This is a continuation of my previous Staying Local posts. If you’re interested in checking out the previous ones, the links are here:
This is my second time trying Chocotenango! The first time I tried their chocolate was with their bonbons, which I definitely recommend. Ismael (the chef behind Chocotenango) himself had been selling the chocolate each time I’ve bought them. It’s always great when you’re able to meet the amazing chef behind their creations!
Because I’m trying to get myself more accustomed and to like spicy chocolate, I bravely tried his chili, nutmeg and sea salt bar. I could smell the chili and nutmeg the moment I unwrapped the bar. The texture of the chocolate was very smooth. I first tasted the sea salt, followed by the nutmeg, and then the chili quickly heated up. In the aftertaste, the flavors faded away in the opposite order. Because of the nutmeg and the warmth of the chili, this bar reminded me of sitting by a first in the wintertime 🙂 Combining chili with nutmeg is very different for my personal tastes, but it was not bad at all!
Chocotenango: Made in Washington, D.C.
I want to say that I’ve tried Zoe’s chocolate before as well, but it was a few years ago and I can’t remember what it was or what I thought about it. This is the second pretzel + chocolate bar I’ve ever tried before (the first one was by Chocolove).
I’m really sad to say I’m not in love with this bar. Compared to Chocolove’s pretzel + chocolate bar, I’d rather go for Chocolove. Their balance of saltiness, pretzel/crunchiness and chocolate was better distributed there. Zoe’s nailed the crunchy texture, but there was way too much salt in this bar. I tasted more salt than anything, and it was hard to detect the flavor of milk chocolate on its own. Hopefully I’ll be able to try something else by them in the future that I can share on here!
Zoe’s: Made in Frederick, MD
At first I was impressed that Pacari had nice double packaging for their chocolate, especially since the secondary packaging directly in contact with the chocolate contained the Pacari label, unlike the usual foil, paper or plastic wrapping. But then I was faced with the terrible discovery that my chocolate had bloomed. Ok, so now a few times I’ve unwrapped a higher quality chocolate bar that has bloomed and hadn’t tasted very well. Sadly for Pacari it was even worse. The bar was dry, very hard to snap apart, and extremely bitter for my tastes. The spirulina flavoring in the bar was way too strong for me. So strong that I had an upset stomach the rest of the day 😦 It feels so wasteful to have to throw out a bar after spending several dollars to get it. Spirulina is a unique flavor, and it’s always great to try flavors outside of your comfort zone, but it’s disappointing when you can’t even enjoy the chocolate. Maybe if I get a chance to try another bar by them I’ll try a more common flavor and see if that works out better.
Pacari: Made in Ecuador