Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Potomac Chocolate - Upala Costa Rica 70% Dark + Nibs bar - July 31, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Potomac Chocolate
Upala Costa Rica 70% Dark + Nibs bar 
Good +++
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 132 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to the first day of Chocolate and Costa Rica Theme Week.

Today's Upala Costa Rica 70% Dark + Nibs bar was made by Potomac Chocolate (Woodbridge, VA).

Ben Rasmussen (chocolate maker and owner, Potomac Chocolate) produces a line of hand-crafted single origin bars in a "small workshop" in Woodbridge, VA—a small town (or, more accurately, a census-designated place) about 20 miles south of Washington, D.C., surrounded by the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers. Rasmussen was one of the the first bean-to-bar chocolatemakers in the Wash., D.C. area.*

This Upala 70% bar with nibs was made from cacao grown on Finca La Amistad, a small farm in northern Costa Rica. The two-ingredient bar (organic cacao and organic sugar) had a pleasing rich, dark aroma with a hint of dried fruit; and deep, true chocolate and red fruit (dark cherry, plum) flavor notes. The cacao nibs added a slight earthiness and crunchy texture.

The maker's description of this bar (Batch 11610) read: "Rich and earthy with notes of chocolate, caramel, nut and red fruit."

*We're not counting chocolate that was made from scratch in colonial days (e.g. in Williamsburg, VA), because much of that chocolate was in beverage or rougher, confection-like form.


Monday, July 30, 2018

This Bar Saves Lives - Chocolate Chip bar - July 30, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Bar Saves Lives
(This Kid Saves Lives)
Chocolate Chip bar
Good
Weight: 1.1 oz. (32 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 130 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.00 for 2 bars
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Just when we were ready to move on to Costa Rica Theme Week, we stumbled on another chocolate chip item. Often happens. As we live in an abundant chocolate world.

Today's Chocolate Chip with a cause* bar was from This Bar Saves Lives (Culver City, CA). It was a chewy, granola-style bar with mini chocolate chips, and coated with chocolate on one side.

*The company is helping to combat childhood malnutrition with small nutrition packs that can be given to children and families in need in Haiti and Africa.



Sunday, July 29, 2018

Enlightened - Black Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream - July 29, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Beyond Better Foods, LLC
Enlightened 
Black Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream 
Good
Weight: 1/2 cup (72 g.) / 1 Pint (473 mL) in total container
Calories: 90 calories in 1/2 cup serving
Cost: $2.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA 

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Today's Enlightened Black Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream, from Beyond Better Foods, LLC (Bronx, NY), was part of a line of low-fat ice cream pints and bars containing less sugar and more protein and fiber. Today's pint clocked in at only 360 calories (90 calories per 1/2 cup serving).

Granted, the list of ingredients was longer than some other favorite brands, but it could have been worse. Except for the carob and guar gums it looked relatively appealing. And, did I mention it included less sugar?*

The texture, taste and finish of this ice cream was quite good.

*That's a plus. It would be interesting to taste ice cream without any sweeteners. This ice cream was sweetened with erythritol and a wee bit of cane sugar.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Nature's Path Foods - Dark Chocolate Chip waffles - July 28, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Nature's Path Foods Inc.
Dark Chocolate Chip Gluten Free and Wheat Free (waffles)
Good
Weight: 3.7 oz. (105 g.) / 7.4 oz. (210 g.) total box of 6
Calories: 330 calories in 3 waffles
Cost: $4.99 (estimate) for 1 box of 6
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Today's (frozen) Dark Chocolate Chip Gluten Free waffles from Nature's Path Foods Inc. (Blaine, WA) made for an indulgent Saturday morning breakfast.*

Heated in a non-stick pan, and finished with a topping of melted chocolate (sauce), chopped almonds (and fresh peach slices on the side), these organic waffles provided a quick, delicious breakfast fuel for an adventure with friends.

*Apologies to Nature's Path. This box was squished into a full freezer; and, sadly, the box became a bit compressed at both ends.






Van's - Chocolate Chip Snack Bars, Waffles - July 27, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Van's 
Chocolate Chip chewy baked whole grain snack bars
Good
Weight: 1.2 oz. (35 g.) in one bar
Calories: 150 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $ part of a larger box
Purchased from: missing information 

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Today's Chocolate Chip chewy baked whole grain snack bar from Van's International Foods (Vernon, CA) helped power a nature walk in the baylands and a busy day at work.

Van's has offered both conventional and gluten free items (including waffles, pancakes and snack bars—some with chocolate) for many years.
  
Today's sweet, cookie-like bar was a blend of warm oat, fig and chocolate flavors with a hint of vanilla. The fig paste and concentrate added flavor and helped bind the ingredients together.










Thursday, July 26, 2018

Bart's Bakery - Chocolate Chip GF Cookies with Pecans, Walnuts - July 26, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Bart and Judy's Bakery, Inc.
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans and Walnuts
Good +
Weight: 1.13 oz. (32 g.) / 6 oz. (170 g.) in total box
Calories: 132 calories in 8 cookies
Cost: $4.99 (estimate) for 1 box of approx. 45 cookies
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Today's Extra Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans and Walnuts were from Bart and Judy's Bakery, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA).

Bart and Judy Greenhut created these bite-sized, gluten-free cookies that were relatively light and crispy-crunchy—and made richer with Belgian chocolate chips and bits of roasted nuts. The cookie base was made with butter, fresh eggs and "Bart and Judy's Proprietary Gluten Free Flour Blend."

The box contained two individually-sealed packets, permitting smaller servings while prolonging freshness.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bart's Bakery - Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - July 25, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Bart's Bakery
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Good +
Weight: 1.13 oz. (32 g.) / 6 oz. (170 g.) in total box
Calories: 132 calories in 8 cookies
Cost: $4.99 (estimate) for 1 box of approx. 45 cookies
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Today's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Bart's Bakery (Los Angeles, CA) were part of a larger product line described as "Bart and Judy's The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World."

These small cookies were relatively light and crispy-crunchy with a light peanut butter and chocolate touch. They were made with real butter, fresh eggs, "Bart and Judy's Proprietary Gluten Free Flour Blend" and Belgian chocolate chips.

At only "11 calories each" these provide a relatively light cookie snack. The box contained two individually-sealed packets, permitting smaller servings while prolonging freshness.







Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Flax4Life - Chunky Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Muffins - July 24, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Flax4Life
Chunky Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Muffins
Good +
Weight: 3.5 oz. (99 g.) / 14 oz. (396 g.) in total container or 4 muffins
Calories: 359 calories in 1 muffin
Cost: $8.99 for 1 container of 4 muffins
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate Chip Theme Week.

Today's Chunky Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Muffins hailed from Flax4Life (Bellingham, WA).

Flax4Life offers a line of chocolate and/or chocolate brownie gluten free muffins (as well as other non-chocolate flavors) with flax. They're all quite tasty. Muffins aren't necessary low calorie, but one of these is so satisfying, you won't feel like you need to eat more.

And these Flax4Life muffins with chunky chocolate chips/pieces really did taste better than most other gluten-free baked goods.





Monday, July 23, 2018

Sun-Rype - Good Bites - Chocolate Chip - July 23, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Sun-Rype Products Ltd.
Good Bites - Chocolate Chip
Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 5.3 oz. (150 g.) in total package
Calories: 120 calories in 1 serving (3 pieces)
Cost: $4.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Safeway, Danville, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week; and Day #2 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Today's Chocolate Chip Good Bites were from Sun-Rype Products Ltd. (Kelowna, B.C. Canada) and were composed of dates, seeds and chocolate chips (and cocoa powder) with a light dusting of gluten-free oat flour and traces of "natural flavor" and sea salt.*

Dates contain fiber and phytonutrients and act as a rich, moist binder for otherwise dry ingredients. However, dates are also loaded with sugars and have an almost overly intense, dried fruit sweet flavor, unless balanced with nuts, seeds, grains and/or chocolate.

Fortunately, today's compressed bites contained 4 different kinds of seeds and seed butter, and tasted well-balanced. Although the more subtle chocolate flavors were overshadowed by these other flavors.

This bar was vegan and did "not contain peanuts, tree nuts or gluten."

*Ingredients: dates, pasteurized seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia), dark chocolate chips, sunflower seed butter, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), gluten-free oat powder, apple juice concentrate, natural flavor and sea salt.



Enjoy Life - No Nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix - Mountain Mambo - July 22, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Enjoy Life Natural Foods, LLC
Not Nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix - Mountain Mambo
Good - Good +
Weight: 1/2 cup (2 oz.) / 6 oz. (170 g.) in total package
Calories: 280 calories in 2 servings
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: missing information 

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week and Day #1 of Chocolate Chip Week.

Today's Not Nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix - Mountain Mambo was from Enjoy Life Natural Foods, LLC (Chicago, IL). The satisfying trail mix style blend contained raw sunflower kernels,  roasted and hulled pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried apples, chocolate chips and cranberries.

The mini chocolate chips* added some chocolate flavor without making the mix too sweet.

When it comes to trail mixes and energy bars, not that many are made in a dedicated gluten free and nut free facility. Happily, this Enjoy Life mix was. So, those with allergies can relax and enjoy a bit more with this snack.

*The Enjoy Life brand also includes a line of chocolate chips and other chocolate-containing snack items.






Saturday, July 21, 2018

Larabar - Nut and Seed Crunchy Bar - Peanut Chocolate - July 21, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Larabar
distributed by Small Planet Foods, Inc.
Nut and Seed Crunchy Bar - Peanut Chocolate with Sprouted Chia Seeds
Good
Weight: 1.24 oz. (35 g.) / 4.96 oz. (140 g.) in total box of 4 bars
Calories: 190 calories in 1 bar 
Cost: $1.99 for 1 box of 4 bars
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA 
Welcome to Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week.

Today's Larabar Nut and Seed Crunchy Bar - Peanut Chocolate with Sprouted Chia Seeds (Product of Canada) was distributed by Small Planet Foods, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN).
This Non GMO and Gluten Free bar contained a relatively short list of ingredients: Peanuts, honey, sprouted chia seeds, cacao nibs, maple sugar, almonds, coconut oil, cocoa powder and sea salt.

The bar had a naturally sweet flavor, a crunchy, chewy, slightly seedy texture with hints of nuts (peanuts, almonds) and chocolate. The maker's use of sprouted chia seeds seemed to make these resilient seeds a bit easier to consume and digest. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Tosi - Cappuccino Crunch Almond SuperBites - July 20, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Tosi
Cappuccino Crunch Almond SuperBites
Good
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.6 oz. (73.7 g.) in total package
Calories: 156 calories in 1/2 package
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1/2 package
Purchased from: Transit Center Cafe, Presidio, San Francisco, CA

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

Today's Cappuccino Crunch Almond Super Bites were from Tosi (Tustin/Anaheim, CA).

The bar broke off into even, rectangular pieces or bites, that had a pleasantly sweet (not too sweet, thank you) seedy crunchiness, with hints of coffee and chocolate.










Thursday, July 19, 2018

barkThins - Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt - July 19, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

barkThins
(manufactured by Ripple Brand Collective, LLC)
Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt
Good +
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 4.7 oz. (133 g.) in total bar
Calories: 230 calories in 1 serving 
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 package
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week. Most of the seed items in this year's seed week seem to contain pumpkin seeds. More pumpkin seeds are being used with chocolate and energy bar items; however,  this finding was also linked to what was available in local shops that I hadn't tried before.

Pumpkins originated in the Americas; however most pumpkin seeds are now from pumpkins grown in China.*

Today's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt from barkThins were manufactured for Ripple Brand Collective, LLC (New York, NY). The brand was acquired by Hershey in 2016.

A generous helping of dry roasted and salted pumpkin seeds were embedded in slim sheets of dark chocolate. The seeds gave this bark a satisfying crunch and contributed a seed flavor and aftertaste.

*Pumpkins are now grown on every continent but Antarctica. While China is likely the top producer of pumpkin seeds; Ukraine, India, the U.S. and Mexico are also significant producers.








Wednesday, July 18, 2018

R.e.d.d. - Chocolate Superfood Energy Bar - July 18, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

R.e.d.d.
Chocolate Superfood Energy Bar
Good
Weight: 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total package
Calories: 220 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: REI, Mountain View, CA

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

Today's Chocolate Superfood Energy Bar was from R.e.d.d.* (Portland, ME). This protein + energy + vitamin + mineral bar contained a long list of ingredients, including plant/mostly fruit extracts and powders, and yerba mate extract that contained caffeine.

Busy people presumably have a more difficult to find time to cook a healthy meal from scratch. Enter the legion of protein and energy bars on the market, including this one.

This gluten free bar claimed to be 3 products in 1: protein bar + energy shot (1/3 cup coffee) + multi-vitamin. It contained "10 grams of protein, 19 vitamins + minerals, and 35+ grams of natural caffeine," and seeds.

The number one ingredient listed was a Redd vegan protein blend (pumpkin seed protein powder and pea powder) ...followed by agave syrup and oats. The bar also contained organic chia seeds.

The chocolate came in the form of dark chocolate and cocoa powder.

* R.e.d.d. stands for Research Enhanced Design + Development.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Off The Farm - Chocolate Fudge - July 17, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Off the Farm
Dark Chocolate Fudge
Good
Weight: 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 290 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.35 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Market, Pebble Beach, CA

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

Today's Chocolate Fudge bar was from Off the Farm (Palo Cedro, CA), a company created by a group of family and friends interested in producing a line of healthy bars and offerings that would be good for the planet.

This nutrition bar was packed with fruit (dates and apples), nuts (almonds and cashews), and four different kinds of seeds: sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and chia.

The dark chocolate in this gluten free, vegan and Non-GMO bar came from chocolate chunks and cocoa powder; and slightly chewy fudge bar contained 7 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.













Monday, July 16, 2018

Flax 4 Life - Chocolate Brownie + bourbon ice cream, whiskey nibs - July 16, 2018

Chocolate of the Day:

Flax 4 Life
Chocolate Brownie (muffin)
Good ++
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33 g.) / 14 oz. (396 g.) in total container
Calories: 140 calories in 1 muffin
Cost: $4.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week; and Day #1 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week.

Today's mini-muffin shaped Chocolate Brownie from Flax 4 Life (Bellingham, WA) was part dessert and part health-food. (The number one dry ingredient was ground flax seeds.)

Sadly, we may have neutralized some of the health benefits by pairing this cute and delicious muffin with a shot of Bourbon Maple Blondie ice cream sprinkled with whiskey-soaked cacao nibs. The nibs helped add flavor depth and texture and helped balance the creamy, caramel sweetness of the ice cream. Cheers.



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Timothy Adams - Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac chocolates - July 15, 2018

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Timothy Adams Chocolates
Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac chocolates
Good ++, Good ++ and Good +++
Weight: .39 (11 g.) (estimate) x 3 = 1.17 oz. (33 g.) in 3 pieces
Calories: 175.5 calories (estimate) in 3 pieces
Cost: $7.50 (estimate) for 3 pieces
Purchased from: Timothy Adams, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

Today's trio of dark chocolate truffles (Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac) were created by Timothy Adams Chocolates (Palo Alto, CA).

Each had a 58% creamy filling infused with the spirit of choice, and was covered in a 72% dark chocolate shell.

All three flavors were worth sampling. And a side-by-side, blind tasting was enjoyable and informative.




Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ben and Jerry's - Urban Bourbon Ice Cream - July 14, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream
Urban Bourbon Ice Cream
Good - Good+
Weight: 1/2 cup (109 g.) / 1 Pint (473 mL) in total container
Calories: 300 calories in 1/2 cup serving
Cost: $2.50 (sale) for 1 container
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

There was a lot going in today's Ben and Jerry's Urban Bourbon Ice Cream. Imagine alternating flashes of toasted caramel, coconut, almonds, chocolate (fudge flakes) and bourbon—all packed into a cold, rich ice cream breakfast.

This ice cream contained enough sugar and spirits to fuel a trip into the urban San Francisco and—at 300 calories for a single (1/2 cup) serving—keep hunger at bay until lunchtime.

Note to gluten free eaters, this Urban Bourbon ice cream is probably not gluten free. In between the cocoa powder and the guar gum in the ingredients list was dry malt extract (barley).


Friday, July 13, 2018

Chocolate Tree - Whisky Nibs 70% bar - July 13, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Tree
Whisky Nibs 70% bar
Good+
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.8 oz. (80 g.) in total bar
Calories: 196 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey* Theme Week.

Today's Whisky Nibs 70% bar was from Chocolate Tree (Dunbar, Scotland). The presence of spirits was unmistakable in this five-ingredient dark bar (cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, cacao nibs (10%), whisky (6%)). 

The makers selected cacao nibs from the Maranon Canyon in Peru; and these nibs were soaked in single malt Scotch whisky from Islay, an island known for whisky with peaty flavor notes. These nibs were then blended with cacao from the same origin (Peru) to make 70% cacao dark chocolate—two individually-wrapped bars in today's package.

The nibs provided some texture as well as boozy, authentic whisky flavor and aroma.

*You say whisky, I say whiskey...Which spelling is correct? The spelling differences are largely regional; but they are also tied to pride of origin and specific product classifications as well. E.g., the Scots use "whisky" without an "e" and Scotch whisky (usually made with malted barley) is made in Scotland, whereas the Irish refer to Irish "whiskey" with an "e." You may find both spellings in the U.S. However, Bourbon Whiskey (with an "e") refers to a specific whiskey made in the U.S., generally in Kentucky (from corn).




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ritual Chocolate - Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% bar - July 12, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% Cacao bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

This Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% Cacao bar "crafted at 7,000 feet" by Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT) managed to attain an ideal state: a creamy, smooth texture and complex, rich flavor.

To get a creamier texture or mouth-feel, a chocolate maker usually conches or grinds cacao for a longer period of time, achieving a finer particle size. However, in doing so, more volatile flavors can be lost during this process. This chocolate was made using a special (Mid Mountain) house blend of cacao beans from different origins.

Today's complex, well-balanced dark chocolate bar contained flavor notes of cherry and vanilla—but not just flat, dime store vanillin in alcohol. Rather, it was an earthy, faintly smokey, authentic ground vanilla bean vanilla, from Madagascar. High-quality Bourbon* vanilla from Madagascar-grown beans is much prized. 

*The term "Bourbon vanilla" does not involve any whiskey. Instead it refers to vanilla beans (orchid Vanilla planifolia) originally from the Americas, that were (like cacao and other crops) taken to be cultivated in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. (One of these colonial islands was once known as Ile Bourbon.) Bourbon vanilla is slightly different than Mexican vanilla and quite a bit different than Tahitian vanilla (which is more aromatically floral).

Ritual Chocolate - Bourbon Barrel Aged 75% bar - July 11, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Bourbon Barrel Aged 75% Cacao bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $18.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's Bourbon Barrel Aged 75% Cacao bar from Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT) was made from a blend of cacao nibs that were aged in High West Distillery* bourbon whiskey barrels for several months.

This 75% Cacao dark chocolate bar had a dark chocolate and slight bourbon aroma. The vegan,  relatively thin, bar had an even, smooth melt—and a complex, smooth and uniform dark chocolate flavor with notes of coffee, very slightly smokey, bourbon-soaked fruit (mild cherry), light oak and honey, and a slight nuttiness.

The bar came with this evocative tasting suggestion: "Best enjoyed alongside an alpine babbling brook with a flask of your favorite whiskey."

*Based in Park City/Salt Lake City (Utab), the High West Distillery is a "ski-in gastro-distillery." Their Old Town Park City mountain location (approx. 7,000 ft. in elevation) is based at the bottom of "Quittin' Time" ski run near the Town Lift. 





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Lake Champlain - Filled Bourbon Caramel bar - July 10, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Lake Champlain
Filled Bourbon Caramel bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 3.25 oz. (92 g.) in total bar
Calories: 425 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.69 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

Today's Filled Bourbon Caramel Dark Milk bar was from Lake Champlain Chocolates (Burlington, VT). 

Made with dark milk 43% cocoa dark milk chocolate, this bar was a bit sweet, but over the course of one day and evening, I still managed to eat the whole bar.

Vermont-crafted Mad River Distiller's bourbon added a tasty accent flavor to the soft caramel filling and helped balance the sweetness.






Monday, July 9, 2018

Wella Bar - Hazelnut Cacao Chilled Organic Protein Bar - July 9, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Wella Bar
Hazelnut Cacao Chilled Organic Protein Bar
Good +
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 11.2 oz. (320 g.) in total box of 8 bars
Calories: 190 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $24.00 for 1 box of 8 bars (approx. $3.00 each)
Purchased from: Wella Bar, online order 
Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Honey Theme Week.

Refrigerated protein and energy bars with honey seem to be enjoying a surge in popularity this year. Today's Wella Bar Hazelnut Cacao Chilled Organic Protein Bar was distributed by Lockhart Fine Foods (Lockhart, TX).

The company produces a line of chilled, honey-sweetened, protein bars, including some with chocolate—mixed with nuts/nut butters.

The number one ingredient in this gluten-free bar was organic hazelnut butter (dry roasted hazelnuts, cashew butter, sunflower oil, coconut oil). The number two ingredient was organic honey.

And, speaking of honey, the Wella Bar website included information about bees and the Bee Kind Initiative, and included the reminder that 1 out of 3 bites of our food is linked to the pollination work that bees do for us.

The bar contained 8 grams of protein, and was relatively low in sodium (20 mg).




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