Simon Coll Chocolate is a brand I am unfamiliar with. I had never even heard of it before seeing it in a gourmet store that I stopped in on a whim while passing through Hollywood. It was a place friends had recommended to me for their hamburgers (I love hamburgers), but what I didn’t realize was this place was half deli counter and half gourmet store. I eagerly perused their stock while I waited for my order, and that’s where I found these Simon Cool chocolates.
Since I was hoping for a sampling, I grabbed only three of the available five flavors. They also had larger chocolate bars from their collection, but I figured in this case I didn’t want to go overboard with a chocolate I was unfamiliar with. The three flavors I chose were “Milk Chocolate”, “50% Chocolate” and “White Chocolate”. I was hoping to get a good idea of their range with these flavors.
“Milk Chocolate”, 32% cocoa solids, 20% milk: Surprisingly light in color for a milk chocolate. It’s creamy brown, almost beige in color. The smell is slightly creamy and sweet with a delicate flavor. It’s sweet at first, then you get some chocolate flavor. Then you get a big rush of creamy flavor of the milk. The end of the flavor is very chocolatey and sweet which gives a nice throat burn.
50% Chocolate: It’s not considered a dark or milk chocolate by any means (has no milk added to it, by the way). It’s a nice middle brown color, like I’d expect from a 50% chocolate. It has a subtle shine to it, and it’s very pretty. The aroma is wonderful, it’s chocolatey with notes of caramel and marshmallow. The flavor is very chocolatey as you get the richness of the chocolate flavors and can really taste the nuances. I get notes of cream, coffee, and a little almond in there. Absolutely lovely, The texture is nice and smooth too, really wonderful.
White Chocolate: It’s a creamy, off white color and it’s very smooth looking. It smells sweet and buttery. The flavor is very smooth and it’s slightly chocolatey since it is made with cocoa butter. Its has intense creamy notes which are very tasty. This bar is all about fat and sugar, and it’s absolutely delicious.
My overall impression of the Simon Coll Chocolates is a very favorable one. The chocolate was very good, had nice flavors and a great texture. I hope I can find more of it in the future so I can try it.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Simon Coll Webpage
I’ve seen Blanxart’s chocolates around for some time now. I see it in stores that carry “fancier” chocolates, like ones by Valrhona and Michel Cluizel. Since moving to Los Angeles I haven’t gotten to locate a store yet to fulfill these chocolate needs of mine for the blog, so it was a nice surprise when I found this Blanxart bar in a gift shop.
Blanxart always stood out amongst all the other chocolate bars I’ve seen in stores because it’s simple. It has a brown paper wrapper with a medieval styled carving printed on it. Amongst all the other chocolate bars that have super saturated colors as backdrops, you can now see why this on was eye catching. I do need to admit the medieval illustration really drew me in as well, since I’m a big sucker for that sort of thing. So, as you can imagine, I kept putting off trying that back since I felt I can always go back for it. Then I moved and was unsure where to find it again. So that’s why I snatched it up this time.
This milk chocolate bar is more tall and long, unlike others which tend to be flat and wide. The paper wrapper comes off easily to expose a nice protective foil. Inside there you find the chocolate which has a nice middle brown color with a subtle sheen. It smells lightly sweet.
The melt is nice and smooth. The flavor is more European, with more “powdered milk” creaminess to it. It’s very, very nice. The cream flavor is very pronounced and it really heightens the chocolate’ sweetness. The flavors aren’t very complex, but chocolate doesn’t need complex flavor to be really good. This bar is an excellent example of it. The quality of the cream gives it a great caramel/butterscotch flavor in the chocolate and allows the sweetness to be not too intense, but pleasant. All I can say is: yum!
Really, really awesome. If you are a milk chocolate lover, this is a bar to indulge in.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Blanxart Webiste
I’ve always been a fan of Torrone even though I haven’t been able to eat it with great frequency. It was always a treat that was in my household during Christmas, and only because my Dad is crazy for the stuff. He’s recieve a few bars as a gift and would be gone by the end of the day. I’d always be offered some, and as the years went by I grew to appreciate it more and more.
Now, the kind I’m referring to here in the Italian style torrone that’s made up of honey, sugar, eggs whites and nuts and is similar to a nougat. It can be fluffy or on the harder side, depending on what the maker had in mind. It really didn’t matter to me in the end, they all tasted good.
Now when I saw this bar I was immediately taken aback, because it’s labeled as a torrone, but it didn’t look like what I typically was familiar with. It looked more like a nut brittle than a torrone, so I was immensely interested. It’s also from Spain, so I was egar to see how the recipe changed to a different country. I nabbed the bar and did some researching once I was back home. I found a retailer for the El Lobo company, and this is the description on the website:
“El Lobo is a delicious almond and honey turrón candy by the makers of 1880. These candies are 50% smaller than the premium 1880 brand, and have a simpler recipe, which means you can enjoy real D.O. certified Spanish turrón at a less premium price.”
I can supplement that with:
“Incomparable Marcona almonds make up over 65% of this ‘suprema’ quality gourmet bar - the most that can be added before the bars start to fall apart! This ‘suprema’ quality gourmet bar is similar to traditional turrón except that it is made from caramelized sugar and whole fresh (unroasted) almonds, rather than honey and egg white of the traditional turrón.
The almonds are bound together with delicious dark caramel and sandwiched with super thin wafer. Truly the finest in the world. Made by hand in Alicante, Spain.”
What I bought was the almond brittle variety. The candy is gorgeous! The supermodel of candies. It has beautiful whole almonds, perfectly round and well shaped. They’re covered in a thick, slightly sticky hard sugar syrup, which gives them a dark roasted color, much like oil on well tanned skin. On the bottom there’s a light wafer to keep it from sticking to anything.
It feels heavy and well formed. The first bite took some working to break off, as I was trying to cleave off a bite without breaking the whole thing and hurting my teeth.
Oh, YUM! You get the wonderful, roasted nutty flavors of the whole almonds, a sweet, rich honey like flavor from teh syrup, and a good wafer-like blandness that keeps it from being overly sweet. This is good. On top of that the texture is great as the syrup is chewy and crispy at the same time. The almonds have a good meaty chew and it’s just stellar. My only complaint is that it sticks to your teeth a little too much and it’s not fun having to try and pick the pieces out.
Just goes to show that natural and simple can be very, very, very good.
Rating:Will Buy Again
Spanish Torrone Produce Website