Friday, June 22, 2018

TCHO bites - Almond + Sea Salt discs - June 22, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

TCHO 
TCHO Bites - Almond + Sea Salt discs
Good ++
Weight: 1.02 oz. (29 g.) / 5 oz. (140 g.) in total package
Calories: 180 calories in 1 serving
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 package
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA 
Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Cherry and Berries Theme Week.

Today's small discs of dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt from TCHO Ventures, Inc. (Berkeley, CA) were made of 64% cacao and Fair Trade Certified ingredients. 

These discs were well-suited for experimenting with pairings with cherry and berry items. 
The first pairing was with a Kirschwasser (cherry brandy). The alcohol and cherry flavor seemed a bit too much, and altered and "flattened" the dark chocolate flavor, giving it a slightly artificial taste.

The second pairing item was a Chloe's frozen raspberry pop (raspberries, cane sugar and water). Also, not a great pairing, although both were good on their own. The temperature difference did not help.

The last pairing was with fresh blueberries (not pictured). This worked the best of the three, but the dark berry flavor made this chocolate taste like milk chocolate (quite sweet) in comparison. 

These discs are fine all by themselves. However, despite the lack of success today, they do seem well-suited to pairings, and experiments will continue with the rest of this package. 


California Sungold Pistachios - Chocolate Cherries - June 21, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

California Sungold Pistachios
Chocolate Cherries
Good
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 7 oz. (198 g.) in total package
Calories: 190 calories in 1 serving
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 bag/package
Purchased from: CVS/pharmacy, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Cherry and Berries Theme Week.

Today's Chocolate Cherries were from California Sungold Pistachios (Oakhurst, CA).

Under the glossy, cherry-colored shell of these confections, white chocolate and milk chocolate surrounded a dried cherry center that maintained some natural cherry flavor and dried cherry texture.








Hudsonville Creamery - Chocolate Cocoa Bean Ice Cream + cherry - June 20, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company 
Naturals - Chocolate Cocoa Bean Ice Cream 
Good
Weight: 1/4 cup (32 g.) / 32 oz. (946 mL) in total container
Calories: 65 calories (per label) in 1/4 cup
Cost: $3.99 (estimate) for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Cherries Theme Week.

Today we cooled down with some cherry-related items combined with a scoop of Chocolate Cocoa Bean Ice Cream from Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company (Holland, MI).

The Chocolate Cocoa Bean Ice Cream was part of the company's Naturals line, and was made with a list of 7 ingredients* and included cocoa that had been more minimally processed. (Much of the bulk cocoa powder people buy has been treated (alkalinized) to reduce the natural acidic content of cocoa. This apparently was not.) The chocolate flavor was still smooth.

Perhaps the favorite, chilled cherry and chocolate ice cream combination of the day was a small scoop of Cocoa Bean Ice Cream with rum-soaked cherries. This dish disappeared too quickly to be photographed.

Ingredients: Milk, cane sugar, cream, organic natural cocoa, skim milk, carob bean gum, vanilla 






Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tahoe Trail Bar - Dark Chocolate Cherry bar - June 19, 2018

Chocolate of the Day; 

Tahoe Trail Bar
Dark Chocolate Cherry bar
Good
Weight: 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 260 calories in 1 bar 
Cost: $1.29 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Cherry Theme Week.

Today's Dark Chocolate Cherry Tahoe Trail Bar was distributed by King Bars, LLC (Reno, NV). This chewy, mahogany-colored, trail bar contained brown rice syrup, gluten free oats, chocolate chunks, dried Bing cherries, soy protein, cranberries and peanuts. There was also a vague hint of spice/cardamom.

Not everyone cares for the taste and texture of soy protein. But, the chocolate, cherries and peanuts covered up most of that. Certified Gluten Free and Vegan, this compressed bar contained 10 grams of protein.

The tagline for this bar: "Fuel for the Journey." Good thing. Most people need above-candy-bar-level fuel for their busy lives.

My current journey is to visit all the East Bay Regional Park District Parks in Northern California in my spare time; and it's been a deeply rejuvenating experience spending time in open spaces and observing scenery and wildlife.) Bars like this come in handy for hikes in the hills.

I can appreciate the sentiment of the Tahoe Trail Bar founder, Wes King, whose words were printed on the package:

"I am inspired by the crunch of the dirt under my shoes, the sweet silence of skiing powder, and the journey of hiking to the top of mountain peaks."


Celebrity - Chocolaty Cherry Goat Cheese - June 18, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Celebrity Goat
Chocolaty Cherry Goat Cheese
Good
Weight: .25 oz. (7 g.) / 4.5 oz. (130 g.) in total package
Calories: 22 calories in 1/4 oz. taste
Cost: missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate, Cherry and Berry Theme Week.

Today's Chocolaty Cherry Goat Cheese was from Celebrity Goat (Canada goat milk).

What's that you say? Goat cheese? Think cherry and chocolate cheesecake, only slightly less sweet and a teensy bit cheesier.

This petite, plump cheese log was made with cocoa-colored, creamy goat cheese, chocolaty bits (cocoa, coconut oil, sweetener), Dalmatia cherry, and assorted other ingredients* and preservatives.

A few slices of this cheese would add visual interest to any cheese plate.

Ingredients: Pasteurized goat's milk, sugar, partially hydrogenated coconut oil, cocoa, water, fructose, corn syrup, cherries, modified corn starch, mono and di-glycerides, salt, potassium sorbate, soy lecithin, fruit pectin, citric acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, microbial enzymes, bacterial culture, natural and artificial flavors.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Lockhart Fine Foods - Wella Bar - Peanut Cacao Chilled Organic Protein Bar - June 17, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Lockhart Fine Foods
Wella Bar - Peanut Cacao Chilled Organic Protein Bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.94 oz. (55 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 260 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.49 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Peanuts Theme Week.

Today's Wella Bar (Peanut Cacao Chilled Organic Protein Bar) was manufactured and distributed by Lockhart Fine Foods (Lockhart, TX).

This chilled gluten free bar was similar to the refrigerated Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter bar by Perfect Bar (San Diego) also featured this week. Both were quite good, and superior (in this reviewer's opinion) to virtually every protein bar on the market.

The Peanut Cacao Wella Bar was not overly sweet (the bar was sweetened with honey and maple syrup), and did not coat my teeth with a sugary coating (thank you!). It contained 11 grams of protein (dry roasted peanuts, milk protein, dried egg whites, dry roasted almonds). The cocoa powder incorporated into the bar provided added a hint of richness/chocolate flavor.






Five Star Organics - Organic Ocho PB&J bar - June 16, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Five Star Organics LLC
Organic Ocho PBandJ Bar
Good +
Weight: 1.45 oz. (41 g.) in total bar
Calories: 210 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.50 (sale) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Peanuts Theme Week.

Many of us have wished for better, healthier versions candy bars for many years. The founders of Ocho Candy had decided to create bars along these lines when they opened shop in 2011.

In a world where the imperatives of consistency and high-volume production can tilt products away from a short list of higher-quality (more expensive) ingredients, the Ocho lineup has proven that you can produce a better candy bar.

Certified gluten free, today's organic, milk chocolate covered PBandJ bar had authentic peanut butter and raspberry jam flavors and textures.




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