One of my favorite seasons is here! Even though fall started a while ago, in the D.C. area we have been experience high temperatures as though it were still summer, but now it’s finally starting to cool down. I’d be one of the first to raise my hand and admit I’m a fellow psycho who’s crazy for anything with pumpkin spice and throwing some flannel on. My husband is in the same boat as those who shake their heads and can’t understand why people like myself are crazy for all things pumpkin. Opposites attract, yeah? Though I’m not sipping a pumpkin spice latte at the moment, I’m sharing these bars by Mackenzie that speak to the upcoming changes in season.
The moment I saw the name My Favorite Plaid Shirt for a chocolate bar, I had to try it! Though all of my favorite plaid shirts had to be donated because they all shrank from previous years of washing and drying (I have terrible luck with washing cotton items despite following directions), I still have my favorite flannel shirt. Whether my flannel shirt has a proper plaid pattern, I’m not sure but I’m looking forward for the weather being cool enough to throw it on!
The ingredients list for this bar is above and the subtitle for this bar is “Fiji 73% pumpkin babka sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and caraway”. The description that Mackenzie includes with this bar speaks of raking up a pile of leaves, jumping into it and repeating the process. It pays ode to our favorite things and fond moments. When I think of fall I think about no longer sweating to death in the sun, wearing my warm flannel, watching the trees change into beautiful warm colors, being able to finally fit Thompson into his fleece jacket (he was too small for it before), and hopefully my allergies being less severe.
The scent of this bar was a mixture of earthiness and subtle spiciness. I first tasted strong spiciness, which grew in intensity as my bite melted but it never became too much. The pumpkin seeds gave a nice crunchy texture. After the initial spice, warm spices and something like chocolaty, brown sugar sweetness developed. This bar hit all of the fall niceties with a warm flavor and feeling, something pumpkin (pumpkin seeds) and spiciness.
Tyger Tyger Burning Bright also sounded like a good fall-themed bar for it’s warm sounding masala chai and gingersnap flavors. Mackenzie’s description for this bar mentions that through experience we all learn that “for every lamb there is a tiger”. Her words remind me of how some people prefer to keep peace and harmony, while nowadays we hear of too many people (like in social media) purposefully lashing out and hurting others. I love how at the end of her description she says, “Let’s all just get along and share some tea, shall we?” While it would be a miracle for the world to do that, it sounds nice.
The ingredients list for this bar is depicted above and the base of the bar is Vietnam Lam Dong 73%. I’m curious why baking soda is listed as an ingredient and what part it’s playing in the bar. I’m a fan of chai spices though in the past I haven’t been fond of candied ginger in chocolate. A few years ago when I first bought and tried a dark chocolate bar with candied ginger from Whole Foods I couldn’t bring myself to take more than one bite. In this case, the ginger looks like it’s broken into manageable tiny bits.
I could smell the ginger and chai spices with some other scent that reminded me of stoneware for some reason. The combination of scents also made me think of tiki masala and walking into an Indian restaurant (just ate some chicken with tiki masala earlier, so that’s clearly still on my mind). Sweetness like honey and caramel filled my mouth while what I’m guessing are the ginger bits were like seeds to crunch on. There was a brief moment of sharpness as a chunk of dried ginger bits dissolved at once. After the initial shock of ginger, it gave way to a very pleasant mixture of ginger and chai that reminded me of gingersnap cookies. The end of my bite was my favorite part of the journey. It was warm, delicious and already had me thinking about Christmas.
I enjoyed both bars! While My Favorite Plaid Shirt already had me at the title, I couldn’t stop at just one bite. Though I love ginger, I’m not a huge fan of crystallized ginger in chocolate. For me, the finish of the Tyger Tyger Burning Bright bar was my favorite part since it tasted like gingersnaps. Because of that I’ll be slowly enjoying more of this bar. Thank you, Mackenzie, for creating more bars with unique inclusions for us to enjoy and exercise our palates!
Map Chocolate: Made in Eugene, OR
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Though at the time of writing this post I am working in the chocolate industry, my work in the chocolate industry has no affect on my personal thoughts and experiences with the chocolate products shared on Time To Eat Chocolate. 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.