Might Eat Again
If I was desperate.
Vere Chocolate (pronounced “very”) is a chocolate company with a conscience. They strive to produce chocolate that’s good for the body and the earth by using the best ingredients by using sustainably grown, pesticide-free cocoa beans with minimal sugar and no preservatives. The pride themselves in making the best possible tasting product while making ecological choices.
I found these two mini bars on a recent trip to Chelsea Market in New York City. They’re very cute, coming in colorful little boxes. Each bar is a 75% dark chocolate base and weighs in at 10g. Obviously meant to be a small indulgence.
The bar come nicely protected with board covering and sealed heavily plastic foil wrapped inside. The bar is a single long piece that is reminiscent of Legos.
Ultimo Dark: Smells very floral, fruity and of course chocolatey. Notes of red berries, raisins, cream, cinnamon.
The flavor is very musky and bitter at first. I taste notes of mushrooms and green coffee. The middle flavor gets more fruity and acidic, with red berries, citrus and cocoa. The finish is a little sweeter, with cream appearing and mingling with the dry, tart fruity notes. The aftertaste is dry and lingers a little while with flavors of cocoa.
The mouth feel is not as smooth as I’d like. It’s a little grainy and doesn’t melt very easily on the tongue.
Raspberry + Lemon Organic Dark: It smells odd and I can’t really distinguish a chocolate, raspberry or lemon aroma. It’s a strange, muddled sour like smell.
Immediately tastes of lemon right away and it’s beautiful. The middle flavor is where the raspberry finally kicks in and it’s very fresh and authentic. So much so I felt like I needed to reach in and pick out seeds from my teeth. I almost thought too soon, because there are bits of raspberry seed in there, providing an slightly crunchy texture and much teeth picking.
I do like the idea of these bars: getting organic chocolate with interesting flavors in a small, portion controlled size. I can’t help but feel I can get this elsewhere where it tastes better and possibly costs less (even though I can’t recall how much I paid for them).
Rating: Might Eat Again
Vere Chocolate Website
100 Grand, that’s such a rich name for a candy bar. Ha ha, get it? I remember always liking these bars, and I really remember coming to appreciate them fully in Fourth grade during a week at summer camp. It was the one food that I could stomach as I was wrought with anxiety from being away from home for such an extended period of time. 100 Grand was there for me when my parents weren’t.
The premise behind this bar is pretty simple: rice crispies and caramel covered in Nestle’s milk chocolate. Kinda like a different shaped and pumped up with caramel Crunch bar, really.
There’s many things that this bat has going for it. Firstly, I appreciate how the bar is two pieces, rather than one. It allows for a more slow and satisfying eating experience. Especially since I’m more apt to eat a single bar much faster in one fell swoop. The two pieces keep me front doing that.
The texture is extremely chewy. You really have to work this one. The first bite is immediately crispy from the rice and then you hit the very dense caramel. The flavor is mildly sweet. I get a little caramel flavor, a little chocolate and a little malt. Overall, I’m underwhelmed. It’s not as flavorful as I remembered.
A good example on how memory and circumstance can make a candy taste better. To be fair though, I still enjoyed it.
Rating: Might Eat Again
100 Grand Bar Website
These pretty little chocolate cups of coffee made by Anthon Berg were another random “gourmet” shopping find. I’d never seen little chocolates filled with coffee before, only liqueurs, so I was eager to give this type of candy a try without making myself woozy from the alcohol. Yes, I am that much of a lightweight that this sort of thing concerns me.
I made my purchase and I eagerly did some internet research on Anthon Berg, which is a company from Denmark with an impressive confectionery history dating all the way back to 1884 when Anton Berg, a green grocer in Copenhagen, decided to start making chocolate. How’s that for an impressive history?
The premise of these treat are simple. A 55% dark chocolate shell holding a flavored syrupy center. They are cute; shaped like little coffee mugs with color coded foil wrappers. The first thing I did once I unwrapped one was gently bite the top off one so I could taste the chocolate alone. I find that it’s pretty average bittersweet chocolate, which is fine considering their main purpose is serving as a vessel for the liquid coffee interior.
Structurally, they chocolates are pretty sound. I had no leakage on any of the pieces and when I bit into them I could feel how thick the chocolate case is. The think foil packaging kept things fresh too, so they get points for that.
Espresso: Smells more of chocolate, but with a good coffee hit to it. The espresso is bitter but doesn’t taste terribly strong. It balances nicely with the sweet chocolate.
Cappuccino: The taste is strong and the coffee is more bitter and acidic. There’s a milky flavor to it, even thought the liquid coffee doesn’t show any dairy addition (not lighter in color at all). It’s terribly sweet.
Toffee Macciato: This one has a very milky and strong caramel aroma to it. The flavor is lighter than all the others with a really big toffee/caramel taste. There’s only a light coffee hint to be found so it’s by far the most mild, coffee-wise, of the bunch. It’s really more like dessert than a drink, as the caramel toffee flavor is very pronounced.
Vanilla Frappe: Smells of light, sweet coffee. The flavor is of a medium-bodied coffee with no acidity and a smooth vanilla flavor. It’s also very sweet.
I don’t quite get the appeal of these. If I want chocolate, I’ll have chocolate. If I want coffee, then I’ll grab myself a cup. These, while nice, are just a little tease of both for me and I find myself frustrated as opposed to satisfied. I need to go get myself some coffee now to fill this odd flavor void I’m feeling at the moment.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Anthon Berg Website
Mariebelle is one of those high-end gourmet chocolate stores in New York City. With a store each in Soho and Madson Avenue, you know they are chocolate of style and sophistication. I’ve often browsed their stores, but have always been frightened away but the choices, and of course, the price tags. On a more recent trip there, I decided to finally splurge on a few items, especially since I’ve started to hear good things about their chocolate from reputable friends. I decided it was time I finally tried it out for myself.
Texture is so rich, as the chocolate exterior is light and soft. There’s not “snap” to these at all. The ganache is terribly slick and silky smooth as it just rolls over you tongue and it feels like heaven.
The bonbons comes in a snazzy blue box and you can pick your flavors that are neatly stacked behind a glass counter in the store. The lady at the counter told me how long they’d stay fresh and warned me, in her french accent, that “they will melt if you walk too long” as she eyed my walking shoes.
Dark Meyer Lemon: Image of a girl playfully lifting barbells: The ganache is so silky and has a nice dark chocolate hit with smooth notes of coffee and cream. Then a tart fresh zesty flavor of lemon shows up. The lemon and the chocolate are lovely together and the flavors of sweet/tart are beautifully balanced.
Spices: Showing suited men around a giant high heeled shoe: Smooth and sweet at first, then cinnamon enters to make a starring appearance. I wait for other flavors, a burn perhaps, but none show up.
Cardamom: A crazy abstract stained glass window pattern: Immediately you get the spicy, warm notes of cardamom with it’s woody and zesty flavor. Nice, but nothing noteworthy.
Pineapple: Model Legs showing off some expensive hosiery: Sweet with a flavor that is so subtle and delicate. The chocolate is mellow and is a wonderful base for the pineapple with it’s sweet pine like notes. I’m reminded of pineapple tort cake, and it’s just lovely. My favorite by far.
Impressive to look at but nothing that strikes me as particularly noteworthy in terms of flavor. I’d buy these as a gift, but run too rich for my tastes and wallet.
Rating: Might Eat Again
MarieBelle Chocolates Website
I’m always impressed by the candy that I find from Meiji, and Coffeebeat is one that I always see at my local Asian market without fail. The fact that I see it all the time has made me continually hold off on buying it, until recently when I finally told myself: “Just try it already! Sheesh!”. I didn’t really know what it was exactly, other than chocolate and coffee were involved, so I was interested to see what I’d gotten myself into.
These look familiar, like M&Ms to be exact. They are all a rich brown color and have a wonderful roasted, coffee aroma. They’re immediately enticing.
Biting into one, yes, they really are like M&Ms. The candy shell is thin and has a good crunch to it. Inside is the chocolate center, and it carries not only the flavor of coffee, but it has notes of cream and chocolate as well. It’s more of a mocha than a true black cup of coffee. I think the flavor carries well here, the sweetness doesn’t overpower the coffee and vise versa. I also like the form of the candy too, I have always been a fan of the little lentil shapes for chocolate.
The packaging is really a nice design too. The tube allows you to take as little or much as you want at one time, and whatever you don’t eat is easily saved for later or shared with friends.
A nice treat if you’re into coffee and chocolate. I’ll have these on hand when for when my next craving strikes.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Meiji Coffeebeat Webpage