Chocolate Naive – Ambrosia Dark Pollen Chocolate

I’m so excited because this will be my first time trying one of Naive’s bars! I have seen Naive all over Instagram from fellow chocoholics and chocolate bloggers. I chose to order their pollen bar through Cacao Review’s website because I hadn’t tried pollen in chocolate in so long. I think the last time I tried this combination was with Vosges’ chocolate covered caramels.

Naive’s website says they make their bean to bar chocolate in the eastern part of Lithuania. I had no idea that there were chocolate makers based out of Lithuania until I tried La Naya. I’m so glad we can try chocolate from so many parts of the world!

Rather than summarizing the description of the pollen bar for you, how about you read it in Domantas’ own words for how this bar tastes before I go into what I experienced:

The packaging is very unique in that usually chocolate is wrapped in just foil, paper or plastic. But here the secondary packaging is made of both paper and plastic. I love how it’s made to completely seal the chocolate, yet you can still get a good glimpse of what the bar looks like, including their iconic image of a man riding a unicycle.

Once I opened the packaging, the bar immediately smelled SO good! I could smell sweetness of honey from the bar with savory nuttiness. I tasted honey, malt, creaminess, nuttiness, earthiness and a touch of astringency. The bar was very smooth in texture and melted easily in my mouth. There was a party in my mouth as I savored the lingering flavors before taking another bite. I’ll definitely be savoring this bar throughout the rest of the day.

I’m so glad that my first experience with Naive was enjoyable and I’m definitely encouraged to try more of their bars in the future. If you want to read Cacao Review’s thoughts and experience trying this bar, go here. What I’m very curious about is why they chose the image of a man riding a unicycle for their logo, and the story behind the name Naive. If anyone knows, please share and comment below! I found a great Q&A with Domantas here, but even then there are no details or stories behind the name and logo.

Naive: Made in Lithuania

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.

 

Marou Chocolate

This is not my first time trying Marou, and I was struck so positively by my first experience that I wanted to give them another try this time committing myself to a full sized bar. If you aren’t familiar with Marou and you like chocolate, you need to expose yourself to them. They are one of the few chocolate makers I know of who not only use cacao from Vietnam but are also based there. On their website they used to show a map which reflected the regions their cacao came from, but sadly it’s no longer on their website. But you can still view that map on Cocoa Runners’ website where you’ll see the cacao for this bar came from a south eastern region off of the coast. If you want to read more about Marou’s story, you can refer to my first time trying them out or check out their website for yourself, which appears to have been updated since I last looked. The story behind their design is unique!

As always, their packaging and mold looks luxurious. Fine and craft chocolate are one of the few items that I feel spoiled enjoying and can easily get for myself as opposed to collecting Louis Vuitton handbags and Christian Louboutin shoes.

This bar smelled nutty and like mangoes. The fruity flavor burst in my mouth also reminded me of mangoes, with some savory sweetness like coconut and nuttiness. Actually, there was a lot of nuttiness, which I didn’t expect since the description on the back said “bold and fruity,” but I like nuttiness in chocolate. The savory nutty flavor reminded me of a bar I’ve had before, but I can’t put my finger on which one. Bright mango flavors returned toward the end of my bite but the nutty flavor lingered into the aftertaste.

Even though I didn’t immediately fall in love with this bar, it grew on me. The next thing I knew I had eaten almost the entire bar in one day! I’m definitely encouraged to hopefully order more Marou bars in the future.

Marou: Made in Vietnam

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.

Pitch Dark Matcha Tea and Nib Bar

I recently got to see a family who’s acquainted with mine while attending a wedding, and I found out their son is now living in Oregon. He loves it there and was chatting with my boyfriend and I about their local beer. What he didn’t know much of was their chocolate. I took the chance to throw out some names in hopes that he might check them out some day 😉

One of those names was Pitch Dark. This is my first time trying this bar, and I discovered it while browsing Chococurb’s website. Since green tea in chocolate is one of my weaknesses, I could NOT pass this up. What I did not notice was that this bar has mostly earthy and floral notes in it, as mentioned on the back of the packaging. I absolutely love fruity and nutty flavors in chocolate, and I can’t say that earthy and florals are my favorite. But it was worth the try.

It was pretty messy opening up the bar because loose nibs covered in matcha flew out. I could smell the earthiness of the green tea and floral from the chocolate. The bitterness of matcha hit my tongue first followed by a combination of deep earthiness and floral flavors from the chocolate. The matcha powder dissolved quickly leaving me to focus on the chocolate itself, which became astringent as it melted. Toward the end of my bite the astringency mellowed out a bit and it actually tasted a little sweet and nutty at that point.

I can’t say I was in love with this, probably because strong earthy and floral flavors in chocolate aren’t my go-to. Since matcha is already bitter as it is, I think the strong earthy, floral flavors and astringency in the chocolate overwhelmed my palate. I would like to try more of their bars in the future though!

Pitch Dark: Made in Portland, OR

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.

 

Wm. Chocolate… With Corn!

When you think of inclusions in chocolate bars, what kind of food items do you think of? Maybe almonds, raspberries, sea salt, coffee or nibs?

Now think about what inclusions you’ve seen in bars that make you look twice at the label and think, “What?! That can go into chocolate?”

I used to be pretty conservative in my selection of inclusions in chocolate until I made a friend who loves “wild” chocolate combinations and my world was opened to craft chocolate showing me that the impossible is definitely possible.

I just had a double-take moment when I was thinking I wanted to try more of Will Marx’s chocolate (the found of Wm. Chocolate) and I saw that he had a bar with CORN in it! I couldn’t pass it up. How often do you see chocolate with corn in it? Never, until now.

This bar has not only corn, but ancho chile in it, so I’m really curious how this will taste. Will it remind me of texmex or Chipotle food? Since the last time I tried a couple of Will’s bars, I’ve noticed the packaging now has little interesting tidbits of information about the origin the cacao beans came from, which is really nice touch! This bar mentions that Papua New Guinea dries their cocoa by wood fire which gives a smoky flavor to the chocolate in the end.

The bar had a roasted, slightly smoky scent. I immediately tasted smokiness followed by a punch of spiciness from the chiles. What I appreciate is that the spiciness is definitely present, but it’s not overwhelming. It actually mellowed out further midway through my bite and the dried corn gave some crunchy texture. The appearance of the corn reminds of grilled corn on the cob. I was actually craving corn the other day, so this is actually perfect 🙂 The corn flavor was very mild in flavor and subtle compared to the smokiness of the chocolate. I’m pleasantly surprised by this bar! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I would recommend it for those with adventurous palates!

For those with a more conservative palate, I next tried Will’s Dominican Republic bar. The educational bit on the back mentions that Rizek Cacao, a family based business from Santo Domingo, works mostly in the Duarte province and oversee the growth, processing and exporting of cocoa from the farms they look after. The tasting notes listed on the packaging are truffle, cream and marshmallow. The bar smelled slightly earthy and definitely like truffle. As my bite melted, I tasted mellow berry flavors mingled with sweetness, earthiness and light astringency. Toward the end of my bite the astringency mellowed out and tasted like truffle. The bar make me think of the fall season, and how that’s coming upon us soon with its deep, rich flavor combo.

If you want to learn more about Wm. Chocolate, check out Estelle Tracy’s interview with Will and you can see my thoughts on the first bars I tried by Will.

Wm. Chocolate: Made in Madison, WI

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.

 

Sol Cacao

I first saw Sol Cacao on Instagram, and I was captured by the bright, artistic pictures on their packaging. The first Sol Cacao bar I saw can be found here, and it’s also one I bought for my sister for her birthday since she loves bird watching.

There are so many chocolate maker and company names that I don’t know about. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of chocolate to try and share on here! Sol Cacao was definitely a new name to me, and since I figured I was getting a bar for my sister, I couldn’t resist grabbing one for myself.

Admittedly the bright red colors of the birds on the front caught my eye. (I don’t know what kind they are, but if my sister or anyone knows, I’ll give an update.) I also was interested because the cacao for this bar originates from Peru. Oro Verde, Peru, to be exact. One of my coworkers is from Peru and we always ask him about where to find the best Peruvian chicken and other fun questions, but when it comes to chocolate, he gets super excited and happy that his country is the source of many delicious cocoa beans.

What is Sol Cacao? It’s made up by Maloney Brothers who are Dominic, Nicholas and Daniel. They grew up in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago where they were surrounded by cacao trees and ate the local chocolate. I had no idea that cacao and chocolate were a huge part of Caribbean culture, but that’s what their website says. When the brothers moved to the Bronx, they had a hard time finding chocolate like the stuff they had at home, so they decided to bring that piece of their lives with them.

The gold wrapper and mold look JUST like Undone Chocolate!

The tasting notes on the back of the package lists strawberry, plum and mango. With the help of Hazel Lee’s new chocolate tasting map, I smelled tart cherries and raisins. The chocolate first tasted like blackberries with strong astringency and a fruity bite to it like tart cherries. The flavors remained that way until the end where I tasted grape and wine, with the wine flavor remaining in the aftertaste.

I actually ended up getting all three of the Sol Cacao bars, but the blue bird one will be for my sister and the bar with trees on it will go to my brother for his birthday. I’m glad I had the chance to try them and hopefully they’ll expand to making other single origin bars in the future!

Earlier I mentioned using Hazel Lee’s chocolate tasting map. If you’re confused on what that is, check it out here! I seriously think it’s going to change the chocolate world because she’s addressing a big issue for those of us who taste chocolate often. If you’ve been reading my blog, I’m sure you’ve noticed my using the same or similar words often. That’s because many times I don’t even know how to describe what I’m smelling or tasting. This is the solution to our problems and I already enjoy using it!

Sol Cacao: Made in Bronx, New York

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.

Upchurch Chocolate Unboxing and Review

Alex Brito agreed to meet up with me at Lamplighter, a local coffee shop in Richmond, to chat about chocolate. My siblings joined me for the morning because they were eager to meet one of the names behind Upchurch Chocolate. Alex smoothly sailed up to my siblings and I on a longboard (I think that’s what it’s called) and handed me a simple yet elegant box emblazoned with the Upchurch hot air balloon logo and filled with several of his bars. This was the first time I had met up in person with a chocolate maker who was so generous to share the product of their hard work with me! Go here to watch my unboxing!

Alex and his friend Alexander Burlingame originally started Upchurch together after trying some high quality chocolate and getting hooked onto the flavor punch. Alex told me that he was working TWO JOBS on top of maintaining Upchurch with two other people helping him with the chocolate making process. His plan was to drop one of the jobs so he could put more focus on Upchurch. Alexander has had to leave Upchurch due to a geographical and career move (best wishes to him!), leaving Alex Brito solely in charge. Upchurch to this day remains as the first and only bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Richmond!

I highly recommend checking out this article to learn more about the backstory of Upchurch chocolate and how the Richmond community, including my alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University, helped rally around and support Upchurch!

When Alex chatted with us, he shared his thoughts on changing the packaging of his bars. They are bright and colorful to begin with, but the original design was quickly put together. This time he was able to put more thought into the design he wanted on his bars, putting his graphic design skills to great use. The new packaging will still maintain their bright, colorful appearance, but (if they continue with the design examples we were shown) the packaging will contain images that will portray the personality of each bar. You’ll have to see for yourself when the new look is launched!

I’m still blown away by Alex’s generosity in sharing so many of his bars with me, and I absolutely had to share them on Time To Eat Chocolate!

Every bar has the same mold which reflects the fabric pattern seen in the hot air balloon logo.

I’m starting with what I know is my favorite, The Sassy Bar! If you aren’t sure what flavors you could be tasting in this 72% Madagascar bar, Upchurch has helpful tips on the back of the bar saying they tasted raspberries, fruit punch and lemonade. The bar had a bright fruity and partially earthy scent. The flavor was tart with bright fruity flavor notes that definitely reminded me of lemonade and raspberries.

The Bouncy Bar contains goat milk. The flavor notes listed by Upchurch are frosted flakes, jam and vanilla. The bar had a sour scent that reminded me of cheese. Admittedly I’ve never had goat milk before, so I’m not sure what to expect. The goat milk flavor wasn’t as strong as the scent. To me the flavor reminded me very much of goat cheese. I can’t say I tasted any of the notes that were listed on the bar’s packaging, but the boyfriend liked the tangy flavor that the goat milk gave the chocolate. It reminded him of the goats on his grandmother’s farm 🙂

The Party Bar had a subtle woody and berry scent. The tasting notes are listed a birthday cake, peach and blueberry. Immediately once it was in my mouth, I tasted what reminded me of moist birthday cake, caramel and some tartness mixed with berry flavor. The flavors evolved into subtle but bright berry and fruity flavors. Then my bite ended with some astringency and caramel flavor. Now I’m going to want to eat some cake 🙂

The Hype Bar contains coffee and the tasting notes listed for it were s’mores, rocky road ice cream and Oreos. Earlier this week I ate the equivalent of a package of the new mocha Oreos (I have no shame), so I’m totally ready for this bar! The scent of the bar was strongly of coffee and what reminded me of bourbon or whiskey with some sweetness of mead. I tasted the coffee first followed by what reminded me of apples and honey. The fruity and sweet flavors drowned out the coffee midway through my bite. It wasn’t until toward the end that I tasted the coffee again with lingering fruitiness. I didn’t feel like I tasted Oreos, but its good to know that some people may experience that flavor in this bar 🙂

Alex told me that he wanted to grind down the nibs more to give the chocolate a smoother texture. The bars used to have a grittier texture, which I definitely did not mind at all! I could see that Alex successfully obtained the smooth texture he wanted 🙂 I think The Sassy Bar remains as my top favorite bar out of the four followed by the Hype Bar since that was a very interesting flavor experience for me.

If you are in Richmond or plan on stopping by there, go to For the Love of Chocolate or the Union Market to pick up and try some of Alex’s bars! If you can’t drop by, you can always place an order online.

Upchurch Chocolate: Made in Richmond, VA

 

Woodblock Chocolate

I’ve had Woodblock’s sesame bar before, but that was probably a few years ago and definitely way before I started writing Time To Eat Chocolate. I wish I had remembered how it tasted! These bars came into my hands when a friend visited Oregon, asked me what chocolate makers were based there (it’s a LIST!), and brought these two Woodblock bars back 🙂

Woodblock was started by Jessica and Charley Wheelock who dreamed about making chocolate and stood firm on making chocolate using only cacao and sugar. I’ve always loved their simple yet modern and eye catching wrapper designs, and it makes sense they’d look great since Jessica has a background in fine art (Charley’s background in industrial design keeps their machines running). The couple started in their home kitchen before moving into a larger space not far from their house. They were warmly welcomed by their Portland community and partner with local businesses such as the ice cream shop Salt and Straw.

Since I haven’t had Woodblock often, and it’s hard for me to find it in my local chocolate shops, I remembered them by their wrapper design and their simplicity but classiness. Again, I’m super excited that my friend was willing to bring these bars back for me so I get to try Woodblock again!

The Sea Salt bar smelled like mocha, nutty and bright fruity. With the salt side down, the sea salt was mild but noticeable. The flavor was immediately nutty and like mocha. As my bite melted, some astringency developed with bright fruity flavor that mingled with the nuttiness. The astringency didn’t stay for too long and it went back to nuttiness and mocha. According to Woodblock’s website, this bar is made up of cacao from two origins, but it doesn’t say on the wrapper nor on the website what those origins area.

The Madagascar Sambirano bar smelled like tropical fruit. I always think of mango when I think of and smell tropical fruit… The flavor was also like tropical fruit and astringency developed as my bite melted. I think it’s the “bright and cheerful” flavor that Woodblock described. Like the sea salt bar, the astringency did not stay for long and through the end it was just fruity bliss. Woodblock also listed dried fruit flavors for this bar.

I liked the sea salt bar more because after tasting and then setting aside the bars for a day, I kept thinking about that sea salt bar. I hope someday I can try their sesame bar again, and I’m intrigued by their floral bar to represent the city of roses (ie. Portland).

Woodblock: Made in Portland, Oregon

Amedei Part 2: Chuao and Number 9 Bars

If you want to read the first part where I tried Amedei’s Tocano Red and Tocano Blond bars, go here! Otherwise, let’s move on to a couple of bars that have more flavor depth to them.

Number 9, 75% bar
This bar smelled nutty and fruity. My bite started as a flavor combination of tartness, earthiness and a touch of sweetness. Then it turned into a earthy and nutty combo halfway through my bite with a hint of astringency. Toward the end, the earthiness melted away to just nuttiness. It had a very interesting flavor story and you can see why Amedei has pride in calling their chocolate “complex.”

Chuao, 70%:
This bar smelled nutty. (Why do all Amedei bars smell nutty to me? The boyfriend agrees with me on this too.) At first my bite tasted a little tart, berry-like and nutty. The tartness went away halfway through my bite, but the berry and nuttiness remained. My bite ended with just nuttiness. The boyfriend tasted hazelnut and blueberry.

I liked the Chuao bar better. The 9 bar had more tartness/astringency than I personally like. I just got an order containing Amedei’s hazelnut bar that I’ll be trying soon. I don’t think I’ll write a blog post about it, but I’ll be sharing it on Instagram. Click on the icon on the right side bar to see my Instagram page and keep an eye out for that hazelnut bar!

Amedei: Made in Tuscany, Italy

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.

Attempting to temper chocolate for the first time…

We all know that the summer months means taking a risk when ordering or mailing chocolate in hopes that it miraculously survives and doesn’t melt at any point of its journey. So many factors can affect the the chocolate from the time it leaves the seller to when it arrives at the doorstep of the customer. Unfortunately this late spring and summer have resulted in at least three of my packages of chocolate suffering due to the heat and due to USPS not placing my package at the doorstep but rather in the mailbox, which becomes an oven and a poor place to keep the chocolate until I can retrieve it.

I asked on Instagram for input on whether there were ways to somehow resuscitate chocolate that had melted. I got responses to retemper the chocolate from two chocolatiers. But… I’m a blogger, not a chocolate maker nor a chocolatier and I wasn’t sure what I would need to perform such a task. What if I needed to invest in some kind of large equipment to do this? So I turned to William Marx of Wm. Chocolate, who has been very patient and knowledgeable whenever I’ve asked him my chocolate questions. He agreed that my chocolate would need to be retempered, but he mentioned a product I had never heard of before and never knew existed that I could easily use.

Silk.

What is silk? It’s tempered cocoa butter! What makes it different from untempered cocoa butter is its crystal structure. According to Chocolate Alchemy, the crystal structure is Type V, which is pure and aggressive. A quick Google search says Type V crystals are a form of cubic closest packed (ccp) (or cubic closed packed or cubic close packed) structures where the atoms are packed together as tightly as possible so there is very little space between them. For a visual of what a ccp structure looks like, go here.

Will was very generous in mailing me some of his own silk to try out for retempering bloomed bars! I followed the Chocolate Alchemist’s instructions and watched this video in preparation for what I had to do. I also had to order an infrared thermometer and chocolate molds ahead of time.

These were the items I used for retempering.

Pardon the not-so-neat handwriting. This was the equation and my calculations for determining how much of the silk to use.

Measuring out the silk. Even though I needed 0.7g of silk, apparently the scale I used isn’t the most sensitive. The smallest amount it could weigh was 1g, so… thank goodness silk is pretty forgiving material!

I melted the bloomed bar using a double boiler. I don’t have a melanger.

Using the infrared thermometer, I monitored the temperature of the melted chocolate and waited for it to get to around 94 degrees. Then I added the silk, waited 2 minutes, stirred it again, placed it into the mold and tapped out air bubbles.

I was advised to try putting the chocolate in the fridge for 25 minutes to let it set.

After 25 minutes, the chocolate was still a little soft and the chocolate hadn’t fully pulled away from the mold. So I let it sit for another 25 minutes while checking it a couple of times.

After the second set of 25 minutes, the chocolate had fully pulled away from the mold and the bar easily fell out. There was some marring on the face, however I now have more respect for chocolate makers that can somehow make their bars look shiny and perfect straight out of the mold.

So which bar did I retemper? My mom was very kind to mail me some Pump Street Bakery chocolate. The first shipment arrived fully melted and bloomed. The second shipment thankfully seems to have arrived intact. After retempering, the bar still had a “bready” scent to it. I was worried that it would have absorbed food odors while setting in my fridge. Right out of the fridge, the bar had a nice, sharp snap. Though after sitting at room temperature for a few minutes it became soft. I was able to taste the sea salt, milkiness and crunch on the rye bread bits. I’ll have to compare this experience to when I taste the un-retempered version of this Pump Street bar.

Though the process overall was simple and easy to perform, I did encounter some issues. Even though I have a picture above showing the chocolate reaching 94 degrees before I added the silk, the entire bowl of melted chocolate wasn’t actually 94 degrees. Depending on where I aimed the thermometer, I would get anywhere from 88 to 90 and then finally 94 degrees. It was definitely not consistent. I’m not sure if I needed to boost the heat for the water for my double boiler, but the Chocolate Alchemist was correct in that my chocolate was thicker in consistency when it came time for molding since it probably wasn’t fully at 91 degrees at that specific step.

I think I need a new scale to weigh out the silk. Despite taring the scale and measuring both with and without the small plate, the scale still only read 1g. When I attempted to remove some of the silk to obtain 0.7g, the scale actually started to read a higher weight. I may look into purchasing a new more accurate and sensitive scale for future tempering projects. Usually in the lab (my day job) we have plastic “boats” to weigh chemical powders in, and I don’t have such material in my kitchen, but I might try using parchment paper instead (which I’d also have to get).

I need to explore my options for setting the retempered chocolate. I don’t want it becoming soft after sitting in room temperature in case I wanted to store it in a cabinet and taste it later for the blog. Though Will had another bit of advice in that if tempering was not an option, he would melt down the bloomed bar and taste the melted chocolate. It’s not ideal for determining the original snap of the bar, but you could still technically detect the flavors of the chocolate.

I’m otherwise happy with my first attempt at retempering chocolate and I’m excited to give a try again! I might purposefully force some bars to bloom to practice on 🙂

A big thank you again to Will from Wm. Chocolate for providing the silk, for answering my questions and for being supportive in a blogger attempting to temper! He is based out of Madison, Wisconsin, and if you haven’t tried his chocolate before, I definitely recommend giving it a go. I’ve tried a couple of his bars before and hope to get my hands on more of them in the future when temperatures outside are cool again.

 

Harper Macaw – The Political Collection

I finally got the chance to get my hands on a couple of Harper Macaw’s Political Collection bars while attending The Emporiyum food event in Baltimore, MD, in April. I’ve wanted to try them for a while, and having them to celebrate Fourth of July is perfect with their red, white and blue colored packaging! With Harper Macaw based out of Washington, D.C., it’s just fitting that they would have a politically themed line of chocolate bars. They’re very popular since both online and when I visited their table at The Emporiyum several of the bars were out of stock. To view all of the available politically themed bars, go to their website here. I especially remember during the presidential election these bars seemed to be grabbed up quickly 🙂

The Red State bar looked pretty on the back with dried bits of strawberry and raspberry sprinkled on. The scent and flavor was of berries with some tartness. The chocolate itself was smooth in texture and had bright fruity notes. Since I enjoy berries in chocolate, I really liked this bar!

The Left Wing bar had a creative picture on the front depicting protesters. The bar had a nutty and savory scent from the hazelnuts. The flavor of hazelnuts was the dominant flavor throughout my bite while the chocolate was subtler and creamier being 67% cocoa.

The design of the Flip-Flopper bar reminded me of playing cards. I really like the creativity of the packaging for all of the political bars! The bar smelled like sweet toffee mingled with salt, altogether reminding me of butterscotch. The combination of sweet toffee and sea salt hit my taste buds first followed by the creamy 52% chocolate. The toffee was fine and crumbly in texture and didn’t get stuck to my teeth.

I tasted the inclusions in all of these bars more than the chocolate, which makes me think these are great for introducing people to craft chocolate who aren’t ready to dive into plain single origin and higher percentage bars. I can’t recall if other Harper Macaw bars I’ve tried earlier said this, but on the back of the packaging it asks that the packaging box be recycled and that the foil sleeve is also compostable since it’s made of wood pulp. I’d be curious to hear how wood pulp is turned into this kind of sleeve. The next time I get the chance to purchase some Harper Macaw, I want to try the rest of their Political Collection bars!

Harper Macaw: Made in Washington, D.C.

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.

 

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