lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon, Cayenne & Cherries

Where bought: Foods For Living

Aroma: Ahhhhh.

Texture: Solid, chomps well.

Taste: Cayenne bites the tongue before anything else even registers. And keeps on biting. A little zing in chocolate can be fun, but this is napalm. It's overwhelming every other flavor -- I think the cherries are trying to fight through, but they're not making it -- and my mouth is still burning ten minutes later.

Overall: Actively unpleasant. Would *not* buy again, and may not finish bar.

ETA: I tried another piece a few days later, hoping the flavor balance would have improved with time; if anything, the cayenne's even worse. Tossing the remainder.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Donckels Belgian Truffles Cocoa Dusted

Where bought: Sam's Club

Oh, my god.

Aroma is subtle; on opening the bag, you don't know what you're in for.

Texture is perfect; firm, but on first bite, the truffle crumbles away under your teeth like the chocolate equivalent of perfectly-tender fish. Enough chew to feel satisfying, but not one iota more effort than necessary between you and exquisitely melty goodness.

Taste: The first ones out of the package are merely good; like other truffles I have known, the flavor gets stronger once they've had a chance to oxidize. But once it does, whoo boy. I've described these elsewhere as utterly deadly killer chocolate, and I stand by it. Slightly bitter bite from the unseasoned cocoa dusting as it first touches your tongue, followed by a mouth-filling intensity of dark-but-sweet chocolate. Damn. It's a good thing just a few are so very satisfying, because otherwise I would happily eat myself sick on them.

Did I mention they come three 1-pound boxes to a package?

These were a seasonal item at Sam's, and boy, do I hope they're back again next year.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Blackberry Sage

Where bought: Foods For Living

Aroma: Sour/tart, with an underlying unpleasant tang.

Texture: Solid, chomps well, melts nicely.

Taste: Hmm. Savory chocolate. Well, the blackberry part is good.

Overall: Interesting, I'm glad I tried it, but don't need to have it again.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt (55%)

Where bought: Foods For Living (They keep having sales....)

Packaging includes lots of information about their ingredients come from (all small farmers/fair trade), sustainable packaging, and what coffee to pair with your chocolate.

Aroma: Oh, wow. Cocoa liqueur straight to the back-brain.

Bar is hard to snap pieces off. Texture is *very* crunchy. Chocolate melts slowly but smoothly around large proportion of crunchy bits.

I'm not really getting much taste of caramel, though there is a nice richness that's probably attributable to the toffee-like bits. Occasional bursts of salt when I hit a larger chunk of salt. Chocolate itself is full, deep, but perhaps a little overwhelmed by the other players.

Overall: Good. Not perfect, but I'd be curious to try other flavors from the same company.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Nutty Steph's Pink Peppercorn Ecuadorian Chocolate (71%)

Grown wild in the woods, according to the shiny silver & pink packaging.

Where bought: Marshall's, I think?

Aroma is sharp, slightly tart, not deep.

Texture has a brittle snap when I bite in. Melts nicely after a few chomps.

Quite a cornucopia of flavors here. Harsh bite from the peppercorns, little bursts of tartness from the lemon, something else that I'm attributing to the rosemary. The chocolate itself is a pleasantly bitter dry dark.

Overall: Interesting. Definitely not something I'd want on a regular basis, but quite enjoyable as a change of pace.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Hagensborg Wild Boar Madagascar Single Origin 64%

Where Bought: Marshall's

Like the last Hagensborg, amusingly-shaped bar and cute packaging. (Love the boar going wild.)

Aroma is sharp and bitter.

Texture is smooth and soft, chews easily and melts well.

Flavor is sharp, almost tart, but surprisingly pleasant. (I think this is what the Green & Black 85% was going for but missed.) There's an underlying sweetness that makes it very appealing, more so the more I eat.

Overall: Not something I'd want every day, but definitely wouldn't mind having again.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Hammond's Pigs N' Taters

Where Bought: Cracker Barrel

Aroma is weird; bacon and potato chips and chocolate half-cancel each other out, so there isn't much smell and what there is can't decide if it should be sweet or savory.

Smooth melty chocolate with lots of crunchy crispy bacon- and chip-bits.

Flavor.... I'm not sure what the flavor is. Bits and chocolate seem to be half-cancelling each other out again. Nice salty aftertaste, though.

Overall: It's not bad, and the housemate quite likes it. Probably get some again, if only to try to figure out what I think of it. Would certainly try other flavors by the same brand.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Dagoba Lavender Blueberry (59%)

Where Bought: Foods For Living

Lovely tangy aroma; the lavender and blueberry scents mix nicely.

Hard to bite, a little flaky in the mouth (the lavender and/or blueberry bits make the chocolate around them crumble), but melts well once chewed.

Flavor is a pleasant medium chocolate, with a very subtle underlying tang. The blueberry & lavender don't come out nearly as well in the flavor as they do in the aroma. They're adding a breadth to the already-good chocolate, but they're very much background players.

Overall: Not bad, but not as exciting as it could have been.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Hagensborg Wild Boar Santo Domingo (70%)

Where Bought: Marshalls

Single origin dark chocolate. Bar is amusingly shaped with a couple of "bites" out of the edges, and a cheerful boar and "chomp gobble munch" embossed on the front.

Aroma: intense dark cocoa. This bar ain't fooling around.

Texture is dense, seemed hard at first but once it yielded, nicely melty.

Flavor is seriously cocoa, rich and fulfilling. There's just a hint of sourness, but it's an accent, not a main player, and serves to highlight the sweet darkness. Reminds me a bit of a really good flourless cake. On further acquaintance, also reminiscent of dark chocolate fudge. Good stuff.

Overall: Yeah. Not a light snacking chocolate, but definitely good. Would happily buy again.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Blueberries (72%)

Where Bought: Foods For Living

Endangered Species is one of my favorite brands. Aside from the 10% donation to ecological causes, it's really good chocolate, and they have a lot of flavors and combinations that are right up my taste buds' alley.

Aroma: lovely strong hit of chocolate

Texture is firm, satisfying to dig your teeth into but not hard. Breaks with moderate pressure without being brittle or crumbly.

Good strong chocolate flavor, dark but not bitter, intense and just the right amount of sweet. The blueberries are a nice tart zing, neither overwhelming nor overwhelmed.

Overall: Mmmmmm. Heck yeah, would buy again.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Rapunzel Organic Dark with Hazelnuts (55%)

Where Bought: Foods For Living

Aroma is mild; chocolately but not pushy.

Very nice texture, smooth and melty. The chopped-up hazelnuts are a pleasant soft crunch, and well-distributed.

Nice, fulfilling flavor. Pleasantly sweet for a dark chocolate. Absolutely packed with hazelnuts, but they don't overwhelm the chocolate; everything's playing well together. As snooty chocolate goes, this is very nearly comfort-chocolate. Just the sort of whole-mouth unfolding I was in the mood for.

Overall: Yummy, in a down-to-earth non-snooty way. Rapunzel definitely goes on the would-buy-again list.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Ocho Dark Coffee

Where Bought: Foods For Living

Bitter-sharp aroma, very dry-dark.

Texture is rather like a truffle, chocolate shell over soft filling. The "nougat" is gritty -- not unpleasantly so, but odd.

First taste impression is almost unsweetened dark chocolate and unsweetened espresso. Sweetness increases after a couple of bites, and becomes almost sugary -- not sure if the grittiness is ground coffee or sugar crystals. Seemed light at first, but a few bites in the cumulative effect is very dense and filling.

Overall: Not sure. It's not bad, but between the grittiness and the odd sweet/not-sweet imbalance, I'm not sure it's something I need to seek out more of.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Dagoba Chai (37% Milk Chocolate)

Where Bought: Foods For Living

Distinct chai aroma, overwhelms the chocolate.

Firm, almost hard texture, with a little crunchy-grittiness as the chocolate melts.

Tastes very strongly of chai with a zing from the crystallized ginger. Which is a good flavor, but can't really taste the chocolate.

Overall: Good if you're in the mood for chai candy, not so much for chocolate. Could stand to be better balanced.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Dagoba Beaucoup Berries (74% Dark Chocolate)

Where bought: Foods For Living

Nice bitter-dark aroma, not too strong but with depth.

Hard, almost crunchy texture. Very faint hint of chewiness from the berries as the chocolate melts.

Mostly chocolate flavor, bittersweet dark, with a subtle tang from the cranberries and cherries. Can't really pick up the vanilla directly, though there is a supporting richness that might be laid at its feet.

Overall: Good, pleasant, not especially exciting but perfectly acceptable.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Endangered Species Sea Salt & Lime Creme Filled 72% Dark Chocolate

Where bought: Foods For Living

Aroma is sharp, slightly bitter intense dark chocolate.

Texture is hard, snapping over creamy center. Melts nicely in the mouth once thoroughly chewed.

Flavor is milder than I expected; the lime kind of builds up over time, and the sea salt is more of a quiet suggestion. Chocolate itself is a good standard semi-sweet.

Overall: Pleasant, but not as exciting as it sounded. Would buy again if in the right mood.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Coconut Secret Peruvian Crunch 70% Dark with Toasted Coconut

Where bought: Foods For Living

Sharp, intense aroma that goes straight to the back-brain.

Texture is hard, crumbly with little bits of coconut and possibly coconut crystals. Chews well, melts quickly.

Intense, bittersweet flavor shot through with little bursts of coconutty sweetness. They blend better than that makes it sound, though, giving all the intensity of dark chocolate without any bitter or sour tones. Very good. Aftertaste is toasty-warm but also sort of tingly.

Overall: Very nicely put-together. Have to be in the right mood for toasted coconut, but when I am, would definitely buy again.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Dagoba Hazelnut (milk Chocolate 37%)

Where bought: Foods For Living. What can I say, they had Dagobas on sale.

Not much aroma.

Warm, friendly flavor. Nicely hazelnutty, blends well with the chocolate. Smooth texture, melts well in the mouth, and little chopped-up hazelnut bits flow easily with it.

Overall: Yum; not challenging, but pleasant. Would buy again.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Where bought: Foods For Living

Good aroma, a little tangy.

Solid texture, snaps crisply but melts readily once you start chewing.

Flavor is a little tart, smooth and sweet. Fills the mouth nicely. Aftertaste has beaney overtones, suggests that more would be a good idea.

Overall: What can I say? It's Dagoba. Good, reliable chocolate; not the best ever, but definitely in the upper percentiles.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Couldn't let today pass without the one thing that justifies this day's existence. ;-) (Or is that every day?)

Fearless Super Seeds Crunch 70% Cacao

Where bought: Foods For Living

Awesome name & amusing packaging, with a bite-shaped corner cut-out to represent the portion of their proceeds donated to good causes.

Smells a little dry, sharp; not bad.

Crumbly texture, though that's at least partly due to the seeds (hemp, chia, flax, & sunflower) generously mixed in. Little crunchy bits somewhat reminiscent of really authentic raspberry jam. Neither dry nor smooth in texture, but somewhere in between.

Good standard dark-chocolate taste, a little tart (unless that's the seeds), not super-rich but definitely present. Interesting chiaroscuro of flavors from the seeds; not strong, but complex. Satisfying in surprisingly small quantities. Feels very nutritious!

Overall: Entertaining, would buy again. Great way to get flax seeds.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Mac Bar I'm Getting Pistoffeed (Dark Chocolate, Pistachios, Toffee)

Where bought: Not sure. Wasn't anywhere fancy; maybe Meijer?

Not much aroma; what there is is generically chocolatey.

Lovely smooth texture, nice thick bar to sink your teeth into. Very slight crunch from pistachios & toffee (mostly the toffee).

Satisfyingly rich. The toffee and pistachio presence is minimal for a bar "raging" with them, but they're reasonably well represented in the overall taste. The chocolate is thoroughly dark but still creamy; it almost has a hint of mocha to it. Wonder if that's from the toffee?

Overall: Very good. Would buy again.




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