February 2009
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Leonidas Bars

Leonidas was one of the treats from the UK that I haven’t heard of before. They’re not based in the UK either, as they’re a traditional Belgian chocolatier and are pretty widely distributed around the world. I feel this sampling of a few of their chocolate bars seems like a good indication of what kind of products I can expect from Leonidas. I was especially eager to try them, considering the experiences I’ve had from Belgium chocolatiers in the past have been less than noteworthy. I’m hoping these will change my mind!

White: I chose to sample this bar first since white chocolate is a pretty good indication of the quality and style of the chocolatier. I had high hopes right away, as the bar smells sweet, buttery and fatty from the real cocoa butter in here.

The bar itself is pristine and ivory colored. Gorgeous.

The flavor is extremely rich. The texture is very thick, buttery and smooth on the tongue. There’s a nice sweetness to it and it’s not too much. The chocolate is very creamy, milky and buttery as the aroma indicated. It has a good cocoa butter taste and it’s not polluted with lots of vanilla, which is how I like my white chocolate.

54% Nibs Bar: Leonidas calls this bar “dark”, even though I don’t consider a 54% cocoa solids to be a dark. I digress, as I don’t want to get into semantics here. 

The bar is very deep in color, showing a rich brown with nice cool undertones. The back shows the nibbly texture which is lightly bumpy.

The chocolate smells of cocoa, vanilla, cream, cocoa, coffee and berries.

Breaking off a piece, the snap is very crisp because of the thinness of the bar. It also breaks easily and it’s mostly clean with only a few small air bubbles.

The flavor is extremely rich. The chocolate tastes, well, chocolatey, as opposed to being clouded by milk and sugar. There’s nice flavors of coffee, cream and vanilla which are very complimentary. The mouth feel is extremely slippery and rich. The nibs have a roasted flavor and provide a nice subtle crunchy texture. It’s not crispy, as the nibs are a little soft. The contrast is just lovely.

Feuilletine: It took me a moment to figure out how to describe how the wafers in this bar are different than the ones you find in, oh, say a Kitkat. These are denser and crunchier like waffle cones.

The back of the bar is quite bumpy and there’s lots of visible air bubbles. It doesn’t look like it was tempered well, as if it was a rush job. The break is also just ridden with bubbles, which makes me suspicious.  But, there’s no sign of wafers in my break either, which I’m confused by. Where are they?

The flavor is lacking. I get sweetness, a little dairy tang, but there’s not a lot of chocolate flavor. The wafers are actually crumbles in the chocolate that are small and crunchy. You can really feel them when you chew. The deliver a very salty flavor that appears halfway through the taste as you eat a piece. It’s very odd.

Dark Orange: Beautiful dark and has a very bright, zesty, citrusy smell. It smells more like tangerine to me than orange. The break is nice and clean.

The flavor is first of the dark chocolate which is mildly sweet, very rich with nice deep cocoa flavors. Then the orange comes in, not too strong or overly artificial, it’s fresh and zesty and light and just kisses the chocolate. It’s really nice and smooth as the two flavors combine and melt together. A beautiful pairing and I wish I had more of this bar.

Aside from the Feuilletine bar, I was impressed with these. The chocolate had dignity and wasn’t too sugary like I find most Belgium chocolates are. I’ll have to make a special trip to go visit their new store in New York City to take a peek at their other offerings.

Rating: Will Eat Again


Will Eat Again

Links Leonidas Website

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