With December beginning and gift shopping in full swing, I felt it would be fitting to cover holiday themed chocolate bars this month! I’m starting off with Vosges because they were the first set of Christmas themed bars I could get my hands on, and I recall placing an order as soon as Vosges posted on Instagram about them back in November. I also remember having a hard time adding them to my cart on their website and having issues, but thankfully Vosges has good customer service who got back to me to let me know the problem was fixed.
As Vosges is always known for, they have some unique combinations for their Christmas bars, with the exception of the peppermint bar, and fitting holiday colors for the packaging. If you want to check out other posts where I try other bars by Vosges (which happened many times), look here. I like the phrase “Peace, Love, & Chocolate” on the front of the packaging of the holiday bars 🙂
I’ve had pistachios with candied rose petals, but I don’t think I’ve had pistachios with cherries before. The ingredients list of this bar contained milk chocolate, dried cherries, pistachios and sea salt. The back of the packaging says the pistachios came from Mt. Etna in Sicily and have a unique flavor due to the mineral rich volcanic soil in that area. The cherries are Montmorency cherries from Michigan. I could smell the fruitiness of the cherries and the nutty, sea salt scent of the pistachios. I first tasted the sea salt followed by the nutty and buttery flavor of the pistachios. The fruity and tart flavor of the cherries lingered in the background while the pistachios and sea salt remained dominant flavors to my taste buds. The pistachios and cherries gave a soft, chewy texture to the chocolate while the sea salt was crunchy. This bar was overall subtle in flavor. It wasn’t until my second bite that I could detect the tartness of the cherries better.
For some reason the chestnut honey almond bar had the same mold as most Vosges bars as opposed to the wispy holiday design on the other two Christmas themed bars. This bar had also sadly bloomed. I don’t like it when my chocolate blooms 😦 The ingredients list contained bittersweet chocolate, almond marzipan, amaretto liqueur, chestnut puree, honey and sea salt. According to the back of the package, the chestnuts were from the Ardèche region of France and were pureed by Maison Sabaton, a French confectioner that specializes in Ardèche fruits and chestnuts. The honey used was the “Rare White Volcano Island Honey” from the Rare Hawaiian Honey Company. They get their honey from trees (not bees) that are native to Ecuador and Peru. The hawaiian name for these trees is “kiawe”, therefore on the packaging it says the honey is harvested from a kiawe forest.
The chocolate broke apart softly, not with a sharp snap, because there was a layer of honey inside of the chocolate. The chocolate smelled sweet and nutty. The flavor was a bitter at first, but then I tasted the almond marzipan flavor and honey. I’m not a fan of marzipan, but this bar was more palatable since it’s the pasty texture of marzipan alone that I don’t like. The chestnut flavor was hard for me to detect because I was so focused on my thoughts regarding marzipan… I had to try another bite. This time the honey came off as sweeter and the texture was smooth. I was able to detect the chestnuts, though all the nutty flavors and honey melded together into one pool of sweetness on my tongue. I can’t say I was in love with this bar, but the smooth texture from the pureed chestnuts, honey and marzipan was nice.
I usually try to stay away from peppermint since it’s so common, but in my upcoming Christmas themed posts there will be more peppermint flavors showing up because I couldn’t find anything else. I hope more gingerbread, cranberry and other Christmas flavors will show up next winter! The ingredients for this bar consisted of bittersweet chocolate, candy cane pieces, and natural flavor. Not sure what “natural flavor” meant, but the the scent of the bar reminded me of peppermint oil rather than sticky sweet candy cane. Ah yes, and the back of the packaging says that peppermint oil from Illinois was used. Since Vosges is based out of Illinois, it’s nice to see them working with a local source! The chocolate tasted slightly sweet and like peppermint due to the oil and candy pieces. I was able to crunch on the candy pieces as my bite melted. There wasn’t much to really look for since it’s just peppermint in this bar, but I wonder why I usually see dark chocolate paired with peppermint and not milk chocolate? Is the sweetness of the milk chocolate too overwhelming with the natural sweetness of candy cane?
Overall, my favorite was the pistachio and cherry bar. I think the combination was unique and the soft chewy texture of the bar was pleasant. Mixing marzipan with honey and chestnuts was also unique, but as someone who doesn’t like marzipan, I don’t think I was able to appreciate that chocolate as much as I could have.
Vosges: Made in Chicago, IL
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.