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February 2012
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Feb
17



Peeps Strawberry Creme

These were a Valentine’s Day release a few years ago. I recall liking them a lot, especially in a mug of hot cocoa.


Feb
15



Chocolat Bonnat Asfarth

Bonnat was a chocolate that I heard about in my very early days of chocolate tasting. It was one of those “fancier” chocolate brands that you only see in specialty stores. I used to come across it all the time when I was living near New York City. There was a plethora of chocolate and gourmet stores that carried them. Since moving to Los Angeles I have not been so lucky with locating a shop where I can find such goods so easily. I was lucky enough to stumble across one down at the farmer’s market at 3rd Street and Fairfax, where I discovered today’s bar: Bonnat Asfarth.

This bar is described as “Chocolat au lait 65% cacao”. So it’s a milk bittersweet chocolate. Asfarth I’m guessing in the name of this bar, or the location where the got the beans from. If I read French at all I could probably tell you more. This has a pretty classic label with a yellow background color with the line artwork of a cathedral on it. The bar has a nice weight in my hands as it’s 100 grams, which is a good size for a chocolate bar.

Once unwrapped, the color of the bar is gorgeous: a beautiful light, reddish brown. There’s no bubbles or cracks in the back of the bar either. It’s beautiful and pristine. It also has a nice thickness to it, about 1/2 inch. It’s not too thin, but a nice size so it melts beautifully in your mouth.

The aroma is lovely. It’s sweet with nice notes of chocolate, caramel and cream. It has some slightly mossy notes to it soo, which adds to the sweet softness of the aroma. The snap is beautiful and crisp and the break is clean with no bubbles of signs of weakness.

The flavor is very mellow at first, with notes of hazelnut. The flavor then grows a little bitter, and adds notes of cream and raisins. I’m not getting a whole lot of “chocolate” flavor here, but it’s a very lovely bar. It’s creamy, fruity nutty and therefor has a delicate, quite, rich flavor to it. The melt and texture is lovely. It’s thick and rich with a wonderful creaminess.

It’s nice to return to Bonnat after such a long hiatus after my move. I enjoyed the chocolate, as it’s very tasty and of high quality. It’s probably good it’s a chocolate I can’t buy often since it’s expensive, but very worth it. If you want to try some more “high end” chocolate, Bonnat is a good one to start with.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again


Links Bonnat Chocolate Website

 


Feb
13



Russell Stover Sampler

Since I am conducting a test of the boxed chocolates you can get at your local store, today I am doing the small Russell Stover sampler. I am curious to see if differs from the Whitman’s Sampler at all, since they are made by the same manufacturer.

This box is a small same sized box as the Whitman’s sampler. This one has the design of a rose cluster on the cover. Again, beautiful and simple. No cute animals for me!

Opening the box, this one also has three pieces of chocolate. The shapes are different and they smell sweet with a hint of coconut.

The first piece, is a square covered with milk chocolate. The bite is dense, and inside it’s a smooth, thick, chewy caramel. The Whitman’s caramel was softer and less dense than this one. This one is robust and chewy, but also not sticky. The flavor is a nice mix of the sweet chocolate and the very buttery caramel. A nice combination.

The second piece s oblong and ark chocolate. It smells sweet with an accent of coffee. I take a bite and inside is a fluffy, rich, fudge center. Again I am reminded of the Whitman’s sampler, as these on takes oddly familiar even though this one is enrobed in a different chocolate. This one tastes like a chocolate chip chocolate ice cream. Sweet, creamy, with a nice dark chocolate flavor.

The third chocolate is cup shaped. very much like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup mini. The top has a texture to it to suggest there’s something crispy in this one. It smells powerfully of coconut. Sure enough, my first bite reveals a delicious solid with chocolate filled with coconut flakes. It’s very flavorful, the texture has a nice play of chewy and smooth. Very delicious.

I also want to mention that these are a little nostalgic for me, as I recall my Mom buying these for my and my sisters when we were littler. So there’s my review of the two most common boxed chocolate varieties from your local drugstore. They’re both slightly different while remaining somewhat the same, which is a terrible conclusion since it’s somewhat confusing. My point is, you really can’t go wrong with either the Russell Stover or the Whitman’s sampler as they were both delicious. Besides, it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s the thought that counts!


Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again


Links Russell Stover Website

 


Feb
10



Hershey's Kisses Strawberry Creme V

These Hershey’s Kisses Strawberry Creme were one of the first limited edition Kisses I ever bought. Sadly, they were one of my favorites too, especially since Hershey’s hasn’t released this white chocolate and strawberry version since. Hopefully one say, they will again.


Feb
08



Whitman's Sampler

One thing that I find frustrating about Valentine’s Day candy is the shelf space that is dedicated to the heart shaped boxes of chocolates. They come in all different sizes and each had a collection of frontal designs to choose from. I find this part of the candy aisle both daunting and annoying. You know they’re all boxes of chocolates, but which is the right size? Which has the assortment you would like? All these answers are unknowns until you buy one to see. That’s exactly what I decided to do.

I decided on the smallest heart shaped box that retailed for about $1.69 at the local drugstore. The color is a beautiful deep red with a rose illustration that looks like it was done in needlepoint on some red fabric. It’s very simple, pretty and romantic. I could have chose one that had a cute animal with googly eyes on it, but I find those obnoxious. I when with both a Whitman’s sampler and a Russell Stover sampler, even thought they are made by the same company.

Inside are three pieces, nicely settled in a plastic tray to keep them protected. They are a middle, milky brown color with a subtle sheen.

The first piece is a molded solid milk chocolate piece with the relief of a delivery boy carrying a box of Whitmans. It smells sweet with a hit of cream and caramel. The chocolate itself tastes of pure nostalgia to me. It’s sweet, creamy, has a nice toasted malty flavor to it which really brings out a “milk chocolate” flavor to it. Simple and tasty, while the piece is small enough to satisfy without going overboard.

The second piece is square shaped, smooth but with rippled from the enrobed chocolate. Like the first piece, it smells sweet with notes of caramel. My first, dense, slow bite reveals that this one has a thick caramel on the inside. The caramel is dense and chewy, but it’s not sticky or too hard. The flavor of the milk chocolate is sweet and malty, and the caramel adds a bright buttery note to it. Tasty, but not refined like more “upscale” caramels that I’ve gotten accustomed to.

The third pieces is an oblong oval, also with enrobed chocolate details on top. Inside this one is a smooth chocolate mousse. It’s light, creamy and fluffy that gives off an intense chocolate flavor that reminds me of chocolate ice cream. Delightfully flavorful and sweet, it went beautifully with a cup of coffee.

For the cost of this sampler, I think it’s a pretty nice little collection of chocolates. Sure they’re not anything overly gourmet or fancy, but there’s something so familiar and satisfying about these in their simplicity. I thought the chocolate was flavorful, way more than any Hershey’s bar I’ve had recently. If my fiance presented me with one of these, I would be pleased.


Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again


Links Whitman’s Website

 


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