During my last visit to J. Chocolatier’s shop, I was able to grab up a couple of bars I had yet to try and had wanted to for a long time! I’ve covered J. Chocolatier’s Cherry Blossom bar and Potomac Chocolate’s Peru 70% bar seen in the above picture in earlier posts.
I had been hearing about Dick Taylor from practically every chocolate lover and I felt like the only person who had not tried any of their bars before. I was so excited to see that J. Chocolatier carried some of their bars! (The Chocolate House in Washington, D.C., does as well) If you want to learn more about Dick Taylor, aside from their website, I recommend reading Chocolate Noise’s article about their fascinating story.
Their bar smelled of maple and coconut. It gave a warm, wrapped up feeling. When eating it, I tasted the maple first followed by the chocolate and coconut. The chocolate had a slightly fruity flavor to it (maybe that was partially due to the coconut) and bright citrusy or acidic notes to it, but the texture was otherwise smooth. The texture of the chewy coconut was very nice and had a flavor of “toastiness” to it. I really, really liked this bar! I would definitely like to get it again! I might even call this a comfort food chocolate bar.
Dick Taylor: Made in Eureka, CA
I picked Nathan Miller’s gingerbread bar because it struck me as the most unique (gingerbread flavors in the summertime!) out of all the other bars, though the designs on all of their wrappers are pleasing to the eye. The only small downside with this chocolate was that there were “fluffies” from the orange outer wrapper stuck onto the chocolate itself, so I had to be careful when eating it.
The chocolate smelled of the gingerbread spices and just overall sweet. I immediately got crunchy bits of gingerbread flavoring in my first bite and saltiness from the Himalayan salt and possibly the butter. As I chewed on the chocolate, the butter flavor became more apparent as it mingled with the spices. The aftertaste was also of spice and butter. This chocolate was sweeter than expected, but I really enjoyed the texture!
Nathan Miller: Made in Chambersburg, PA
Jane pointed this bar out to me as one of her favorites, so of course I had to try them out! I’ve also been seeing Amano mentioned pretty often lately on social media.
First of all, I really like the detail of every piece of chocolate having the Amano stamp. Like the Dick Taylor bar, the small details make this bar nice to look at! The chocolate smelled floral. My taste buds were whacked with the flavors of lavender and blueberry with orange lingering in the background. My friends described it as “perfume-y” and claimed it was their favorite bar out of the bunch! One of them said it reminded them of Ethiopian coffee, just in chocolate form. I can see why it’s pretty addictive. The lavender is soft and not overpowering while the other flavors didn’t attempt to overpower each other. I ended up leaving some of the bar behind for one of my friends so they could enjoy the chocolate longer 😉
Amano: Made in Orem, UT
When I brought this bar to the counter to purchase my chocolates, Jane said that Durci wasn’t getting enough attention at her shop. I hadn’t tried Durci at that point, so I wasn’t quite sure why either. Was it maybe the packaging that looks out of this world? (Sorry for the pun :D) I actually really liked the design and colors used for this bar. It’s actually what grabbed my attention. When I unwrapped the bar, I thought at first that this would be like a single serving bar seeing how smooth the surface looked. I considered chomping into it before sharing with the others… then I noticed what looked like faint break points on the back. Sharing is caring, so…
The bar had a dark chocolatey, fruity and sweet scent. The packaging said the chocolate contained tamarind. I don’t know what that tastes like, but I definitely detected citrusy and caramel notes, especially toward the end and in the aftertaste of my bite. My friends thought it was subtle, but I actually liked it for that reason. I found myself going back to the bar throughout the following week until it was finished!
Durci: Made in Lindon, UT