Thursday, November 29, 2012

Unreal Brands - Chocolate Caramel bar - November 29, 2012

Chocolate of the Day: 

Unreal Brands, Inc.
Unreal 5 - Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.6 oz. (45 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 170 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.09 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Miki's Farm Fresh Market, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Caramel Theme Week, and today's chocolate covered caramel came in bar form.

A relative newcomer (2010) to the chocolate candy market, Unreal Brands is based in Boston, MA. The company's Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar looked like an ordinary candy bar, but the company refers to their offerings as "Unjunked" -- made without artificial ingredients, preservatives, GMOs, hydrogenated oils and corn syrups frequently found in store-bought caramels and candy bars.

I enjoyed getting less of a sugar/corn syrup buzz with this Unjunked bar, as I have from other Unreal bars. My favorite Unjunked item so far has been Unreal's caramel bar with peanuts (similar to a Mars Snickers bar), but that may have more to do with my love of nuts, and preference for Snickers bars (over other bars without nuts) when I was young. I still eat a handful of nuts to help balance out sweet items.

Chocolaterie Robert - Caramelo - November 28, 2012

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolaterie Robert - Madagascar
Good - Good +
Weight: .8 oz. (22.6 g.) in 2 pieces/ 16-piece assortment box
Calories: 120 calories (estimate) in 2 pieces
Cost: $ N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift (Madagascar)

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

A big thank you to Toni and Paul for this assortment box of chocolates from Chocolaterie Robert - Madagascar (Antananarivo, Madagascar).

In cacao-growing regions, cacao beans are often shipped to other countries (like Europe or the U.S.) to be made into chocolate. Therefore, it was wonderful to taste some finished chocolates made and sold in Madagascar. Chocolaterie Robert cacao is from the Sambirano River region in Northern Madagascar.

This assortment box contained several flavors, including today's Caramelo (soft caramel with Madagascan Bourbon vanilla pod and cashew nut pieces coated with dark chocolate). Other pieces contained praline, nougatine, ginger, tamarind, brandy, and other flavors.

In sampling this chocolate, and chocolate bars, from Chocolaterie Robert (originally founded by a French couple between 1937 and 1940), I couldn't help but notice what a difference a good quality vanilla makes. Madagascar is known for its vanilla, a member of the orchid family. The sweet, floral flavor of a great Madagascan Bourbon vanilla beats the heck out of lesser substitutes. 
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