Monthly Archives: February 2008

Domori Latte Sal

Domori_latte_sal

I know I usually review a lot of dark chocolate on the blog as it is my favorite, but every once in a while I see a milk bar that gets my attention.  Usually this is because it includes something that I can’t resist — such is the case with the Domori Latte Sal bar.  True to it’s name, it is a milk chocolate bar with sea salt.

The bar here is not what I’m used to since it has no little dividing lines which help you to snap it into perfect portions, instead it is a flat almost blank bar as you can see in the photo.  The chocolate looked quite nice except for that little splotch in the middle and true to it’s appearance it snapped beautifully, all be it irregularly.

The chocolate is smooth and milky with a lovely mouthfeel.  At first taste, the chocolate is very fruity and I taste banana with the slightest hint of leather which seems to come from the salt.  This bar is quite sweet, but that is offset somewhat by the salt which gives it an added dimension.

I think I’ll still stick with the darker stuff on a regular basis, but this bar is nice when you are in the mood for something sweet. 

Patric Chocolate — Madagascar Sambrino Valley

Patric_chocolate

Patric Chocolate focuses in micro-batch chocolate bars — going bean to bar.  And as I continue to find, the whole "bean to bar" process results in the truly unique chocolate experiences.  Patric Chocolate’s 70% Madagascar Sambrino Valley bar is no exception.  It is almost completely different from other Madagascar chocolate I have had previously. 

Out of the package, the bar showed just a bit of bloom, but was otherwise lovely and had a nice snap.  As I broke off a piece of the aromatic chocolate and placed it on my tongue, citrus flavor literally burst in my mouth.  So much so, that I puckered up a bit.  I had to flip over the packaging to see if there was anything citrus added to the bar.  No — just cocoa beans and sugar — very purist.   It was really unlike anything I have ever tasted.  The first flavor was overwhelmingly of tart grapefruit, followed by notes reminiscent of red wine.  The chocolate melted smoothly and was a touch dry in the mouth.  The lingering flavors are quite acidic with a hint of tea leaves.

If you want to try a unique chocolate bar, give Patric Chocolate a try.  I received mine as a sample, but you can purchase them at the Patric Chocolate website.

Vosges Treats

Vosges_flaming_heart

I have to say that there is nothing that I’ve tried from Vosges that I haven’t liked, so I was excited to see that they sent me a Valentine gift which included one of their awesome Flaming Heart chocolates and a cute heart shaped box of their Caramel Toffee.  The Flaming heart is awesome — shaped like a flaming heart, it comes in three flavors — Red Fire, Amalfi & Barcelona.  They sent me the Red Fire which is dark chocolate with chillies and cinnamon.  Nice and spicy — but not too hot.  Just enough heat to make things interesting.  The Amalfi looks intriguing — white chocolate, pink peppercorns and lemon zest.  I think it would make a great chocolate bar and I hope this means they have one in the works! 

The Caramel Toffee is lovely — a nice light, crisp crunch as you bite into it (no teeth breaker here).  It’s coated in a thick layer of chocolate and nuts.  Just what a toffee should be.

And if you are looking for a Valentine gift for your sweetheart, I have to mention their truffles.  I was up in Chicago over the holidays and stopped in the Vosges on Michigan Ave. to get myself a treat.  I opted for a box of truffles and I think each one was better then the last.  Some of my favorites included the Ambrosia — a bright, fresh citrus flavored truffle — and the Woolloomooloo — coconut and chocolate.

I received some of my Vosges as samples and bought the others in person at one of their shops, but you can also buy these lovelies through their website.

Amano Chocolate

Amano_chocolate

I recently had the good fortune to have been contacted by Amano Chocolate, who wanted to know if I’d like to sample their bars.  I took a quick look at their website and liked what I saw, so I I emailed them back and a short time later samples of their Madagascar and Ocumare chocolate arrived in my mailbox.

First a little about Amano Chocolate — they are bean to bar which gives their chocolate a truly unique flavor.  They use vintage equipment to manufacture their chocolate, which I think is awesome.  And they also work directly with the growers.  All of this reminds me of my favorite coffee company — Intelligentsia Coffee.

Now for the bars. . .

Amano Madagascar — This bar is pictured above, but both bars were quite pretty — glossy, dark and aromatic.  The chocolate is 70% cacao (as is the Ocumare).  On first bite, the chocolate has a lovely snap, but melts quickly and is nice and smooth on the tongue.  It’s a very bright bar — fruity with a touch of citrus tempered by a slight coffee flavored bitterness.  I loved this bar!  It’s one that I could see eating every day. 

Amano Ocumare — This bar is equally as beautiful and has the same cacao percentage as the Madagascar, but it is a completely different bar.  At first smell, you are inundated with a intense spiciness.  As you place the chocolate on your tongue and allow it to melt, the intense and complex flavor is really lovely.  I tasted tobacco, leather and pepper as well as a touch of ripe fruit.  Overall there was a prevailing smokiness.  Wow — if you are looking to try some single origin chocolates, give this grand cru a taste!

The thing I like about Amano is that even someone who hasn’t tasted a lot of different chocolate will immediately be able to see how unique two chocolates can be after tasting these bars.  I look forward to seeing what other bars they come up with in the future!

I received my bars from Amano to sample, but you can purchase them at their website.