Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Chocolate Bark is basically a flat slab of chocolate into which nuts and dried fruit and other things are placed. I've reviewed Bissenger's awesome pumpkin bark which is a giant slab of chocolate with delicious pumpkin swirled in. I also reviewed berkshire bark's Pretzelogical Bark which I didn't care for. But berkshire makes other barks:


and the big thing is the ingredients are all natural - no preservatives.

Here's Mocha Buzz:

Mocha Buzz has Belgian milk chocolate, roasted almonds, cocoa nibs, crushed coffee beans and caramel. If you like coffee - you'll love this. I don't like coffee and I loved this! The chocolate really is excellent and it's packed with almonds. The caramel must have been really light because I didn't notice it. The bitterness of the nibs and the coffee beans balance it all out. Outstanding!!

Here's another coffee influenced bark - Jumpin' Java:

This one has Belgian dark chocolate, roasted almonds, Espresso toffee, crushed coffee beans and caramelized cocoa nibs. Again coffee lovers would adore this - but so did I! I was shocked!! It must be the toffee and the almonds that offset the bitterness of the coffee beans. This was a damn fine bark!

You don't see much done with white chocolate (really not chocolate at all, but you know I'm no snob!). This one is called White Lightning:

It is made of Callebaut white chocolate, roasted cashews, fresh lemon zest, ginger and sea salt. This is a good bark, but it doesn't have the depth the others do. Cashews are a sweet nut and with the white chocolate - well, it was too bland and sweet for me, especially compared to the others. Not bad in any way, just not as good.

Here's Tropical Heat:

This one is Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate, macadamia nuts, mango, papaya, pineapple, coconut, Ancho chili powder and cayenne pepper. I thought I would really like this bark. I found the chili powder and the cayenne pepper too strong - overpowering the fruits. Maybe a milk chocolate would have helped restored the sweet balance. I am so bummed - I bet I would have worshiped this bark if it didn't have the chili powder and the pepper. Wah!!!! This was my least favorite.

And finally, there is Midnight Harvest:

This one has Belgian dark chocolate, roasted almonds, roasted hazelnuts, dried cranberries, fresh orange zest. Outstanding!! A great fall bark - packed with nuts and fruit.

These are so much better than your average candy bar - you can really taste the quality of the ingredients. And the flavor mixes are creative and interesting without being weird (well, except for Tropical Heat - I just don't like my chocolate to be so peppery). If you're a chocolate lover, you owe it to yourself to try and track these barks down.

Once again - the things I thought I wouldn't like (the coffee barks), I did and the things I thought I would like (the white chocolate and the fruity tropical heat), I didn't. Keep trying new things - you don't really know what you will (or won't) like until you try it!! And this goes for people, music, places, activities etc. etc. etc. - not just chocolate. I keep saying it because it's so true for me - the hardest thing to keep open in this life is your mind.

Release the hounds of habit!! Try a new bark. (Bwah, ha, ha!)


diane said...

Hey, anytime you have a white chocoloate that you're not crazy about, feel free to send it to me. ;)

Denise Ryan said...

Ha, ha - Diane - you got it!!!!!