Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - Hazelnut Bar - Dec. 18, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Oakland Chocolate Co.
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Bar
Good++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $2.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Co., Oakland, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

We kicked off this week with a Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Bar from The Oakland Chocolate Co. (Oakland, CA), with rows of whole hazelnuts pressed into the back of this single origin bar.

Chocolate maker Nancy Nadel offers a line of bonbons and bars that she crafts using cacao beans from the Parish of St. Mary in Jamaica. Most of her chocolates are made with 70% cacao; but she also makes extra dark (85%) and milk chocolate (45%) bars -- today's Hazelnut bar being in the latter category. The 45% milk chocolate has a slight caramel flavor that pairs nicely with the hazelnuts.








Riegelein Confiserie - Rocking Horse - Dec. 17, 2014

Chocolate of the Day:

Riegelein Confiserie
Rocking Horse
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 5.12 oz. (145 g.) in one package/horse
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1 oz. (28.3 g.) piece
Cost: $3.79 for 1 horse
Purchased from: Crossroads Specialty Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #7 of Chocolates in Toyland Theme Week.

The chocolate of the day was this red and gold foil wrapped Rocking Horse from Riegelein Chocolate (Cadolzburg, Germany)

Chocolates with natural ingredients (i.e. made without artificial flavors or colors) just taste better. And this milk chocolate (30% cocoa, 14% milk solids) rocking horse was no exception. The inclusion of cocoa butter rather than hydrogenated vegetable oils, e.g. was an improvement over some novelty milk chocolates.

Granted higher quality chocolates tend to be a bit more expensive; but I will happily pay a bit more for better chocolate, especially if these chocolate toys are for children.

Ingredients for today's sweet, smooth rocking equine: Sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, sweet whey powder, emulsifier: soy lecithin, natural vanilla.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa's Treats - Fun 'n Games maze; Venchi cigar - Dec. 16, 2014

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Santa's Treats
Fun 'n Games Double Crisp
OK+ - Good
Weight: .25 oz. (7 g.) / 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in total package
Calories: 37 calories (estimate) in 1/4 oz. piece
Cost: $0.49 for 1 item
Purchased from: lost receipt (CVS?)

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate in Toyland Theme Week, and I celebrated with two chocolates: one for all ages, and one for grown-ups.

The first chocolate was a Fun 'n Games Double Crisp -- a 30% milk chocolate rectangular, edible maze from Santa's Treats (distributed by CVS Pharmacy, Inc.).

The second chocolate today was a chocsimile of a Venchi Cuba, Cacao Aromatico, cigar, made in Italy.

Venchi S.p.A.
Venchi Cuba, Cacao Aromatico chocolate cigar
Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.17 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.52 oz. (100 g.) total cigar
Calories: 176 calories (estimate) in 1/3 cigar
Cost: $8.79 for 1 cigar
Purchased from: Crossroads market, Palo Alto, CA

I'm not a smoker, but I made an exception for today's "toy" chocolate cigar from Venchi S.p.A. (Italy).

Today I hit a home mortgage pay-off milestone. Hurray. This called for celebrating with a generously sized, fine-flavored dark chocolate "Cuban" cigar made with cacao from New Guinea and ground Piedmont hazelnuts. It was dark, nutty, slightly fudgey and smoky, and entirely delicious.









Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa's Treats - Tuff Trucks - Dec. 15, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Santa's Treats
(distributed by CVS Pharmacy, Inc.)
Tuff Trucks
OK - Good
Weight: .3 oz. (8.49 g.) / 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in total package
Calories: 45 calories (estimate) in 1 small bite of truck
Cost: $0.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: CVS Pharmacy, Mountain View, CA

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate in Toyland Theme Week.

The Santa's Treats* front loader style novelty truck in this Tuff Trucks package was "Hard at Work Making Candy Fun."

This milk chocolate flavored truck would be a fun toy to play with for a day or two; however, as for eating it... It was awfully sweet. (Cocoa was the fourth ingredient listed, after sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil and whey.)

*This Santa's Treats item was distributed by CVS Pharmacy, Inc.



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lindt - Milk Chocolate bear - Dec. 14, 2014

Chocolate of the Day:

Lindt and Sprungli
Lindt Milk Chocolate (Chocolat au lait) - bear
Good
Weight: 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bear
Calories: 525 calories (estimate) in 1 bear
Cost: $3.99 for 1 bear
Purchased from: CVS Pharmacy, Mountain View, CA

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate in Toyland Theme Week.

Teddy bears and other toy bears are popular year-round. Today's Lindt Teddy bear from Lindt and Sprungli (Switzerland) was all dressed up for the holidays.

It looked similar* to a large Haribo Goldbaren (German for golden bear), but was wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon around its neck.

And instead of a Haribo fruit-flavored gummy bear, this friendly-looking bear was hollow and made of 30% milk chocolate. It was sweet, smooth and flavorful. And soon, one bite led to another, and the bear wasn't there anymore.

*In fact Haribo complained that the similarity between the Lindt Teddies (first produced a few years ago) and the Haribo bears would be confusing to customers; a court, in the end, cited with Lindt.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Milk Chocolate Trivial Pursuit; Niagara Tools - Dec. 13, 2014

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Choc-In-The-Box
Trivial Pursuit (chocolate cards)
Good
Weight: .3 oz. (8.5 g.) / 4.8 oz. (136 g.) in total package/box
Calories:  44 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $4.99 for 1 box/package
Purchased from: CVS Pharmacy, Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolates in Toyland Theme Week, where I scout out possible chocolate holiday gifts.

These chocsimiles* of Trivial Pursuit cards include actual trivia questions (with answers on the flip side). And, after everyone is familiar with the questions, and you grow bored with them, you can eat them. Very practical.

Know someone who likes carpentry or making things? Another potential stocking stuffer might included the following tool set:

Milk Chocolate Took Kit
Niagara Chocolates
Good
Weight: .75 oz. (21.2 g.) / 3.75 oz. (106 g.) total package
Calories: 110 calories (estimate) in 1 tool (saw)/piece
Cost: $3.19 for 1 package of 5 pieces/tools
Purchased from: Orchard Supply Hardware, Mountain View, CA

This Milk Chocolate Tool Kit made by Niagara Chocolates (Cheektowaga, NY), a SweetWorks Company (Buffalo, NY). included a milk chocolate hammer, saw, screwdriver, wrench and pliers. I tried the milk chocolate saw.

Most popular commercial milk chocolates are fairly sweet with a consistent chocolate or chocolatey flavor; I would say this about both today's chocolates. Fun replicas and clever package design are the primary attributes with almost all chocolate games and toys I've found so far.

*Chocsimiles are chocolate facsimiles of people, animals, places or things.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Gamesformotion - Candy Land Chocolate Edition - Dec. 12, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Gamesformotion
Candy Land - Chocolate Edition
Good
Weight: .176 oz. (5 g.) / 5.4 oz. (154 g.) in total package
Calories: 26.5 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $9.99 in total box/game
Purchased from: CVS Pharmacy, Mountain View, CA

Today was Day #2 of Chocolates in Toyland Theme Week.

Candy Land, a popular children's board game from Milton Bradley was a childhood favorite and chocolate was a favorite childhood flavor. Together, in today's chocsimile* of the board game from the mid-1900s, this novelty item evoked a certain amount of candy-sweet nostalgia.

Candy Land -- the Chocolate Edition -- consisted of a game board, 4 paper pawns, and 32 milk chocolates (two-sided playing "cards") that allow players to race around the board; and one golden trophy (round gold foil covered medallion).

Today's Candy Land game was made by Gamesformotion (in Deventer, Netherlands).
The company, through licensing agreements, also produces chocolate editions of other popular games, such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Twister, Scrabble, Pictionary, etc.

The milk chocolate square (inside a purple tile marked playing "card" wrapper) was eaten before I could advance to the next purple square on the board; but it was fun to play this game.

*A chocsimile is a chocolate facsimile of a person, animal, place or thing. 




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