so much for your sweet words! I shared your blog with Chef Michael and he was tickled pink.

    In regards to your question, all natural ingredients and Venezuelan cacao are the core of our artisan chocolate blend.

    The Lego blocks are sold only at Legoland, but feel free to visit our chocolate cafes in La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas or online at http://www.chuaochocolatier.com to experience more of our offerings.

    Sweet Regards,
    Brooke the Oompa Loopma

    Comment by Brooke the Oompa Loompa on 8/18/09 at 8:00 am #
  6. Wow!!  I want them!

    Comment by Liz on 8/19/09 at 12:27 pm #
  7. Oh wow, I really like these.  I wish I could get my hands on them.  It would have been even better if they had the holes on the bottom so you could snap them together, but I guess that wouldn’t be too practical with chocolate.

    Speaking of Legos, I’m disgruntled that Kellog’s discontinued their Lego fruit snacks.  Those little gummies were tasty and so cute.  Apparently parents complained that their kids would mistake a Lego for a gummy and eat it.  Which…by the time your kid is old enough to play with Legos, your kid should be able to understand the difference.

    Comment by Rita on 8/19/09 at 5:04 pm #

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