Review: Vosges Barcelona Bar - PLUS NEWS!
Some days life just smiles on you in unexpected ways. I recently took a little detour on my way to the mall and found that a little gourmet market (that I never really thought of as a gourmet market) just a short distance from my apartment has Vosges bars! Of course it was a day after taking a trip to Cincinnati to find chocolate - a day that saw me come home with one of their bars in my bag. A day late or not, I'm just happy that I have easy access to tasty chocolate. Variety is a good thing.
Lately I've been in the mood for sweet and salty stuff so the Barcelona Bar was an easy choice for me. The Barcelona is a nice 40% cacao dark milk chocolate with gray sea salt and smoked almonds. With big grains of salt and nuts it fit both my love of chocolate with crunchy bits and my need for something salty. The chocolate is a nice milk chocolate that isn't overly sweet and has a nice caramel note to it and on it's own is reasonably nice. Vosges were pretty generous with the nuts in the chocolate so you get a bit of nut in every bite which is wonderful, but the star of the show is the sea salt. Since they use nice big grain sea salt you don't taste salt all the time, but you'll bite down and there will be a little crunch and a small explosion of salt. I really like that it is spread throughout the bar just like the nuts and not a constant factor. And the distribution of salt and nuts is very even. There was never a bite that was overpowered by three or four salt crystals and never a bite that was just overloaded with nuts. I tend to look for balance and this bar achieves it.
In the end we have another nice bar from our friends at Vosges sporting their trademark packaging and a nice mix of smoky almonds and salt. If you don't like the sweet and salty flavor combination then this isn't the bar for you. If, however, you're like me you'll find a very snack-worthy bar. The only problem with it is price. Retail is supposed to be $7.00 (though I think they were selling for $5.99 where I bought this one) which is a bit steep but I tend to feel that it's worth it now an then to get a bar that's a cut above the standard grocery store and mini-mart fare. I'll give this one an 8.5 out of 10 and will definitely repeat when the need hits me. Not every day, mind, but when the mood takes me I'll be back for more.
New Vosges incoming!
A look at the chocolate bars page on the Vosges site had me scratching my head for a minute. I was positive that I hadn't seen some of these bars before and - sure enough - I hadn't. On the way are the Goji, Calindia, Gianduja (mega-yay!), and d'Olivia bars. I'm not too sure about the d'Olivia (neither white chocolate nor olives do a lot for me) but all of the others have me at least curious. Gonna have to try them all. And I still have one other on deck not to mention the other varieties I haven't tried. So much good chocolate to look forward to!