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January 26, 2009

Quick Hits: The WILD THING

From the depths of the Bolivian jungle comes an untamed bean, daring the world to even try to work with it. And it turns out that the folks at Lillie Belle Farms were totally up to that challenge. They took wild criollo beans harvested the jungle and made this lovely 68% cacao content bar of chocolate out of them. They call it The Wild Thing. I saw it at the New York Chocolate Show in 2007 and ended up getting just about everything except for this. When I went back in 2008 I fully intended on making up for the omission and so I took one home with me (among other things).

I'm not going to over think this one. The bar is thick, well-formed with the logo on the face, and has a heckuva snap to it. The aroma is mellow and has a hint of spice hiding behind a nice front of cocoa. The taste is clean and bright. I don't know if I was expecting something raw and brutal - the chocolate equivalent of a slap in the face. What I found was bright and mellow and smooth as the day is long. It's good a good chocolate flavor with hints of some darker things I just can't figure out. They're hints. My taste might be off because I was having this with the last of my wine from dinner (a fruity pinot noir - lotsa berries), but I'm just finding smooth mellow chocolate with a few darker hints around the edges. I feel bad that I can't find more to talk about. Sometimes I just fail. But it's a really good chocolate.

So "really good" is my impression, but that's not a score. If I had to assign a number at this point in the game I'd run with a 8.75 out of 10. It's really good stuff and worth trying out.

Oh, and sorry about the picture quality. Sophie is an action rabbit. Well, when she isn't being an inaction rabbit. But in this case it was hard to get a shot of her with the label not being thrown about. The label was empty because I was eating the chocolate and I didn't want to post a boring picture of an empty label. So you get a sorta-blurry rabbit amidst the giant mess of hay she's made in her cage.

January 17, 2009

Good News, Everyone!

So I'm digging through a weeks worth of email that I had let pile up and what do I find lurking in the mess? Fabulous good product news regarding the 3 Musketeers bar. First, they're bringing a limited flavor back for Valentine's Day - Cherry! With dark chocolate even! I think I missed it last year, but it sounds like it could be a winner. And speaking of winners one of the best limited edition bars I've ever tried is coming back for Easter - Raspberry 3 Musketeers! Woo! I kept a bag of the Raspberry minis around for a long time so I could savor them even after they had disappeared from stores and now I at last have a chance to get more. This is good news of a yummy nature. Thank you Mars!

January 15, 2009

Quick Hits: Romanicos The Fix

Ok, it's been forever since I posted. A bit of the problem is my being overwhelmed with chocolate (I had a very chocolate Christmas). Another bit is my not eating all that much chocolate. But I have had a number of items that I really should blog about. Tonight I'm looking at one of them: The Fix from Romanicos. In the name of full disclosure these contributed to the overabundance of chocolate by just showing up on the porch one night.

Romanicos are those folks that I've mentioned a couple of times now that make those 38 calorie truffles. The Fix is not one of the 38 specials. It's probably less, but I can't say for sure. But the idea here is that these are mini-truffles. They're very simple and basic - 70% Venezuelan chocolate ganache covered in a light shell and rolled in cocoa. Dead simple, but there is a beauty in that simplicity. I love Venezuelan chocolate (I am a big fan of El Rey and use their chocolate to make truffles pretty much just like these) so these hit home with me nicely and the cocoa on the outside add that nice kick to the proceedings. I shared a bunch around the office and everybody quite enjoyed them.

Simple and good and it comes in a neat, playful box. A batch of 20 of them runs $18 so it's less than a buck a pop which doesn't seem too bad. I'll call it a 8.75 out of 10 and yummy.