Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lake Champlain Organic Dark Bars

Lake Champlain Organic BarsYesterday I did a little roundup of all natural candies and I forgot to mention Lake Champlain. It’s a little expensive to feed to kids but they do make actual candy bars. It’s an excellent brand that uses carefully selected ingredients, which I always appreciate and recently introduced an organic line.

Each bar is 1.25 ounces, which I think is the perfect portion of good chocolate.

The bars look like they’d be great for traveling too, small enough to tuck in your bag and finish in one sitting but they also feature a nice paper wrap with an inner foil wrapper that means you can actually close it back up (some of these foil wraps used these days are two atoms thick and fall apart in a light breeze).

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Dark Spicy Aztec also features a 55% cocoa base chocolate. This one also has spices and pumpkin seeds. I’ve had a few spicy bars over the past few years and my share of spicy hot chocolate as well. This is probably the best of all of them. The spices, while strong, are still very flavorful and don’t overpower the chocolateness. I love pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and they go so well here, adding a little crunch and setting off the spicy flavors all over again.

While it tastes like there’s a whole cupboard of spices in here, the label says only cayenne and cinnamon. I could have sworn I tasted a little nutmeg, some clove and cumin. Amazing!

I have to admit that the spice is, well, spicy. It gave me a bit of a tingly burn on the back of my tongue and in my throat. Not so much to stop me from eating it, but more tender mouths may not appreciate the power. 9 out of 10

Dark Chocolate is a basic semi sweet bar. It’s on the sweet side but also very creamy and has a good, quick melt on the tongue.

I’m not as keen on this as the Spicy Aztec, but since it’s the same chocolate base, it’s a good place to finish off the review. The chocolate notes are rather middle of the road - there’s nothing that jumps out at me like coffee or balsam or raisins. It’s just nice and thoroughly chocolatey. It doesn’t feel like a “better for me” compromise because it’s organic. It’s smoothly conched and nicely tempered. 8 out of 10

The Organic bar line from Lake Champlain also includes milk chocolate, with a plain bar and a sea salt and almonds bar. The Lake Champlain website offers a kit of all four bars as an introduction or you can order them singly. They also make little squares, which I’ve tasted at the Fancy Food Show before, but to be honest, I don’t care for very thin chocolate, l like it a little thicker ... these bars are the ideal thickness.

My hesitations on Lake Champlain as a whole are that it’s not that easy to find and a bit expensive (and I don’t like the logo much). Of course it’s good quality, nicely packaged and all natural, so you get what you pay for. If you’re tentative about them, keep an eye on their Sale Page on their website, sometimes there are insane deals in there (nothing at this writing though).

Related Candies

  1. Chocolate Hellfire Chip Cookies
  2. Chuao ChocoPods
  3. Xocoatl 73.5%
  4. Dagoba Dark Bars
  5. Cha-Cha-Cha Choxie
  6. Green & Black’s Maya Gold
  7. Pumpkin Pie
Name: Organic Dark Chocolate: 55% Dark Spicy Aztec & 55% Dark
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Lake Champlain
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Glendale)
Price: $2.50
Size: 1.25 ounces
Calories per ounce: 160
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, United States, Lake Champlain, Kosher, All Natural, Organic

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:48 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I find Lake Champlain’s packaging somehow so commercial and a bit generic. I want to appreciate how hard they are trying, but have not been overly impressed. Especially at those prices! Their maple chocolate was quite disappointing (and I love anything maple).

    However, Poco Dolce has the most amazing Aztec Chile tile, with pepitas and everything. And the burn was not too bad. I think it is one of the first chile chocolates I have loved. I did a happy dance at my desk at work when I tried it.

    On the other side of the spectrum, Dagoba hot chocolate with chile is plain awful and should come with warnings. And I have a high tolerance for hot. bleck.

    Comment by Kate on 9/11/07 at 7:52 am #
  2. Have you heard about the new Reese’s Whipped?  I saw it at Wal-mart yesterday.  Delicious.

    Comment by Jamie on 9/11/07 at 7:33 pm #
  3. I bought a couple Lake Champlain bars today - Raspberry Truffle & Rum Caramel (both 54% cocoa). Haven’t tried the Raspberry yet but the Caramel is positively divine!

    Comment by Carrie on 10/12/07 at 3:59 pm #

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