Friday, January 13, 2006

Thompson’s Organic Chocolate

While up at the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA last month I discovered that there was another factory in the industrial park: Thompson’s Brands. I’d never heard of their chocolate before but Tomi, who gave me my tour at Jelly Belly said it was worth the stop. I realized when I got into the little shop that I’d probably seen and had their products dozens of times. They seem to specialize in foil wrapped chocolates and have a HUGE selection of them for all occasions at the factory store.

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What caught my eye though were these cute little 1 ounce bars of organic chocolate. It’s getting easier to find organic chocolate these days, but it is pretty difficult to find them in smaller portions (most bars come in the 2.5-3.5 ounce size). They also had a large variety at 89 cents each I picked up one of each. I’m all about getting wholesome food that doesn’t pollute the planet. The big challenge has always been getting it at a price that’s reasonable (I’m willing to pay more, but not that much more) for a good quality product. Luckily Thompson has found a solid middle ground with price and taste.

70% Dark Chocolate: their darkest bar, this one has a nice sheen and good snap. The smell is chocolaty and slightly fruity. Upon tasting it there’s a distinct cherry note to it and some other woodsy qualities. A little bitter, but smooth. It also has a smoky charcoal note to it, that I detected in all the bars; it’s not an unpleasant taste, just a little different. Their website says that all their beans are from South America and I understand that a smaller variety of source beans can give chocolates a very distinctive taste (as witnessed by the single origin bars I’ve tried). It’s an exceptionally buttery chocolate and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

50% Dark Chocolate: this bar was very sweet, though had the same buttery quality of the others. The melt was a little less smooth with a more detectable grain. I didn’t care much for the “chocolateness” of it, it felt a little watered down by the sugar.

Milk Chocolate Almond: the Thompson milk chocolate is sweet, not terribly sticky feeling and has that European dairy flavor to it from using powdered milk. The combination of nuts and this style of chocolate gives it a rather twangy series of notes that are compelling and satisfying.

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Milk Chocolate Caramel: this was the only bar that I think I could shovel down like “candy”. The caramel center isn’t terribly big, not a large reservoir like I’ve had in bars like the Caramello or Hershey’s with Caramel, but the caramel is nicely caramelized with a slight grain to it. Not runny but not quite chewy, it’s a nice balance for the milky bar because of the good hit of salt.

Milk Chocolate Truffle: when I think truffle, I think buttery smooth, soft centers. That’s not this. This is a firm truffle, more like a Frango. It’s not bad, smooth and lighter than the milk chocolate outside, but I prefer the plain dark, caramel or almond bar to this.

If you’re looking to indulge your children with chocolate but with an eye towards keeping organic, you also might want to explore their line of novelty items that include foil wrapped chocolates. Their pandas are pretty ding-dang cute. Unfortunately I don’t know what stores carry these items. Pop a comment here if you’ve seen Thompson’s in your stores.  GroovyCandies.com seems to carry quite a bit of their traditional line. Thompson is also the company that makes the Adora Calcium Tablets.

Name: Premium Thompson Organic
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Thompson Brands
Place Purchased: factory store (Fairfield, CA)
Price: $.89 each
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 140-150
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Caramel, United States, Nuts, Organic

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:47 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. That’s your fifth (at least) comparison of something to Frango, and now I’m DYING to know what a Frango tastes like.  Any chance I can beg you into reviewing one?

    Comment by Sophia on 11/08/06 at 8:26 pm #
  2. I have been searching for different organic chocolates lately and I’m going to have to give Thompson’s a try but I have a recommendation for two others that I just discovered that you should try!

    I just received a gift from my mom from a company called Organica Deluxe and got two really unbelievable types of organic chocolate in the package. There were two bars, one was a milk chocolate and the other was a dark chocolate from a company called Dagoba. The other chocolate was sort of like a box of small, rich, dark chocolate cubes with cocoa powder dusted on them and they were from a company called Intemperantia.

    Just a couple of additional organic chocolates that I loved and highly recommend!

    Comment by Jennifer on 5/27/08 at 12:10 pm #

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