Wednesday, February 21, 2018

L'Amourette Chocolatier - Criollo Grenada Fine Estate 75% bar - Feb. 21, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

L'Amourette Chocolat LLC
Criollo Single Origin Grenada Fine Estate 75% bar
Good++ - Good+++
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 172 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $7.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Draeger's, Los Altos, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate, Enchanted Islands and Pirates Theme Week.

Today's Gold Limited Edition Criollo Single Origin Grenada Fine Estate 75% bar was made by Andre V and team at L'Amourette Chocolat LLC (San Francisco, CA).

Criollo cacao beans handled properly offer wonderful delicate, complex flavor notes. This 75% cacao Criollo bar had a lighter, more delicate fruit profile than most 75% chocolate bars. Think peach vs. dark berry fruit notes, with a touch of sweet, creamy coffee au lait.

Today's single origin bar contained just two ingredients: Criollo Grenada cocoa beans and organic sugar. And this chocolate was soy free, gluten free and vegan to boot.





The Grenada Chocolate Co. - 100% Cacao bar - Feb. 20, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

The Grenada Chocolate Company
100% Cacao bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $13.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Enchanted Islands and Pirates Theme Week.

Today's 100% Cacao bar  from The Grenada Chocolate Company (Grenada) was made in the same country ("in-country" or "on island" in this case) where the cacao was grown. This pioneering tree-to-bar company was found in 1999.

The thick chocolate bar had a slightly graduated melt and texture (thick and creamy, then almost gummy, with a very slightly granular finish).

The dairy free, gluten free, nut free and organic bar had a subtle dark chocolate aroma, and (as one would expect from a 100% cacao bar with no sugar) some bold, dark taste with acidic/tart/sour and bitter notes, and no real "off" notes.







Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Chocolat Bonnat - Ceylan 75% Chocolat Noir bar - Feb. 19, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolat Bonnat
Ceylan 75% Chocolat Noir (Dark Chocolate) bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: .7 oz. (20 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 105 calories (estimate) in 1/5 bar
Cost: $13.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Enchanted Islands and Pirates Theme Week.

Today's Ceylan 75% Cacao Chocolat Noir (Dark Chocolate) bar was made by Chocolat Bonnat (Voiron, France) and distributed by Custom Source LLC (Worcester, MA).

Every Bonnat dark chocolate bar I recall tasting has had a luscious buttery, creamy texture. This gluten free bar made with cacao beans grown in Ceylan* was no exception. It had a faint sweet leather aroma note, a rich, full chocolatey flavor, a faint sour cherry note and a slightly bittersweet finish. 
Tasting notes described this Ceylan bar has having Asian flavors. Not sure what that meant exactly. I didn't pick up any spice or other notes I associated with SE Asia chocolate or cuisine.

*The name Ceylan (Ceylon) is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, south of India. 

The people of this island have felt the presence of European nations: first, the Portuguese in the early 1500s and then the Dutch (Dutch India Company), before falling under British rule from 1815 to 1948. 

The British brought a variety of plantation crops to grow on the island, including tea, rubber, coffee and presumably cacao. Ceylon became known for its lush tea plantations under British rule. Were it not for labor practices there, more of the people might have experienced its enchanted isle status. 

Concerns over foreign powers, and pirates in the Indian Ocean, have been a part of the region for some time. In the early 1940s Japan was said to have designs on Ceylon. And occasional incidents of piracy (e.g., raids on commercial/trading ships) in the surrounding seas continue to the present decade.

The country eventually re-gained its independence; and in 1972, it became the Republic of Sri Lanka. Ceylon has continued to be influenced by India, China and other larger trading partners as they participate in the global economy, with exports like tea, textiles, rice and other agricultural products, like cacao.









Sunday, February 18, 2018

Chocolat Bonnat - Dark Chocolate Haiti 75% Cacao bar - Feb. 18, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolat Bonnat 
Dark Chocolate Haiti 75% Cacao bar
Very Good
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 175 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $16.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Enchanted Islands and Pirates Theme Week.

Today's Haiti 75% Cacao Dark Chocolate bar from Chocolat Bonnat (Voiron, France). This product of France was distributed by Custom Source LLC (Worcester, MA).


This chocolate had dried fruit and light spice notes. Like other Chocolat Bonnat bars, this three-ingredient (cocoa beans, cocoa butter, sugar) bar had buttery, creamy texture, and a pleasing finish.

Tasting notes on the packaging included this semi-awkwardly translated description: "...this rich and fragrant cocoa offers very chocolate flavors sliding toward a tangy citrus edge."

Perhaps the Republic of Haiti was once an enchanted isle in the distant past. It's easy to forget slavery and the violent side of piracy. Privateer Henry Morgan and other pirates once plied the waters and Morgan worked with the French. Ultimately, one positive historic development that grew out of that era was that the French brought cacao to Haiti in the early 1700s.

And, a few hundred year later, we are enjoying chocolate made from cacao raised and harvested by Haitian cacao farmers. Hurricane Matthew (2016) notwithstanding, the cacao production has been growing in recent years. Today's bar is a positive sign of what might be.

*Haiti is the western half of larger island that is Hispaniola. The eastern half is the Dominican Republic. Haitian cacao represents a fraction of the total cacao production from the total island that is Haiti and the Dominican Republic; but this may grow in the future with organizations like PISA (See yesterday's entry for more on PISA.)






Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Smooth Chocolator - 70% Cacao Haiti bar - Feb. 17, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Smooth Chocolator
70% Cacao Haiti bar 
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Enchanted Islands and Pirates Theme Week.

Pirates of many ilk have sailed the seas around many island nations, including Australia and Haiti (formerly Tortuga). These two islands (OK one is an island continent) are also linked to today's chocolate.

Cocoa was planted in Haiti about 300 years ago, and may or may not have been part of pirate plunder; but it is a valuable crop in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. While not a lot of cacao grows in Australia, there are a handful of great chocolate makers there.

Today's dark, single origin 70% Cacao Haiti bar was made by The Smooth Chocolator, a small batch craft chocolate company in Geelong, Australia—using cocoa beans from PISA* in North Haiti.

This dark bar had dried fruit, chocolate, light spice/licorice and citrus notes. Tasting notes on the package read: "Grapefruit, Tobacco, Licorice."

The chocolate had a smooth even melt, and a very slightly granular texture. The finish was light and relatively fresh and attenuated fairly quickly.

*Produits Des Iles SA (PISA) is a relatively new cacao processor and exporter in North Haiti. The organization works with hundreds of cacao farmers, and has pledged to improve post harvest handling practices, which will produce higher quality cacao and, one hopes, a better market for farmers as well.




Friday, February 16, 2018

Pirate Brands - Chocolate Granola Fruit Coins - Feb. 16, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Pirate Brands, LLC
Chocolate Granola Fruit Coins
Good 
Weight: .8 oz. (23 g.) / 4 oz. (115 g.) in total box of 5 bags
Calories: 80 calories in 1 bag 
Cost: $1.99 for 1 box of 5 bags
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA 
Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate, Enchanted Islands and Pirates Theme Week.

These pirate-themed Chocolate Granola Fruit Coins—made in Canada and distributed by Pirate Brands, LLC (Parsippany, NJ)—were small compressed disks made of dates, raisins, oats, chocolate chips, dried coconut and quinoa. Each coin had a denomination (number) stamped on it. (Date doubloons?)

"Thar be chewy!" the pirate on the label advised. Aye, indeed they were, in a good way. The oats and quinoa helped give these snack pieces shape, and balanced out the sweetness from the dates and raisins. And the chocolate chips lent a rich flavor that tied together fruit and grain ingredients.

These fruit granola snack pieces contained "no artificial colors, preservatives or flavorings."

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Go Max Go - Thumbs Up Candy Bar - Feb. 15, 2018

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Go Max Go Foods LLC

Thumbs Up candy bar
Good
Weight: 1.3 oz. (37 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 160 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.39 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Buccaneer candy bar
Good
Weight: 2.0 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 230 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.39 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to the first day of Chocolate, Enchanted Islands and Pirates Theme Week.

Today's "Thumbs Up" and "Buccaneer" candy bars were distributed by Go Max Go Foods LLC (Santa Fe, NM).

First, a quick digression. A big Thumbs Up to all the athletes competing in this week's Winter Olympics in Korea this week.

The gluten free, vegan Thumbs Up candy bar was reminiscent of a Nestle Butterfinger bar, with a crunchy, "peanut buttery" center. Though similar, this bar had a slightly simpler ingredient list, and claimed to be made with "nothing artificial."

The second, Buccaneer, candy bar was featured on ChocolateBanquet.com (this site) a few years ago, but it was too pirate-like not to include again this week alongside its candy bar sibling. It had a creamy, almost fluffy, gooey-sweet nougat filling. (Think Mars Milky Way or 3 Musketeers bar.)

Both Go Max Go bars had a "chocolatey" coating which did contain cocoa powder, if you're wondering. The Buccaneer was bit too sweet for me, but pirates with a sweet tooth may enjoy this bar.




Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lula's Chocolates - Marshmallow Treat Dark Chocolate Valentine heart

Chocolate of the Day: 

Lula's Chocolates
Marshmallow Treat Dark Chocolate (Valentine Heart )
Good +
Weight: unknown
Calories: unknown 
Cost: $6.50 for 1 package/heart
Purchased from: Lula's Chocolates, Crossroads Shopping Center, Carmel, CA

Happy Valentines Day to all who celebrate!

Today's heart-shaped, marshmallow-filled dark chocolate beauty, from Lula's Chocolates (Monterey, CA), was a perfect way to celebrate.

A fluffy, fresh-tasting marshmallow filling was encased in a generously-sized, dark chocolate heart decorated with pink decorative sugar icing. All this was wrapped in a clear wrapper with a red ribbon bow. 







The GFB - Gluten Free Bar - Chocolate Peanut Butter - Feb. 13, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

The GFB - Gluten Free Bar
Chocolate Peanut Butter bar
Good
Weight: 2.05 oz. (58 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 240 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $ missing information for 1 bar
Purchased from: missing information

Kirkland
Signature Nut bar with cocoa drizzle, sea salt
Good
Weight: 1.41 oz. (40 g.) in total bar
Calories: 211 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $ N/A (may only be available in box of 30 bars)
Purchased from: N/A - from work

Welcome to Day #13 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Peanuts are legumes and not true nuts; but they're part of this theme week anyway, because of their nutty flavor.

Today's first of two items, the Chocolate Peanut Butter snack bar from the folks at The GFB - Gluten Free Bar (Grand Rapids, Michigan) had a nutty flavor and heft.*

The first ingredient listed was: "virginia peanuts," followed by organic brown rice syrup and organic dates. The "heft" in this dense, chewy (and a little crunchy) bar could be measured: 12 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.

Some of the best gluten free chocolate items, have come from founders who have food challenges themselves. The GFB - Gluten Free Bar was founded by two brothers who steer clear of gluten. This bar was gluten free, vegan Non-GMO Project Certified and soy free.

The "gluten free" part of this company brand matters. It's comforting to have a few go-to brands that someone with wheat issues can rely on without fear of having some kind of reaction. I felt so comforted I forgot I'd already tasted/featured this bar three years ago. Thus, the second item featured below.

Kirkland Signature Nut Bar


Today's second item was a Kirkland* Signature Nut Bar with almonds, cashews and walnuts with a cocoa drizzle and sea salt.

This bar was crunchy and satisfying. The nuts helped balance out the sweet. And the touch of sea salt made this a very appealing mid-afternoon snack.

*Kirkland is a brand that can be found at Costco stores. Product picture at right is from Costco website.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Second Nature Snacks - Dark Chocolate Medley with nuts - Feb. 12, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Second Nature Snacks Company
Dark Chocolate Medley
Good - Good +
Weight: 2 oz. (57 g.) / 12 oz. (340 g.) in total package
Calories: 320 calories in 2 servings
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #12 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week. Chocolate "weeks" frequently extend beyond seven days as new chocolate items are discovered.

For example, today's Dark Chocolate Medley "nut lover's blend" from Second Nature Snacks Company (Madison Heights, MI) suddenly popped up on the shelves of a local store, and seemed perfect for this Chocolate and Nuts Week.

This Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten free mix was a nicely balanced blend of dark chocolate squares (large enough so that you could taste the chocolate) and crunchy nuts: almonds, cashews and pecans.

While not suitable for those with nut allergies, this snack mix was made by a company that seemed mindful of ingredients and supply chains. And, it was relatively low in sodium (35 mg. in a single 1 oz. serving).







Good and Delish - Dark Chocolate Almonds - Feb. 11, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Good and Delish
Dark Chocolate Almonds
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total package
Calories: 150 calories in 1/2 package
Cost: $1.99 (estimate) for 1 package
Purchased from: Walgreens

Welcome to Day #11 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Good and Delish Chocolate Almonds were not picked from a tree. Rather the package they were in was plucked off a shelf at Walgreens; but it is nice to think that both almonds and cacao came from a tree originally.*

Glossy, thick dark chocolate shells contained roasted almonds; and the chocolates had a slightly bittersweet, roasted flavor.

*Besides almonds and cacao seeds/beans, other plant-related ingredients in this product included vanilla, corn, soy. 

The remaining ingredient was confectioners glaze: the substance that creates a shiny protective coating on many candy items. Some of this ingredient (commonly used for candy and to coat pills, and classified as"generally recognized as safe") comes from a resin that certain beetles leave on trees. 



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Larabar - Chocolate Coconut Chew bar - Feb.10, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Small Planet Foods, Inc.
Larabar - Chocolate Coconut Chew bar
Good
Weight: 1.6 oz. (45 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 210 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $0.79 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Today's Larabar Chocolate Coconut Chew bar was distributed by Small Planet Foods, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN). The bar was part of a line of Larabar fruit and nut bars.

This 5-ingredient, compressed bar was quite sweet. The first ingredient listed was "dates;" and dates do have a certain concentrated fruity intensity to them. But, those that like dates, or prefer fruit and fiber over sugar,  may applaud this choice.

The remaining four ingredients were: almonds, walnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, and unsweetened coconut.













Nature's Path Foods - Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Hot Oatmeal - Feb. 9, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Nature's Path Foods Inc.
Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Hot Oatmeal
Good
Weight: 1.94 oz. (58 g.) in 1 container (dry)
Calories: 220 calories in 1 container
Cost: $0.79 (estimate) for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Today's Dark Cinnamon Pecan Hot Oatmeal was from Nature's Path Foods Inc. (Blaine, WA).

Hot oatmeal is a good, hearty cereal for breakfast.* Pecan pieces gave this hot cereal an even more robust and slightly chewy, soft crunchy texture.

The fair trade dark chocolate chunks melted with the addition of hot water, and contributed background cocoa flavor and color. A small handful of pecans we happened to have on hand amped up the nut flavor and texture.

*Most items on Chocolate Banquet are sampled in the morning, and sometimes re-sampled later in the day. 



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ghirardelli - Cashew Crescendo Dark Chocolate bar - Feb. 8, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Intense Dark - Cashew Crescendo bar
Good
Weight: 1.75 oz. (50 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 237.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $3.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: CVS/Pharmacy

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Today's Intense Dark - Cashew Crescendo bar from Ghirardelli Chocolate (San Leandro, CA) was a "blend of dark chocolate, roasted cashews and coarse crystals of sea salt...a combination of salty and crunchy."

Yes, that is a pretty good summary. I can't top that.

The dark chocolate bar* had a slight, roasted bittersweet, yet fairly uniform flavor.

Take a bite and you'll see several pieces of cashew; however, as is often the case with this tropical nut, the mild cashew flavor was all but eclipsed by the chocolate.

*Ingredients: sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cashews, cocoa butter, milk fat, sea salt, soy lecithin, vanilla









Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Arete - The Halston Block - Dark Milk Chocolate Piedmont Gianduia Bar - Feb. 7, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Arete Fine Chocolate
The Halston Block - Dark Milk Chocolate Piedmont Gianduia Bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 2.25 oz. (62.5 g.) / 4.5 oz. (125 g.) in total bar
Calories: 337 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $25.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Today's "The Halston Block - Dark Milk Chocolate Piedmont Gianduia Bar" was crafted by Arete Fine Chocolate (Milpitas, CA*).

Was it worth paying $5.55 USD per ounce (20 cents per gram) for a high-end, well-crafted chocolate bar with Piedmont hazelnuts? Short answer: yes, it was.

The word "Arete" means excellence, and a striving for high ideals. David and Leslie Senk are making chocolate from scratch with exacting standards, and have won awards for their gianduia chocolate and single origin bars.

Today's relatively heavy, ingot-shaped bar was swaddled in a gold foil inner wrapper, and had a rich, dark chocolate aroma with dried fruit notes.

Best served sliced, each piece or bite, had a smooth dark milk coating and had a smooth dense interior with flecks of hazelnut.

This bar had a satisfying melt and a flavorful dark milk chocolate base, balanced with high-quality hazelnut flavor. 

*Arete Fine Chocolate is in the process of moving their chocolate making operation from California to Tennessee (end of April 2018). The Halston Block (building) bar name is related to the name of their new location. Their bars will continue to be available online and in special chocolate places like The Chocolate Garage in Palo Alto, CA.

** An ingot is a pure material, usually a valuable metal, cast into a bar or brick shape.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Chobani flip - Almond Coco Loco - Feb. 6, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chobani, LLC
Chobani Flip - Almond Coco Loco
Good
Weight: 5.3 oz. (150 g.) in total container
Calories: 230 calories in 1 container
Cost: $0.69 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Today's  Chobani flip* Almond Coco Loco Greek yogurt was from Chobani, LLC (New Berlin, NY).

Coconut low-fat (1.5 % milkfat) Greek yogurt was paired with pieces of honey roasted salted almonds and dark chocolate.

This coconut yogurt was not quite as sweet as its caramel yogurt and peanut milk chocolate sibling (featured yesterday). I liked today's blend of coconut, almonds and dark chocolate a bit better than the peanut caramel and milk chocolate.

This Greek coconut yogurt, like its caramel sibling, was less tangy (than conventional, non-Greek style yogurt)—allowing the flavors to harmonize more smoothly. (Overly tangy yogurt pulls me out of the tasting experience.)

*The flip in the Chobani flip name referred to the bending and flipping over of a smaller compartment (of milk chocolate and peanut pieces) into a larger yogurt compartment. The peanuts likely stay crunchier this way.

Chobani flip - Peanut Caramel Satisfaction - Feb. 5, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chobani, LLC
Chobani Flip - Peanut Caramel Satisfaction
Good
Weight: 5.3 oz. (150 g.) in total container
Calories: 200 calories in 1 container
Cost: $0.69 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

This week we have two more yogurt with chocolate entries, starting with today's Chobani flip* Peanut Caramel Satisfaction Greek yogurt from Chobani LLC (New Berlin, NY).


Caramel low-fat (1.5 % milkfat) Greek yogurt was paired with roasted peanuts, milk chocolate and "chewy caramel bits."

Ole! Was this the milk chocolate and caramel candy of the yogurt world? Fortunately not. It was sweet, but not that sweet.

And, it was less tangy (than conventional, non-Greek style yogurt)—allowing this yogurt to harmonize more smoothly with the other flavors/inclusions.

*The flip in the Chobani flip name referred to the bending and flipping over of a smaller compartment (of milk chocolate and peanut pieces) into a larger yogurt compartment. The peanuts likely stay crunchier this way.



Sunday, February 4, 2018

Nature Delivered - Graze Deconstructed Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cookie - Feb. 4, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Nature Distributed Inc.
Graze - Deconstructed Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cookie 
Good
Weight: 1.3 oz. (38 g.) (per label) in total package
Calories: 210 calories in 1 package
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Today's Graze Deconstructed Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cookie offering from Nature Delivered Inc. (Jersey City, NJ) was an interesting snack mix. 

It contained a fair amount of salt and sugar (present in most snacks). For this reason, I hesitate calling this a healthy snack mix. 

The mix included baked salted peanuts, Belgian milk chocolate buttons; salted caramel pieces, chocolate cookie pieces and pumpkin seeds; and it was free of gluten-containing ingredients.





Saturday, February 3, 2018

Theo Chocolate - Coconut Salted Almond - Coconut Bites - Feb. 3, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Theo Chocolate
Coconut Salted Almond - coconut bites
Good
Weight: 1.3 oz. (36 g.) in total package
Calories: 200 calories in 1 package of 2 pieces
Cost: $1.66 for 1 package (3 for $5.00)
Purchased from: Whole Foods Market, Los Altos, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Nuts Theme Week.

Coconut, almond and chocolate blends have been staples in the chocolate candy bar world for decades. We grew up with Almond Joy* candy bars.

Today's Coconut Salted Almond Coconut Bites from Theo Chocolate (Seattle, WA) might be considered an updated, dark chocolate version of that bar.

Made with organic and fair trade** ingredients, this palm free and soy free, 2-piece bar had a slightly chewy, sweet (Non-GMO corn syrup, cane sugar) shredded coconut filling, but the dark chocolate and almond bits (and a faint hint of salt) helped balance the sweetness.

*The Almond Joy candy bar, packaged as two pieces had a coconut filling, topped with almonds and covered by milk chocolate. This bar was introduced after World War II (after ingredient shortages abated) by the Peter Paul Manufacturing Co., which later become part of Schweppes-Cadbury. And, skipping over some history here, the Almond Joy brand eventually became part of The Hershey Company. 

**Contained 57% Fair Trade Ingredients

Natures Warehouse - Nutwit bar - Feb. 2, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Natures Warehouse
Nutwit bar
Good
Weight: 2 oz. (56.7 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 270 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $0.69 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

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

Chocolate pairs well with all kinds of nuts and nut-like legumes (such as peanuts). Today's

Nutwit organic and gluten free chocolate candy bar was from Natures Warehouse. And it was full of peanuts. The relatively thick, sweet milk chocolate shell, adorned with a sunburst pattern on one side, was filled with flowing caramel, peanuts and peanut butter nougat.

This bar was  bit sweet too sweet for some of our tasters, but it did have a much simpler and presumably better** ingredient list than many candy bars.

**Gluten free and organic are "better" here at Chocolate Banquet--as are shorter ingredient lists with fewer artificial and processed ingredients.




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