Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chocolove Raspberries in Dark Chocolate

3.2oz (90g) bar
Ingredients: Cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla, freeze dried raspberries
13g sugar/30g serving (43.3% by wt.)

Corporate Info: (Altered 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 indicates similar), hasn't yet been bought by a giant conglomerate, and claims it has taken or is taking several steps toward "sustainability & social responsiblity." On the other hand, Chocolove produces only three organic, fair trade bars and 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

Note: Chocolove's flavored dark bars are in 55% cacao, which I know I'll find too sweet, but I can't help but be enticed by all the flavor options.

Today's Bar: Raspberry, as in freeze-dried raspberries as an inclusion.

Appearance: Red and grey undertones in Chocolove's usual quilt-like pattern. The back is covered in bumps of raspberry coated with chocolate.

Smell: Mild but fresh, with a hint of raspberry and nuts.

Taste: Okay, yes, this is sweet, but the freeze-dried raspberries retain their tart flavor, so I get a hit of sour freshness to cut the mild, sweet, and creamy chocolate. The creaminess is a good match for the sugar, too, because while it might be sweeter than I like, it's evened out by a rich flavor and texture. Raspberry seeds add to the textural variation--not that there are tons, but there are enough to crunch a little and stick in my teeth, which is actually a boon in that it provides a lingering sour counterpoint to the chocolate. Success.

Conclusion: Chocolove Raspberries in Dark Chocolate's sweet, thick chocolate and crunchy, tart freeze-dried raspberries balance each other well.

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