Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chocolate Tasting - Rounds 3, 4, and 5

I have spent the last several days trying out new chocolates.  But before I tell you what I thought of each, I feel I need a disclaimer.  I am by no means a chocolate connoisseur.  In fact, I have a rather odd palate.  Some flavors that seem pleasing to a lot of folks just don't sit well in my mouth.  These include butterscotch, coconut, yogurt (any flavor), coffee, tea, and all manner of alcoholic beverages.  I don't like any of it.  I've tried to like tea - I've tried a lot of flavors. Just can't.  I can't even get past the smell of coffee!

When it comes to chocolate, this is my guilty pleasure:

No fancy expensive high cacao dark chocolate - but a grocery store staple.  Manufactured by the Mars Company in New Jersey (next state over to the east).  I believe this brand is available in the U.K. under the name "Galaxy." (based on info read on the internet.)  

Dove Dark Chocolate Promises probably barely qualify as "dark" - they are apparently in the range of 50-60% cacao content. But they are smooth, creamy, and just the right balance between sweet and chocolate for my palate. This is the standard against which I measure my chocolate. And when I don't have chocolate gifties to sample, I usually indulge in one of these a day! (just 42 calories!)

Okay, back to European chocolates.  First up, Prague:
A milk chocolate filled with nuts and a cherry-flavored goo.  This was so cloyingly sweet it made my teeth hurt.  It was truly not edible. Sarah actually tossed most of her little square in the trash.  Even Rachel who usually loves sweet stuff didn't like it.  Score:  0/10.  I hate to waste food, especially chocolate, but this puppy is headed for the trash can!

Next up, Rome:
A dark chocolate with a truffle-like filling. My first taste was okay. But once it settled, it tasted like coffee to me. 

Now I can't read Italian, but I do know how to use Google.  So I learned a couple of key phrases from the package.  "con morbido ripieno" means "with a soft filling". Check, I knew that.  "di crema alla nocciola" (from the back of the label) means "hazelnut cream."  Okay, that explains it.  I've never had hazelnuts before, but apparently I don't have any great love for hazelnut cream.  I gave this one a 3/10.  To be fair, Sarah and her friend Allison both liked it and said it didn't taste like coffee at all.  So I may not be the best choice for food critic!

Last for today, Barcelona:
This one is a straight up solid dark chocolate bar. 70% cacao.  No fillers or flavors, just chocolate.

I expected with the super high cacao content that it would be bitter. It isn't. But it's not sweet either. It's just dark chocolate. The melt factor isn't so good - in fact it doesn't really melt at all, you have to chew it, which isn't my preference in savoring chocolate. It is a little bit gritty.  But overall, it is good.  This one gets a 7/10.  I will finish it... although I'm also willing to share.

So far I still love my Dove Promises best! Guess that makes me a cheap date!


Jo said...

I am still enjoying your chocolate posts even though I haven't had chocolate for 4 weeks! Your posts certainly give me the flavour of it :)

scrappyjacky said...

Fussy, aren't you!!!!
I really like Hazelnut choc....and wouldn't have thought it had a coffee I don't like coffee flavoured choc myself!!
I'm with you on the Galaxy....delicious....but probably not what we would class as dark choc over here.
I'm beginning to be worried as to whether you'll like the G + that is more seriously dark!!

Sian said...

The one which didn't melt well probably had something added to it so it lasted better in the heat. We used to have a chocolate factory near here and someone who used to work there told me that the formulations were different depending on the climate they were sending it too.

I'm a savoury treat person myself - give me a bag of crisps any day!

Jo.C said...

Galaxy is my favourite - mind you ours is the milk version - my grandad always gave us some as a treat when we went to visit. I thought he was really special as he used to pretend to keep it in his pocket and I couldn't understand how it didn't melt. Loving your chocolate tales.

scrappysue said...

Fun to read about your chocolate tasting, and there's nothing wring with having a fav to compare the rest to! Chocolate out here is ghastly most of the time; I love Cadbury's in the UK, but its made in Egypt here I think, and its really oily tasting, ugh.

scrappysue said...

Oops, I meant wrong not wring (Jeez how come the spell checker can't read my mind??!!!)

Amy said...

I've never had a cup of coffee in my life - can't stand the thought of ingesting the stuff - though I do like the smell.

I am more of a savoury person as well, but do like dark choc. we have Lindt chocolate over here which is swiss based and is devine, especially when they add salt flakes to it or even chilli - very good indeed. Australian tastes are no where near as sweet as some US foods I have tasted before (a girlfriend of mine is from the US and she brings stuff back for me to try - before she left to live in China :-() so it is hard for me to gueage how sweet the Dove choc is, we do have it here. An example for me is Ben and Jerry's ice cream ... for my taste and compared to good ice cream here, it is possibly the most hideous fake sugar tasting stuff I have ever ingested, it just goes to show that we all are used to how things are manufactured in our own country, what we gow up on and what we like!

I am enjoying this chocolate taste series, very informative for future travels! :-)

alexa said...

Enjoying your critiques very much! We have the wonderful Hotel Chocolat over here ... Is here one in the States?

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

I'm with you on the coffee thing. Blek. I think the hazelnut chocolate sounds good, though. I just discovered Nutella, which is hazelnut and chocolate. Yum.

Cheryl said...

I am totally with you on the dark chocolate Dove. Expensive fancy shmancy chocolate is such a waste on me. Give me my drugstore-bought chocolate instead!