A huge thanks to Islamel, who is the founder of Chocotenango, for letting me try these bonbons, including some new flavors that aren’t a part of his regular line of bonbon flavors!
If you love eating chocolate, especially if the chocolate comes from a chocolate maker or store near you, I highly recommend reaching out and saying hello to them, even if you just want to say that you enjoy their products. I’m usually a pretty shy person, but lately I’ve begun to reach out to local chocolate makers and it’s been amazing and so encouraging to receive responses from them!
I had the chance to briefly meet up with Ismael at a farmer’s market in Bethesda, MD (he also attends the Old Town Alexandria, VA, farmer’s market on Saturdays) since I saw his Instagram posts on his bonbons in preparation for Mother’s Day. It was a great opportunity to see Ismael in person again and to grab some last minute gifts.
Ismael was excited to be working with some new flavor combinations for his bonbons and asked me to try a few out and let him know my thoughts. I wanted to share them on Time To Eat Chocolate because if any of these new flavors becomes a regular in Ismael’s line, then you could get a glimpse of what you’ll experience.
Before diving into these bonbons, I do want to note that they are made using Domincan cacao, which is the same that Ismael uses for his chocolate bars. If you want to learn more about Ismael and the story behind Chocotenango, you can read my Q&A with him here.
The praline filling of this rosewater bonbon had a cocoa-ey and light floral scent. Once it was melting in my mouth, that light floral scent blossomed and filled my mouth. The flavor reminded me of the scent of my favorite floral perfume. The rosewater flavor was light and refreshing, and it was never overwhelming. The praline itself was also airy and light. I really liked this bonbon and it’s perfect for spring/summer weather! If this becomes a regular flavor, I’ll want to get a box of these next time!
I see the little poppy seeds and thick caramel filling in this lemon poppy seed bonbon. I could definitely smell the sweet caramel inside, but my taste buds first tasted lemon. The lemon was a bit strong as though I had taken a sip of lemonade. The poppy seeds gave a nice light crunch. I wasn’t able to really taste the caramel inside due to the strong lemon flavor, but toward the end of my bite I was able to taste the toasted flavor of the poppy seeds once the lemon mellowed out.
The scent of mangoes greeted me as well as in flavor in this tropical bonbon. Unlike the lemon poppy seed bonbon, I was able to taste some of what looked like caramel filling alongside the mango. I could also taste the deep cocoa and fruity Dominican chocolate shell. The flavor of the shell reminded me of the El Puro bar I’ve tried by Ismael/Chocotenango. This was a nice marriage of naturally fruity cacao with added tropical fruity flavors!
The scent of coffee was strong in what looked like caramel filling in this coffee and cardamom bonbon. The flavor of coffee with the sweet caramel reminded me of a caramel latte. The coffee flavor was deep but the bitterness of the coffee was balanced out by the sweetness of the caramel. The hint of cardamom lingered in the background and was more obvious toward the end of my bite, along with a touch of fruitiness from the Dominican chocolate shell. I really liked the rich flavor story that unfolded! Very nice!
I could definitely smell ginger and sweetness of caramel from this yuzu and ginger bonbon. Yuzu is a Japanese fruit that looks sort of like a grapefruit. This would be the first time I’d be trying yuzu in chocolate and I was very excited as I enjoy trying new ingredients in chocolate. My bite started out with tasting mostly ginger and the bright yuzu. The ginger was a little sharp at first but then it dissipated along with the yuzu flavor. My bite ended with the cocoa flavor of the chocolate shell with some lingering fruitiness. I definitely liked the yuzu being present, and normally I don’t like ginger in chocolate, but this was very enjoyable!
If you don’t get the chance to see Ismael at the Old Town Alexandria or Bethesda farmer’s markets, you can also order his chocolate online here. You could also purchase his bars through Amazon. If you’ve tried his chocolate before, drop him an email or message on Instagram and let him know your thoughts!
Chocotenango: Made in Washington, D.C.
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. 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.