Friday, April 18, 2014

Lindt - Milk Chocolate Pistachio bar - April 18, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Lindt
Pistachio bar
Good
Weight: .875 oz. (25 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories in 3 pieces (per label)
Cost: $3.19 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Pistachio Theme Week.

Each rectangular piece of the Lindt Pistachio bar contained an embedded capsule filled with "white almond creme" and pistachio nut(s), covered in Swiss Milk Chocolate -- giving the bar a unique and fun look.

This bar looked and tasted fresh; and freshness and previous storage and handling is important for chocolates. So, I'm always thankful for a good distribution supply chain and good practices at stores. (Thank you Piazza's!)

I admit, I thought this bar was going to be too sweet for me. As I've commented before, I generally like less sugar (and lactose) in my chocolates. However, the flavor and texture were good -- and the sugar level was consistent with what I imagined a sweeter, creme-filled milk chocolate bar should taste like.






Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blue Bunny Cocoa Pistachio ice cream - April 17, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Blue Bunny
Cocoa Pistachio Ice Cream
Good
Weight: 5.5 fl. oz. (162.6 mL)(103 g.) in 1 container
Calories: 230 calories in 1 serving/container
Cost: $0.99 for 1 small container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Pistachio Theme Week.

The weather has been getting warmer this week, so I found an ice cream that combined chocolate with pistachio nuts. The single-serving container (complete with white plastic spoon) of Blue Bunny Cocoa Pistachio Premium ice cream contained cocoa (chocolate) ice cream with bits of pistachio nuts.

I topped this ice cream with an extra handful of green pistachios, for some extra crunch and nutty flavor.
With added pistachio nuts

Blue Bunny is part of Wells* Enterprises Inc. (Le Mars, Iowa). The company has been making dozens of ice cream flavors and similar offerings for many years.

*Wells is one of the largest privately held and family-owned ice cream makers in the U.S. The business was founded in 1913. The Blue Bunny brand was born in 1935.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

L'Amourette - Pistachios Chocolat Noir bar - April 16, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

L'Amourette Chocolatier/ L'Amourette LLC
"Pistachios" bar
Good +
Weight: .7 oz. (19.8 g.) in 1/5 bar / 3.5 oz. (99 g.) in total bar
Calories: 118 calories (estimate) in 1/5 bar
Cost: $5.99 in 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Pistachio Theme Week.

This 72% Dark Chocolate bar with salted pistachio nuts (Chocolat Noir Aux Pistaches Salees) from L'Amourette (San Francisco, CA) was handmade from a combination of Rio Caribe and Carenero Superior (Trinitario) cacao beans from Venezuela.

The dark chocolate was complex and interesting with faint bitter/acidic and earthy notes. A light sprinkling of crunchy, California pistachio nuts added a hint of salty, crunchy flavor and texture. Not having too many nuts allowed the chocolate to really shine. However, I do like my nuts, and I cracked open a few extra pistachio nuts to eat a la carte with my bar.  

Hedonist Chocolates - Pistachio - April 15, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates
Pistachio
Good ++
Weight: .9 oz. (25.5 g.) (estimate) in 2 pieces
Calories: 130 calories (estimate) in 2 pieces
Cost: $ N/A - sample
Purchased from: N/A - sample from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, Rochester, NY

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate and Pistachio Theme Week.

This Pistachio gem was part of the dark chocolate Fruit and Nut Cluster jewel box from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates (Rochester, NY).

This particular dark dome-shaped piece was chock full of roasted, salted California pistachio nuts that were partially submerged in/embraced by the dark (72% cacao) bittersweet chocolate.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Sucre - Pistachio Rose Petal bar - April 14, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Sucre
Sicilian Pistachio and Rose Petal bar
Good
Weight: 1.34 oz. (38 g.) / 3.5 oz. (99 g.) in total bar
Calories: 200 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $7.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was the last day (Day #7) of Chocolate and Flowers Theme Week, and the first day (Day #1) of Chocolate and Pistachio Theme Week.

How fortunate that I found a Sucre (New Orleans, LA) bar that incorporated both of these themes! Sucre is powered by Executive Pastry Chef Tariq Hanna and Founder Joel Dondis, who combined forces to offer chocolates, macarons, caramels and other treats for the great city of New Orleans and beyond.

The pink candied rose petals from Europe and light green Sicilian pistachio nuts were very attractive, and added some hints of crunchy texture.

The sweet, Swiss milk chocolate (38% cacao) dominated the taste experience. These subtle flavor additions would have been lost altogether in a dark chocolate base; however, the milk chocolate was so sweet (fine for some, perhaps not for others) that these lovely petals were overpowered by the sugar. It's a delicate balancing act with milder floral and nut items like this.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Alprose - Rose sundae - April 13, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Alprose
Milk Chocolate bar
Good
Weight: .7 oz. (20 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 114 calories (estimate) in 1/5 bar
Cost: $2.50 (sale)
Purchased from: Safeway, Menlo Park, CA


This afternoon I made a rosewater infused vanilla ice cream sundae, with chopped almonds and milk chocolate (30% cacao) chips from an Alprose (Caslano-Lugano, Switzerland) Milk Chocolate (Chocolat au Lait) bar. Top sundae with an edible, organic rose, and you're done.

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Flowers Theme Week.

Lillie Belle Farms - Easter items - April 12, 2014

Chocolate of the Day:

Lillie Belle Farms

1.) Lavender Fleur de Sel Caramels
Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 3 oz. (84 g.) (estimate) total package
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) for 1 oz. serving (2 + pieces)
Cost:  $12.00 (estimate) for one 6-piece package/box
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA

2.) Lillie Bunny
Before it melted, this was a cute, solid chocolate Easter bunny made of organic dark chocolate. After it melted, it was a smooth and creamy dark fondue.
Good + - Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 3 oz. (84 g.) in 1 package/bunny
Calories:  150 calories (estimate) for 1 oz. serving
Cost: $8.00 (estimate) for 1 bunny
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA

3.) Truffle Eggs
Before these Easter eggs melted in the sun, they were creamy delicious Burnt Orange white chocolate eggs and flavorful Milk Chocolate Caramel filled eggs. After accidental sun exposure, they were delicious scrambled eggs.
Burnt Orange = Very Good; Milk Caramel = Good + - Very Good
Weight: 1.2 oz. (33 g.) serving / 3 oz. (84 g.) total package
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1 oz. serving
Cost: $12.00 (estimate) for a five-piece box
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA

Easter is one of the first big chocolate holidays of Spring, falling at a time when there is lovely green grass and wildflowers and copious amounts of sunshine. It's the latter part that often spells disaster for the unwary.

Before I could photograph today's delicious trio of chocolate items from Lillie Belle Farms (Central Point, OR), rays of sun liquified the bunny, deflated the eggs and scorched Lavender Sea Salt Caramels -- all in a manner of minutes.

The only intact bunnies and eggs I saw today were at the local Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. However, this brush with the sun did not stop me from enjoying all three of these items in their altered state. Bunny fondue anyone?

Don't let this Easter tragedy happen to you folks. Store your Easter treasures and chocolate facsimiles (chocsimiles) of rabbits, eggs and lambs in a cool, dark place.

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Flower Theme Week. (I've already eaten the Lillie Belle Farms Lavender Sea Salt Caramels before, but I couldn't resist resurrecting them for this Easter banquet today. They're great if you love floral flavors, and lavender in particular.)





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