I generally seek out and review pure d. chocolate. When I’m in the mood for filled/flavored chocolate, though, I love an occasional raspberry truffle. Sorry, orange-chocolate lovers, I’m not a fan. Raspberry and chocolate is something, though. Bistro Bar’s Raspberry Rendez-Vous was a delicious find among other bars at Fog City News. The shop itself was a truly pleasant experience. I’d read about it several times and added it as a must-do on my adventure list when going home to California. It is a tidy shop with numerous bars, filled chocolates, and infinite magazines. I couldn’t think of a better Saturday afternoon stop-in. It turns out that the Fog City people are acquainted with the folks at Biagio (from my stomping grounds in DC). Of all things chocolate does, it brings people together.
Back to Raspberry Rendez-Vous. It’s an adorable bar! It has just a small enough amount of raspberry truffle in each square to bring out the treasured sweetness and tang of the berry. The chocolate is complex and smooth. And of all good things, it reminds me of the delicious cake at our wedding. Flavors–10/Design–10/Giftability–10
I really enjoyed Domori’s Apurimac—as many did at our chocolate tasting a while back—and was delighted to sample another Domori, this time from Ecuador. I remember Apurimac’s melt as having a distinct smoothness—certainly a favorite among our taster friends. The Ecuador was no different. So, for now, I deem Domori tops in smoothness.
The Ecuador had a stronger tanginess than the Apurimac, more citrus. It also had notes of cream or bananas—delicious. The bar maintains Domori’s beautiful classic design, sans scoring. While the carmel and golden coloring of the Ecuador packaging is beautiful, I prefer the gaudy Gauginish craziness of the Apurimac label art. Overall, I highly recommend the Ecuador but would opt for the Apurimac if given a choice between the two.
Meet one of my new favorites–Christopher Elbow’s Dark Rocks. I really can’t get over it. This bar has a smooth, rounded melt with notes of hazelnut and mocha. It also has popping rocks in it. They are perfect and bring to the bar the fantastic crunch of Rice Krispies on crack. For some reason, unpredictable ingredients plus chocolate always makes for a fantastic novelty. This one is no exception. Some haute gourmets are not interested, but how could one pass this up? This bar says nothing but: “Childhood, meet the adult me.” In fact, when I asked one of the Biagio folks about it, she said that a father and his daughter frequent their shop and usually head straight for this very bar. Similar to feelings summoned by the childhood flashback in Ratatouille, I imagined the gentle moment of a pigtailed girl, father’s hand in hers, laughing and picking out this special chocolate. I think that little image and the fact that the chocolate itself is fantastic, not just the popping, sold me for sure.
Well, I have to say that this bar was really overwhelming. The minimalist packaging is outstanding, yes, but the melt is like a heavy mud. The notes are strong leather and oak and it’s very chalky. There was a slight fruity tang at the the very end of the melt, though. I noticed that Robert has taken a square here and there, which is good because I don’t think the bar would otherwise be finished off. I’ll have to keep this one off my future shopping list.