Archive for June, 2008

Dolfin Dark Chocolate with Pink Peppercorns from Brazil

June 17, 2008

Dolfin Pink Peppercorn

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, pink peppercorns, natural vanilla, emulsifier: soya lecithin. Cocoa solids: 60% min.

I was curious about pink peppercorns and chocolate, so it was nice when a co-worker came by today, offering pieces of this bar.  Pink peppercorns are not true peppers, but are actually dried berries.  They’re toxic in large quantities, though I can’t find any information about how large a quantity would have to be.  Some people may also be allergic to them.   (The amount in this bar is perhaps small enough to be safe for everyone.)

I appreciate that the pink peppercorns were the only added ingredients.  The bar has a mildly peppery taste and a bit of a crunch that goes well with the chocolate, which skews toward dark, and is pleasantly smooth.  It’s pretty good, but I think I prefer the oddness of the Dolfin Lavendar bar.  However, my other co-worker, Sneha, didn’t like the pepperiness at all, so this bar probably isn’t for everyone.

MarieBelle Mayan Chocolate Bar (Unsweetened)

June 12, 2008

Mariebelle Mayan Chocolate

MarieBelle Mayan Chocolate Bar, 70% Single Origin Colombian Cacao, Unsweetened

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, skim milk powder, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, (emulsifier) (E322) soy lecithin, PGPR-90 polyglicerol polyricinoleate (emulsifier), natural vanilla.

I read a review of this bar on Candy Blog last month, and knew it was going to be an interesting tasting experience. It’s made by Eneh Compania Nacional de Chocolate (from Colombia) and distributed by MarieBelle, a chocolate company based in New York. I think seeing “Mayan” made me expect spice, but there aren’t any added flavors besides vanilla (and plenty of milk and emulsifiers).

The number of ingredients seems excessive, but the milk and emulsifiers must be doing a lot for this bar in terms of taste and consistency. It’s a fairly thick square, and looks like it should taste fudgy, but doesn’t. It also doesn’t melt quickly on the tongue like most chocolate, and when it does, it’s sort of like peanut butter – sticky, but not stick-to-your teeth-for-two-minutes.

Initially, the taste is very milky, almost like semi-solid chocolate pudding. But soon it turns dark, expressing its 70% nature, and tastes more like cocoa powder, even ending with a bit of bitterness. I don’t think I miss the sugar, since there’s so much else going on. The slow melt makes a small piece pretty satisfying, but since it was so strange, I ended up eating more. I’d be interested in trying the version of this bar containing panela, naturally processed cane sweetener, especially in comparison to this bar.

Stainer Marrakech

June 2, 2008

Stainer Marrakech bar

Dark bar with Marrakech mixture (Min. cocoa 70%). Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, Marrakech mixture (green tea, nanah mint, wormwood, shiba), emulsifier: soya lecithin, natural vanilla.

Stainer is an Italian company that makes a variety of flavored chocolate bars. I was drawn to this bar because I didn’t recognize many of the ingredients. I’ve heard of wormwood, but only because it’s used in absinthe; from my friend wikipedia I learned several interesting facts about the plant, including folklore and its therapeutic uses. I also learned that nana mint is commonly used in a minty green tea. Shiba was a little trickier to track down, but seems to be an artemisia/wormwood-like plant used in tea.

Not knowing these ingredients, I wasn’t sure what the bar would be like. During my first nibble, I tasted various indistinguishable bits of plant (spice-like taste). As I ate more, the green tea started to stand out at the beginning of the bite, followed by the spices, and then the fruitiness of the chocolate. It ended with a smoky flavor. I liked how the chocolate wasn’t overwhelmed by the other additions, and the different flavors worked well together. While not amazing, it’s a solid bar.