Always. This always happens. I go to Whole Foods to “be healthy” and grab a salad or ONE bar of chocolate. And then I somehow walk out with three bars of chocolate like I did here.
I had been eyeing these guys on the shelf for so long but never reached my hand up to grab a bar. Finally, I decided it was time.
I’m so sad to say that I found this bar in poor condition. It had bloomed and the chocolate was dry in texture. It smelled and tasted fruity, and it was hard to bite into the chocolate 🙁 I was not blown away.
Madécasse’s website says that their chocolate is made from start to finish in Madagascar and then required a partnership with a manufacturer to continue producing chocolate bars. Unfortunately the manufacturer’s name is not listed at all on the website. I’m curious as to why that name couldn’t be shared…
Madécasse: Made in Madagascar, Distributed from Brooklyn, NY
The name Wild Ophelia is an eye catcher in itself! Added to my piqued interest in it is that it’s created by the same woman, Katrina Markoff, who founded Vosges Haut Chocolat!!! That neat things about the Wild Ophelia line is that the ingredients reflect American cuisine and the spirit of women entrepreneurs being spirited, empowering, ambitious and bold. I added the “bold” part because when I’ve shared this bar with others, they look at the bar disgusted saying, “Beef jerky and chocolate?!” But I think it’s intriguing, exciting, new, and thinking outside of the box. So even though I wouldn’t eat beef jerky on it’s own, I would try it in Katrina’s chocolate 🙂 I already loved Vosges, and I’m really liking how with Wild Ophelia Katrina is pushing the boundaries of flavor combinations with chocolate.
I really enjoy seeing large serving sizes for chocolate, especially when I unwrapped this bar to see three large chunks 🙂 I mean, who can say they love chocolate and truly enjoys only having one tiny, tiny square of a chocolate bar and being completely, totally satisfied for a whole day?! My chocolate cravings require more than a little square, and Katrina understands that. Let’s talk about how this bar smelled and tasted!
I could smell the saltiness and savory aroma of the jerky mingled with the sweetness of the milk chocolate. When biting into it, I munched on tiny crunchy bits of the jerky and tasted smoky and salty flavors with the smooth creaminess of milk chocolate. This bar is like having those summer barbecues with a field nearby to run around in. You want to relax, let go of your stress and have fun!
Wild Ophelia: Made in Chicago, IL
The name Equal Exchange Chocolates in its title already tells you what their mission is: support small farms and farmers who are growing and producing high quality food products while educating consumers about the issues that farmers face so that they in turn may encourage and support said farmers. The story behind Equal Exchange is a must read! The three founders struggled against the American government at one point to try to bring Nicaraguan coffee past U.S. borders to show support for the Nicaraguans while the U.S. imposed an embargo on products from that country. They also wanted to challenge the U.S. trade policies. They have an inspiring story about struggle and overcoming challenges while growing their business. They are still facing challenges to this day, so I hope they will be able to continue charging forward and improving the Fair Trade industry and what it should stand for!
The inside of the wrapper tells you which countries the components making up the chocolate are coming from as well as a blurb supporting their overall story about their work with farmers.
This is a very minute detail, but I find it unique that they have these small green arrows showing where to open the wrapper to enjoy the chocolate.
The chocolate itself is surprisingly shiny for a dark chocolate! I’m so used to seeing flat looking dark chocolate. It’s nice to look at 🙂 The chocolate gave a nice sharp crack when broken apart. It smelled of dark chocolate and almonds. The flavor of the dark chocolate was kind of sweet yet earthy and the almonds added a nice touch of crunchiness. The overall flavor actually reminded me of Ritter Sport’s dark chocolate with almonds.
Equal Exchange Chocolate: Produced in Switzerland for Equal Exchange in W. Bridgewater, MA (according to the packaging)
If I had to pick one, I’d say Wild Ophelia is my favorite because of the unique combination of beef jerky with chocolate. I do like Equal Exchange’s chocolate, and I was not happy that the Madécasse chocolate had bloomed.