Might Eat Again
If I was desperate.
Now that, in my opinion, the most depressing and cold months of the year are upon us, my thoughts immediately turn to hot chocolate. It’s something soothing and comforting that eases my anxiety about the cold and darkness that I feel the world becomes in the middle of the winter. As my thoughts turn to places that are warmer, the idea crossed my mind that I should branch out and try new kinds of hot chocolate. The idea then hit me: why not try what many consider to be the “original” hot chocolate? The types that are a decedent of the Meso American drink and can be found in most any Mexican grocer. I went out on my hunt and found two types of Mexican drinking chocolates and a Molinillo to stir it properly.
I couldn’t wait to give these a go.
One note on the difference on Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate. Hot Cocoa used the de-fatted cocoa powder mixed with milk or water to make a drink. This is the kind you find on most supermarket shelves. Hot Chocolate is when you actually take a bar of chocolate and melt it into milk or water. It’s obviously richer, fattier and more delicious.
Ibarra: Comes in a round disc with instructions that are easy to follow. You chop off a certain number of wedges depending on how much hot chocolate you wish to make. Simple.
It was fun to make the hot chocolate, as the texture of the disc is very grainy, so it’s pretty easy to make precise cuts and it also melts quickly. Mexican hot chocolate, from what the Ibarra package says, uses hot water as a base, so I went with that in order to get the most authentic experience possible. Once the chocolate was melted and blended into my hot water, I took the Molinillo and placed the round end in my cup and rubbed the handled between my palms. This blends the chocolate further, as well as aerates the drink to make it nice and frothy.
The flavor is mild, so don’t expect this drink to be terribly rich. It has a good sweet chocolately flavor that’s kissed by cinnamon. It’s very comforting and I found myself wanting a second cup once I had finished my first.
My next test for this chocolate was to eat it as is. It obviously is much stronger in flavor eating it out of hand, and what I really found interesting about this was the textue. It’s very sandy, with the sugar granules still intact, so the chocolate broke easily and was immensely fun to chew. My only complaint was because it was so much fun to eat, it’s way too easy to polish off a disc before you realize what’s happened.
Moctezuma: This is essentially the same idea as the Ibarra chocolate, just a different brand. The flavor was pretty much the same, both as a drink and eaten alone. The only small differences I noticed was that this was a little sweeter and the cinnamon wasn’t as strong as the Ibarra.
I liked these, but not enough to buy them again. I prefer my hot chocolate to be thicker and more, well, chocolatety. These were great, they just didn’t fit my personal preferences.
Rating: Might Eat Again
There’s a really nice gourmet store in my area called Bon Appetit Fine Foods that I like to stop in and look around every so often. They carry all sorts of edible delights, but I’m obviously interested in the chocolate and candy that they carry. It seems that their stock changes slightly every time I go. On one of my more recent trips I discovered these bags of panned chocolate candies from France. I picked up two different kinds, and this is one of them.
“Pomme d’ Amor” or “Apple of Love” is what these are called. How lovely! They’re pieces of apple, from the looks of the package it’s either dried or a jelly of some kind. It’s then covered in milk chocolate and then again in a colored white chocolate or confectioner’s glaze. I don’t read French so I couldn’t really tell you. I’m guessing that each color is a different flavor or variety of apple. Or perhaps not. Only one way to find out!
Yellow Brown Speckled: Hard for me to place, but it has a big fruity flavor with a bright sour note and something very cinnamon about it. The interior jelly’s texture is nice, a little softer than I expected.
Green: The jelly in this is much softer and darker in color. This is very pear tasting. The fruity flavor is strong and combined with the chocolate here it has a cheesy essence to it. Strange to read I know, but trust me, it’s an odd thing to taste! This also has an odd spiciness to it.
Red: This one just tastes sweet and I finally taste a little of the chocolate. No extreme fruity or spicy notes here.
Orange/Yellow Speckled: The most chocolatey out of the bunch. It still has a big sweetness to it; you get some of the chocolate and the rest just burns away with the sugar. The jelly is a light “golden” flavor, but other then delivering a slight tartness toward the finish of the piece, there’s not much to mention
I really needed a glass of water after these.
These were fun to try, but not something I was impressed with. It’s also nothing I’d particularly crave either. I could see these working as a nice accompaniment to a cheese dessert platter maybe. But alone as a treat, I don’t like it much.
Rating:Might Eat Again
Here’s the second Dolfin summer edition chocolate bars. This one is pretty appropriate with its name: “Summer Memories”, as summer is indeed a memory as of now. The flavor is “Apple crumble” with “apple, hazelnuts and sugar cane” in it. I don’t know about you, but apple crumble is more of a fall dessert in my mind. I digress.
Today’s bar is a darker chocolate, a 60% bittersweet to be exact. The chocolate’s color is very dark, with blue-ish tones to it and a bright gloss. You can see the bits of apple and/or hazelnuts in the back of the bar. The snap is very crisp and strong.
The aroma is spicy like a lot of cinnamon chili bars I’ve had before. There’s notes of coffee, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg and chili.
The flavor begins sweetly and I get a “warmth” from the cinnamon with some nice creamy flavors of the chocolate. Then it’s accented with flavors of coffee and caramel. The end of the flavor is very chocolatey with a strong cream note and then it finishes smooth and lightly with subtle notes of vanilla and cocoa. I’m sad to say I don’t get any apple of hazelnut flavor, which I find quite disappointing. The hazelnut texture I do detect amidst the velvety chocolate. The tiny pieces impart a praline like crunch.
I’d buy “Southern Passion” before getting this one again.
Rating: Might Eat Again
I love Chuckles! Not only is the name so lighthearted and cute, but they’re awfully tasty. I first had them a few years ago when I stumbled across one of the single serve packets. What drew me to them immediately was the promise of the licorice jelly. One bite and I was sold. A new Chuckles lover was born!
So imagine my surprise when I saw this bag of Chuckle’s jelly rings. I’ve never seen them packaged like this before, much less in a different shape. My curiosity was immediately piqued. As was my craving for ample licorice rings. I eagerly brought them home with me.
Opening the bag, I was surprised. Firstly, I didn’t get any orange rings and only one licorice one. Oh, sadness! And goodness, these things are big! A good inch across at least and 1/3 inch tall. The colors are intense and feel heavy in my palm. Taking my first bite, the texture is extremely thick and chewy for a jelly. It’s really satisfying.
Green: Lime; with a flavor that walks a fine line between fresh, zesty, and floor cleaner.
Yellow: Lemon; bright, fresh and zesty with a nice sweet edge. Very nice.
Red: Cherry; with overpowering floral notes to it, it tastes more flowery than fruity. Somewhat medicinal.
Purple/black: Licorice; oh yum! Has a great deep licorice flavor with a great sweetness.
If I want Chuckles jellies again, I’ll go for the single serve package. It’s the same flavors, easier to find and I know how many licorice pieces I’ll be getting.
Rating: Might Eat Again
I keep seeing these “Fully Loaded” bars and I’ve been wondering what they’re all about. The packages stick out like a sore thumb with a very eye-catching but overly crowded design. I kept putting off trying them simply because I was intimidated by the sized the regular bars. Then I noticed these small ones at my local Wawa, so I picked up a few taking it as a sign I should finally give them a go. The variety of the minis is the “milk chocolate with cookies & creme and chocolate chips”. Sounds tasty!
The chocolate is a little square, about 1/2 oz. The one side is “fully loaded” with the extras and the other is the chocolate with the company name and brand printed on it. Talk about pumping all the advertising space available!
First thing I notice is how hard this is to eat since the “loaded” pieces keep falling off. It smells sweet and I’m reminded of an Oreo cookie, even though it’s been a long time since I’ve had one. Some things you just don’t forget.
Flavor is terribly sweet, and along with the subtle notes of the milk chocolate that manages to peek though all the sugar, that’s really all I taste. The “fully loaded” part really end up being more about texture than flavor, it adds a really pleasant crunch to the sweet, smooth milk chocolate base.
I’d eat this again if it was given to me. I’m sort of curious to try the other varieties now. As soon as I see mini sizes of them….
Rating: Might Eat Again
Fully Loaded Website