Saturday, January 7, 2012

Whole Foods Dark Chocolate Pear & Almond

3.5oz (100g) bar
Ingredients: Chocolate liquor, sugar, almonds, cocoa butter, butter oil, inulin, pear, natural flavoring, soy lecithin
14g sugar/38g serving (36.8% by wt.)

Corporate Info: See two weeks ago, both this section and the introduction. This week's bar isn't organic or whatever else; it's Whole Foods' attempt at upscale chocolate flavors. So how do they do?

Appearance: Flat, lightly textured, deep reddish brown, with pale flecks under the surface. A cross-section reveals slivered almonds and, due to slightly different color and shape, what must be tiny pieces of pear.

Smell: In both color and smell this is actually dark, probably at least 60%, though the package doesn't say. Light, nutty, winey. No pear smell as far as I can tell.

Taste: What stands out is pear, which based on the ingredients is just in the pieces (“natural flavoring” is in parentheses next to pear, along with inulin and dehydrated pear; there's no “flavoring” in the chocolate itself), but it jumps out like liberally applied pear extract, sweet, with a candyish texture but a real ripe pear vibe, as in a pear Jelly Belly. Almonds are more low-key and textural, and chocolate isn't in front but does have some winey flavor, so it doesn't get lost.

Conclusion: Whole Foods Dark Chocolate Pear & Almond isn't for lovers of super dark chocolate, but it does provide pear flavor, almond texture, and a legitimate dark chocolate foundation.

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