Posts Tagged ‘Dark Chocolate’

The box arrived on the afternoon of November 20th.  I was kind of surprised, really, because I have gotten used to the box arriving much closer to the end of the month… but it seems that with each month, the Goodies Box arrives just a little sooner than it did the month previous.  I’m OK with that.  They’re ironing out the kinks, and still managing to keep the price at just $7 per month.  I’ve been happy with this subscription.

The theme of this month’s box is “Entertaining Made Simple,” and while I don’t usually do much entertaining (I am agoraphobic, and I usually have trouble with one guest, more than one is positively anxiety-inducing!) I do enjoy the foods one might serve at a dinner party … as they make fantastic tea-time treats.

And, incidentally, this box does include a tea!  Granted, it’s bagged tea (Hey, Goodies Company, get in the know!  Loose leaf is the only way to go!) but it’s still tea.  Bigelow Tea’s Pumpkin Spice tea, to be precise.  I’ll be reviewing that tea on the SororiTea Sisters blog at some point!

The other goodies in this month’s box include:  American Vintage Wine Biscuits, Lotus Bakeries Smooth Biscoff Spread, Bobbysue’s Original Flavored Nuts, Pumpkin Souffle Mix from Flourless Bliss, White Cheddar Popcorn from Oogie’s, and a Dark Quinoa chocolate bar from Alter Eco.  Yum!  Looking forward to these yummy items … and they are all new-to-me!  Bonus!

And speaking of bonuses, this box did include a special bonus gift!  Upon opening the box, I was greeted immediately with a reusable, canvas shopping tote!  Wow!  The card insert that is included with every box explains:

We are grateful to have you as one of our first subscribers!  To show our thanks we are excited to gift you the enclosed Goodies Co. Farmer’s Market Bag.

Yay!  I do try to bring my stash of reusable bags every time I shop … sometimes, I forget, but, I do try.  And it will be nice to have yet another to add to my stash!  It will definitely be put to good use.

This is the best box from Goodies Co. yet!

Product Description:

By popular demand we have created this rich 70% dark chocolate bar with chunks of almonds and just the right amount of salt!

Learn more about Theo on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Goodness, what tea doesn’t go well with chocolate?  Just about any tea you choose will go nicely with it.  I prefer a black tea with chocolate, just because I like the way the deep, rich flavor of the tea brings out the deep, rich flavors of the chocolate and vice versa.  For this tasting, I chose this Organic, Fair Trade Assam from Hampstead Tea.

What I Think:

The “salted” part of this chocolate bar not only offers contrast to the bitter sweet flavor of chocolate but it also adds some definition to the complexity of the chocolate.  As this is a fairly large bar of chocolate, I ate it in in thirds.  I ate the first third of it without giving much thought of what I was enjoying.  In other words, just experiencing the joy of eating chocolate without dissecting it.

As I was eating this portion of the chocolate, all of the sudden it dawned on me that I could taste a fruity note within the chocolate – and this is something that is quite new to me.  I noticed it for the first time with the Sea Salt & Nibs Chocolate Bar from Madécasse.  Before that, I never really took the time to notice the complexity of chocolate.  Sure, I enjoyed it, but I am almost ashamed to admit that I never really got to know it the way that I am just now getting to know chocolate.

In case you’re wondering, the second third of the chocolate bar seemed to just disappear.  I don’t know HOW that happened.  This phenomenon (disappearing chocolate) is something that I have noticed frequently throughout my life as a chocoholic, though I can’t really seem to explain it.

So, now I am left with my final one-third of this chocolate bar, and I am trying to focus on what I’m tasting so that I can share those thoughts and experiences with you.

The almonds are cut into small chunks.  While there was a time when chocolate with almond bars were among my favorite chocolate choices, back then, I always would want the almonds to be whole.  Now, I find that I appreciate the smaller chunks of almond, as this not only allows for better distribution of the nut into the chocolate, but, it also allows for a more consistent chocolate bar. The almonds add some sweetness, a delicious roasted flavor as well as a crunchy texture.

The salt of the bar is different from the typical salted chocolate confection that is popular these days.  Usually, you’ll find an ample sprinkling with large flakes or grains of salt that add a little bit of texture.  Here, the salt is inside the bar and in every single bite.  While I do enjoy the texture of the sprinkling, I do think I like the way the salt is distributed here, as it allows for full enjoyment of the role that the salt plays in this confection.  I can allow a small piece of the bar to melt slightly on my tongue and I taste not just chocolate as it melts, but also the light touch of salt.  Just as the description above suggests, there is just the right amount of salt, and it interacts with the chocolate in such a beautiful way, revealing the lovely complexity of this 70% dark chocolate.

So Good!

My Final Thoughts:

I really loved this chocolate bar, and I’m glad that it was part of the Valentine’s Box from Foodzie.  After perusing the Theo website and seeing their many unusual confections, this seemingly simple combination of salted almonds and dark chocolate is probably a chocolate bar I would not have selected for myself, I think I would have probably gone for something more unique (Their Chai Tea bar did NOT escape my notice!)  So I am glad that someone else did the choosing for me in this case, because I really LOVED this chocolate bar!

Learn more about Clarine’s Florentine’s here.

Product Description from Foodzie:

A favorite from our February Tasting Box, Clarine hand-makes these European-style cookies – a delicate layer of well-caramelized almonds slathered with bittersweet chocolate.

What I Think:

As I mentioned on my article about my Stocking Stuffer Tasting Box, this is the product that prompted me to buy this additional box.  Sure, I wanted to try the other goodies as well, but, these Florentines have been on my mental wish list for a very long time.

And as I also said in the aforementioned article, my Florentines were smashed upon arrival.  I was sad.  But, I was glad to learn that my Florentines would be replaced, so I wrote to Foodzie and instead of replacing them they are offering me a $5 credit.  Nice, but, I am still here, left with crumbled cookies.

But they still taste good, even though they’re in small bits. In fact, it might be more in keeping with the whole “Stocking Stuffer” idea, since, if I were a child given a cookie like this, I probably would have broken it up into little pieces to enjoy.

Thin slivers of almonds have been caramelized to a dark golden brown, rendering them sweet and chewy from the caramelizing process.  The bottom of the cookie is a thin, solid layer of dark chocolate which has just enough of a bitterness to it to give this cookie a sweet yet savory appeal.

It tastes very elegant and delicate but at the same time, incredibly indulgent … and I think when served whole, would be even more luxurious!  In one bite, I taste a delicious, earthy, nutty flavor, sweet caramel, and smooth, rich chocolate.  YUM!

For a tea pairing, my immediate thought would be a Keemun, but, perhaps even a Yunnan would be nice.  The spicy and earthy tones of the Yunnan would offer additional contrast to the sweet and bitter of the cookie while enhancing some of the earthy tones of the almond.  Ultimately, I chose this Yunnan Gold from Teavert.  The robust flavor of the Yunnan brought an amazing dimension of flavor to an already decadent treat.

My Final Thoughts:

Even though they were broken, these cookies are awesome.  It’s a little late to be ordering them as holiday gifts, but, they’d make a great Valentine’s gift (I know I’d be really thrilled with a box of these for Valentine’s Day!)  And they make tea time extra special!