I must confess, I have a big soft spot for Chuao Chocolatier. Back ages ago when I was a newbie candy blogger, Chuao was one of the first “artisan” chocolates I ever tasted. I was immediately in love, and all the people at Chuao have always been so friendly to talk to. Ever since then I have been following the chocolates they make very closely. My frequent readers probably notice that I eat a lot of my chocolate candy with a cup of coffee. Chuao makes chocolates specifically designed to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee. They make the flavors, shape and thickness of the chocolate bar perfect for eating with a cup of coffee. These chocolate bars are called Chocopods. Over the years they’ve been adding and experimenting with all sorts of flavors and varieties. So today I am reviewing two of their newest flavors.
Chuao recently just went through a re-design of all their packaging. They used to be solid colors with just nice lettering on them. The new updated look is going much more in style of the Vosges Haute Chocolate bars have had. Super enticing food photography with a clinical white background and bold lettering. It’s a very “in your face” type of style, as you can see right away the flavors and ingredients used in that chocolate bar. I do not work in marketing so I can’t say if this style is more successful than others, but I do know it’s incredibly eye-catching.
Let’s see how they taste:
Maple Bacon: “Crisp bacon, delicate maple sweetness and a bonfire smoked sea salt, bathed in milk chocolate”. The chocolate is a pretty middle brown wit ha gorgeous glossy sheen. The aroma is dominated by a strong smoky scent of the bacon. It’s a sweet smoky smell, but you do get that aroma of “meat”. It’s really interesting. The flavor starts out chocolatey, then the salt of the bacon starts to come though. The saltiness really enhances the flavor of the milk chocolate, and it comes across as even sweeter and creamier. Once that creaminess subsides you can taste the smokiness of the bacon. The flavor isn’t of bacon per se, but you do get that “smoked meat” essence to it. It’s a lot tastier than I expected and not at all as extreme as I feared. It’s a really nice blending of the two flavors and it comes across as a unique, but still, tasty milk chocolate bar.
Honeycomb: “luscious amber honey, caramelized into crisp bits and enrobed in dark chocolate”. I unwrap the candy to find a beautiful dark chocolate in the shape of a cacao pod. The chocolate smells richly of coffee, cherries and wood. The first bite is incredibly flavorful. You can immediately taste the honey and the sweet honeycomb. The pieces of the honeycomb are really crispy and sweat and is a nice compliment to the smooth chocolate. The chocolate has some subtle fruity flavors of red berries and cream. Just astounding how delicious this bar it. The flavor of the honeycomb and the sweet chocolate really combine into something very different and very tasty.
I really loved these two Chocopods. I think if I had to choose a favorite of the two, it would be the honeycomb. But it’s hard to pick favorites, as each are so unique and appeal to a different flavor profile. I’m sure that on a different day when I was craving saltier and more smokey foods I’d choose the Maple Bacon. Still, the point stands that these are both super yummy, and if you happen to see them, I highly suggest giving them a try.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Chuao Chocolatier Website
Ritter Sport are chocolate bars that I always see in stores and haven’t ever tried during my childhood. My parents were into European chocolate and they were fans of Lindt, but they’re creatures of habit so they seldom deviated from their first choice of sweets. It wasn’t until college when I was able to start buying for myself that I got to start tasting the Ritter Sport line. Once I did, I was very impressed.
I was contacted recently by Ritter Sport asking if I’d like samples to review for the website. Being a fan of their chocolate anyways, I accepted! I was then greeted with a box of chocolate in the mail shorty after, and the tasting begins.
I decided to start with the Olympia bar, which I was told is a bar that’s not available for sale in the US. The exotic one appealed to me first! So what’s the Olympia bar? The package describes, in German: “Jouhurt, Hoin, Nuss, Traubenzucker” which I believe is yogurt, honey, hazelnuts and glucose. Yes, glucose. Tasty, yes?
When breaking off one of the thick chocolate squared which are iconic to Ritter Sport, you immediately get a peek at the center. It’s a creamy white color white honey and nut chunks in it. You immediately smell the center, it’s sweet and milky and accented by the sweet chocolate.
The texture is smooth, accented with a crispy texture of the honey and nuts in the filling. It’s really interesting and the contrast is delightful. The flavor starts off creamy and sweet from the chocolate, then the tartness from the yogurt kicks in giving it a very dairy overtone. The honey has a really nice sweetness to it, an the flavor is really more about the honey and yogurt than the chocolate. It’s really awesome and a very unique flavor for a chocolate bar that I appreciate.
Loved this bar. It’s a unique flavor you don’t see in the USA that often, and therefore I really relished it. If you happen to be overseas and see this, you won’t regret trying one for yourself.
Links Ritter Sport Website (German)
My sister discovered this bar during her freshman year of college and kept begging me to try one for the longest time. I finally did and though this was a few years ago, I still remember being impressed by the texture and flavor of the honeycomb center. I think it was my first experience with the stuff.
I was really interested to see how this compared to the Cadbury Crunchie I had earlier. The bar was already cracked when I opened it, so I immediately took a look at the cross section. There’s no burnt sugar stripe in the center like in the Crunchie, which is a defining feature in my opinion. The texture is lighter and crispier and doesn’t have the foamy melt in the mouth.
As for the flavor, it’s sweet and has a really good burnt sugar caramel flavor that’s reminiscent of how a perfectly toasted marshmallow tastes on a graham cracker. There’s also a subtle smokiness to it (perhaps why I’m thinking marshmallow) that’s very addicting. The coating is unfortunately mockolate, and therefore it doesn’t add any chocolate flavor but instead more sweetness. The mockolate also provides a cool, smooth texture contrast to the crunchy center.
Half way through the bar I started to get the sugar throat burn, which is unusual for me. The sweetness started to take precedence on my taste buds. Still, that smokiness followed through in the aftertaste and kept me interested enough that I finished the bar.
If I had to choose which honeycomb bar to eat next time, I’d rather have choose a Crunchie.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Violet Crumble Wikipedia Page
One of the candies I hear people go absolutely ga-ga over is honeycomb (also called “sponge” or “foam”) candy. It’s really a simple confection, and according to this recipe it’s basically sugar and corn syrup boiled together and then foamed up from vinegar and baking soda as it cools. It sounds like one of those science class labs from middle school, pretty neat! It can be harder to find depending on where you live, and if you want in in bar form like Cadbury’s Crunchie here, you have to look for it overseas if you live in the United States like I do.
“Milk chocolate with golden honeycomb center” is how the package describes the Crunchie. Simple and direct, I like it! It’s a very long and thin bar; about 3/4 inch wide and 6 inches long. The chocolate coating is extremely smooth with no enrobing ripples at all. The aroma is very sweet and milky; I’m reminded of how a Milky Way smells. The cross section of the bar is beautiful with its thin chocolate coating revealing the golden honeycomb center that’s dark brown and almost burned in appearance. The honeycomb dissolves away similarly to malt in malt balls when you suck on it. If you’re a chewer like I am, the texture is very light and crunchy shatters cleanly and doesn’t crumble. It’s really nice.
The first bite was very sharp as the honeycomb cleaved with a clean break instantly. The flavor is extremely sweet with a mixture of the milky flavors of the chocolate with the honey notes of the center. I also get a “burnt sugar” flavors from the honeycomb that give this bar an extra bit of depth. I find that I enjoy that aspect of the flavor most. The different sweetness meld together into something that’s thankfully not very overpowering, like one would assume.
To top things off, Crunchie has this awesome train robbery commercial ad campaign. I approve!
Rating: Will Eat Again
Cadbury Crunchy Webpage
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