Chocolate Tasting, Part 1

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With Halloween approaching, the Angry Chef and I have candy on the brain. Consider this the first article in a series of chocolate tastings.

We spotted these at Whole Foods and couldn’t resist picking them up. If you’re familiar their mind-bogglingly vast chocolate bar selection, you know we’re lucky we walked away with just two.

One we loved, and one was surprisingly just…eh.

Chocolate Bar #1: Mo’s Bacon Bar by Voges Haute Chocolat

With a giant, glossy picture of a rasher of crispy bacon on the box, we were sure that we’d adore this, bacon lovers that we are. Sadly, not so much.

Mo’s Bacon Bar is made by Voges Haute Chocolat, a company that manufactures a range of exotic chocolate bars. Despite the fact that we weren’t crazy about this one, there are a handful of others that I’d love to try, including the Barcelona, with hickory-smoked almonds and Fleur de Sel, and the Black Pearl, with ginger, wasabi, and black sesame seeds.

The Mo’s Bacon Bar bar is definitely easy on the eyes. From the packaging to the delightful embossing on the chocolate itself, we wanted to eat this the moment we saw it.

The chocolate itself is very nice. It’s a rich, 41% cacao that we think would be lovely on its own. Other main flavors include applewood smoked bacon and Alder wood smoked salt.

It’s the bacon that tripped us up. Not because we don’t like the combination of salty, smokey, and sweet. We do. (Oh, we do!)

The initial taste was more reminiscent of hazelnut than bacon, which was a little startling. After a minute, the smokey notes started to come out, and�though it’s not greasy�we could definitely taste the bacon fat over the butter fat in the chocolate.

After a few more bites, it just wasn’t the overwhelming experience of chocolate-covered bacon that we were expecting�and very much wanted. It kind of reminded us of bacon bits stirred into chocolate. For just about $8 for just under 3 oz. of chocolate, we were both underwhelmed.

Will we finish the bar? Sure. Will we rave about it to our friends? No way. Will we try to make our own chocolate-covered bacon? Definitely.

Chocolate Bar #2: Sirius Pure Icelandic Chocolate

The packaging on Noi Sirius Pure Icelandic Chocolate is much humbler. Wrapped in simple, wax-y paper, you could definitely miss this in a sea of brightly-colored candy. It was the weight of this bar that made us pause, and eventually walk out with it.

This was the one that we loved�and totally didn’t expect to.

The first surprise came when we opened the wrapper. Instead of one thick bar, there were two thin ones.

These bars look like chocolate you would bake with�something that Sirius advises you can happily do. Their bars come in a range of sweetnesses. We chose the 45% semi-sweet.

This chocolate has a nice snap to it when you break a piece off.

In terms of taste, it’s rich, with just the right amount of bitterness. It’s not too creamy. It’s not too dark. It has exactly the kind of smooth, clean mouth feel you want in a good chocolate bar.

And at just under $4, it was definitely a deal. We’ll definitely be buying this again.

And what about you?
Any recommendations for chocolate bars we should put on our list for next time?

Digg!

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Copyright 2008 The Hungry Mouse/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I'm with you as I've found most of Voges' chocolate bars to be disappointing. I do, however, want to try the Barcelona. I have two recommendations for you ... the name of one as slipped my mind though, so I'll come back with that tomorrow. As for the other, if you're in the mood for some pure, rich, milk chocolate - try the Scharffen Berger milk chocolate. Its my absolute favorite - and the only milk chocolate I really like. Their "Nibby" bars are also good fun and very delicious. Cheers!
  2. Yeah, we were really sad about the bacon bar. I know it's only a matter of time until we start dipping real bacon into chocolate to make a treat we really like. I give us until, like, maybe this weekend. :D And thanks for the recommendation! I'll look for the Scharffen Berger when we do Round Two. Definitely let me know what the other one is. +Jessie
  3. This is sinful. Here I am doing my morning blog reading, and now I am craving chocolate AND bacon - no matter if the Vosges bar wasn't fantastic! Looks divine. You'll have to take some pics if you dip bacon in choco....
  4. Hey there! (And thanks for registering!) Hehe, oh, trust me...there will be full photo documentation of that. Also, I'm thinking dark chocolate might be better than milk chocolate. Let the planning begin... +Jessie
  5. The Barcelona is the class of the Vosges offering, without a doubt. Wife and I agree, but we like the bacon bar too, so what do we know? I dunno if Whole Wallet sells this, but, even better than the Barcelona is the Michel Cluizel Mangaro Milk 50%. All the flavors of the Barcelona, with a higher cocoa content and no salt or almonds. They do it with roasting and such. Very very high quality. FWIW: I dunno why Vosges is at such a high price point. There's no currency issue like with product from the Euro-zone. Despite fancy name, it's here, in Chicago. $8 a bar is very high for them, though. Typically, more in the $6-7 range. Still overpriced, but what are you gonna do. Cluizel typically runs $6-7 as well, but well worth the "investment".
  6. We'll definitely see if we can find the Barcelona--and the Michel Cluizel bar, too. Sounds super yummy. Yeah, I'm not sure why the Voges bars are as expensive as they are. Though the ad exec in me says it has to do with all the sexy marketing they do. They're definitely selling an exotic experience with their chocolate... +Jessie
  7. How curious we were both talking about bacon last night. I'm with you on the bacon bar. i was also underwhelmed at a bar that had so much potential. I expected the bacon to have a crispness which it did not. The limp bacon just wasn't right in this bar. Next chance, you HAVE to try the Barcelona bar. It's my absolute favorite.

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