Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chocolove Ginger Crystallized in Dark Chocolate 65% Cocoa Content

3.2oz (90g) bar
Ingredients: Cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla, crystallized ginger 11g sugar/30g bar (36.7% by wt.) 

Today's bar is Chocolove's take on the fairly popular combo of candied ginger and chocolate. Now that I think about it, ginger and chocolate actually sounds like it wouldn't work at all, but the sweet-spicy ginger candy often provides a nice contrast with creamy, rich chocolate. We'll see how well Chocolove does with the combo. 

Corporate Info: (Copied from 10/15/11) I have a soft spot for Chocolove, having lived in near its hometown of Boulder, Colorado and enjoyed the company's samples in my local Whole Foods. It's a relatively young company (Wikipedia says 1996; Chocolove's website doesn't say), hasn't yet been bought by a giant conglomerate, and is supposedly working with these guys to source its chocolate from well-treated cocoa farmers and communities. On the other hand, the chocolate isn't officially organic or fair trade, and Chocolove is rated a C by the Better World folks (same as Hershey's, much better than Nestle), so I don't want to give them my unconditional Choco-love (ha ha, I crack me up). But it's cheaper than most premium chocolate—$2-2.50 a bar—and reliably tasty.
Appearance: Very dark brown with a dark greyish cast and not lot of warmth (red, orange or yellow). Mine is a little beaten up and dusty, but with the dust rubbed away it's much glossier.
Smell: Not ginger, exactly, but spicy, with a sweetness that has some perfume, like honey or pineapple. No big chocolate smell, but a little characteristic beaniness. This isn't a very strong-smelling bar.
Taste: Definitely sweet, with the flavor of candied ginger that has had all the harshness taken out and not a lot of depth to the chocolate, which mostly provides a hard, then crumbly, then creamy texture. Small but tangible pieces of ginger are well distributed and soft in a crumbly, sugary way, which I think is a good choice: The ginger's texture melds well with the experience of eating this particular chocolate while still standing out enough for contrast.
Conclusion: Chocolove Ginger Crystallized in Dark Chocolate 65% Cocoa Content is sweet, gingery, and harshness-free. Its lack of depth won't win it any dark chocolate awards, but it's an easy eating candy with a lower sugar content than you might expect.

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