Dame cacao. Have mercy and give me chocolate.
This site started in early 2015 as a way for me to document the chocolate I ate and the chocolate adventures I undertook over the course of a year abroad. But it has become so much more, and yet stayed the same. The craft chocolate bar reviews are still here, and they’ve now been joined by all sorts of other chocolate reviews.
So with hundreds of reviews under my belt (and many more tasted in the years prior), I invite you to share in my experiences. Learn from my buying mistakes, and take your mouth on a journey around the world with a nice piece of chocolate. And hey, grab another one while you’re at it!
**I’ve deleted well over 200 reviews over the last year, from makers who no longer exist or reviews that literally nobody was looking at, mainly because the size of the many images was really slowing down the site.
A note on “Munch Factor”: this number out of ten tells you how “munchable” a bar is, meaning how likely I am to continue eating it, either mindfully or less so. This can be good or bad, depending on the context, but it’s meant only to give you another rating by which to assess a bar.
Alluvia Chocolatier: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Entire Collection [August 2017]
Fossa Chocolate: Singapore
Salted Egg Cereal Bar
Fu Wan Chocolate: Pingtung County, Taiwan
Taiwan #1 62%
Manoa: Kailua, HI, U.S.A.
Hilo (Hawai’i, 70%)
Naive Chocolate: Eastern Lithuania
Ambrosia Dark Pollen (65%)
Pacari: Quito, Ecuador
Fig (Ecuador, 60%)
Raaka Chocolate: Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA
Strawberry Basil (the Dominican Republic, 67%)
Republica Del Cacao: Quito, Ecuador
Dark with Coffee Nibs (Ecuador, 75%)
Roasting Masters: Seoul, South Korea
Esmeraldas 70% (Ecuador)
Sun Eaters Organics: Maracas Valley, Trinidad
Amano: 70% Cuyagua ($9.95)— Somewhat lighter in color than expected; very strong nutty/earthy aroma with a fairly easy melt. Very nutty and sharp flavor, with a hint of chocolate; very bitter/tannic aftertaste. Reminds me a lot of Escazú Chocolates. Overall 6.2. July ’14.
Amano: 70% Guayas ($7.70)— Woody citrus aroma, and overtone of bitter chocolate. Medium-difficult melt with initial notes of cacao, peaking with molasses, and finishing with little bitterness and a lasting cacao aftertaste. Overall 6.7. July ’14.
Amano: 70% Madagascar ($7.70)— A bit lighter of a color than expected; strong chocolate aroma with an easy melt. A bit earthy, but slightly acidic citrus tones and strong chocolate flavor. Beautiful finish, not too overpowering. Overall 6. July ’14.
Amano: 70% Montanya ($9.95)— Vaguely woody cherry aroma with medium melt. Initial notes of cacao, with complex bitter and acidic mid-notes, and a finish reminiscent of marshmallow; remarkable considering the somewhat harsh opening. Overall 5. July ’14.
Amano: 30% Ocumare Milk ($7.70)— Very dark color for a milk chocolate; very strong chocolate aroma with slight bitterness and caramel-ness. Slow to melt. Sweet top notes of sugary caramel, then cream, and a vague earthiness that just deepened the flavor; very long and smooth aftertaste with no notes of bitterness and a very strong cream. Overall 7.7. July ’14.
Askinosie: 34% White Chocolate with Nibs ($8.99): Beautiful presentation with light scent of deep nuttiness and off-white/almost-yellow color. Decent snap and wonderful softness with crunch. Melts into a wonderful crunchy sweetness with interestingly slight acidity and light cocoa. Not much else, except that it’s got this malted flavor I adore! Overall 6.2. Sept ’14.
Escazu: 65% Costa Rica SO ($6): Wonderful sweet earth and dulce de leche smell with strong snap and slow melt. Gives way to piercing bark and brown sugar-y dried fruit, strengthening and gathering sweet spice (clove?) and bitterish honey. Overall 8. Sept ’14.
Lonohana: Hapalua Milk Chocolate and Cinnamon ($12): Scent of cinnamon breakfast cereal with light milk chocolate color. Good melt with immediate cinnamon which then takes backseat to milky cacao notes and all blends together for a long finish of cinnamon. Overall a 7.2. Oct. ‘14
Lonohana: 50% Hapalua with Salt ($12): Strange scent of earthiness with beautiful Hawai’i mold used and a wonderful melt. Starts salty then earthy, with some milky sweetness seeping in, then it gives way to a more traditional hot chocolate cocoa with a medium-short finish. Overall 5.6. Oct. ’14
Madécasse: 63% Sea Salt & Nibs ($6.49): Traditional cocoa scent. Deep cocoa notes with nice snap and very little bitterness continuing throughout bar; salt comes in with a complementary flavor but lends no complexity, and nibs add a pleasant crunch but still no complexity. Overall 3.3. Sept ’14.
Madre Chocolate: 60% with Passion Fruit ($9.00): Sweet cocoa scent, almost like milk chocolate; Madre’s traditional Aztec-inspired mold dominates view with a decent snap and melt. Initial notes of pulpy sweetness and some overtones of cacao continue with a tanginess from the passion fruit and cool mouthfeel of cocoa. One feels heaviness from the inclusion of dried passion fruit, which really dominates the palate from the beginning and does not let go. Overall 6.9. Oct. ‘14
Middlebury Chocolates: 75% Hispaniola ($8.99): Smells of earthy dried fruits, with salty overtones. Decent snap and okay melt with slight bitterness, and then overt mocha, very overpowering and delicious, with a dried red fruit undertone; somewhat dry and short finish. Overall 8.
Milka: –% White Chocolate ($Gift): Smells lightly of typical chocolate with a sickly sweetness; hard snap with an okay melt. Overtones of condensed milk with a continued dulce de leche sweetness, finish with strange acidity and sweet buttermilk. Overall 3. Sept ’14.
Potomac: 70% Upala, Costa Rica w/nibs ($7.95): Chalky deep cocoa scent with light cherry overlay; strong snap and decent melt. Deep earthiness gives way to deep nuttiness and dark red fruits, continuing to a savory and tart acidic finish. Overall 6.8. Sept ’14.
Taza: 52% Hazelnut Butter Bar ($8.00): Scent of deep cocoa overtones with earthy undertones; Good snap with horridly absent melt and very crunchy texture. Initial notes of roasted nut with scorched earth, followed by general cocoa flavor and unfortunately long finish. Overall 2.3. Sept ’14.
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