willandmegan

"Stuart rose from the ditch, climbed into his car, and started up the road that led toward the north…. As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction." (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)

Give Thanks for Chocolate – Cranberry Chocolate Tasting

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Happy Thanksgiving chocolatiers, bloggers and consumers of delicious eats. Yesterday evening Megan and I ventured out into the city of Rochester for an ode to Thanksgiving chocolate tasting.

Shortly after 5pm we strolled into a quaint wine bar by the name of Veritas. Both decked out in our Columbia winter jackets, I carried a plastic bag with mystery goodies and Meg carried her satchel like purse filled with writing utensils and remnants of church notes. Before unwrapping the three trusted brands (all featuring cranberries as an ingredient throughout) we both picked out a glass of wine suited to our personal taste: A hard meaty tasting red for Meg and a floral oily tasting white for myself. Shortly after sipping and conversing about the bars atmosphere I pulled out an awkward arrangement of organic cranberries and spread them across the table top. The results from the image above demonstrate how playing still-life paparazzi in a public wine bar can feel a bit odd.

While each tasting we do aims to be both conclusive and consistent, this time around one of the bars was milk chocolate and the other two were dark. To be honest the list of ingredients we found didn’t seem very compliant to previous standards as well. However, what can be said that is true is the fact that we agreed with flavors and ratings across the board.

1.) DAGOBA (beaucoup berries) – rich dark chocolate, cranberries, cherries & vanilla [74% cacao dark chocolate]

2.) Dan’s Chocolates (Trail Hound) – CRANBERRIES, RAISINS, HAZELNUTS [Milk]

3.) endangered species Chocolate – natural DARK CHOCOLATE WITH CRANBERRIES & ALMONDS [72% cocoa]

Our Top Pick

1. DAGOBA

-> The texture of this bar can be described as the grainy, pulpiness of the cranberries and cherries within it. For a dark bar it is moderately             creamy, but not overwhelming. Some crystallized granules are dispersed throughout.

This bar is bright in flavor with a smooth balance of bitterness and sweetness. Fruit, mild citrus and an overtone of beets can be tasted. The combination of flavors and texture remind Megan of “Fruit by the Foot”.

The aromas are similar to mild caramel and a sweet Belgian ale.

Our Second Pick

2.) endangered species

-> The textures of this bar is characterized by a variety of nut edges, granules and gooey cranberries.

     While we were hoping the cranberry flavor would act as a primary contributor it seems the majority is overpowered by almond. There are              some simple earthy flavors and undertones of coffee as well.

     This bar seems more aromatic. Described like brownies and a hint of leather.

Our Third Pick

3.) Dan’s

-> It should be noted the Dan’s bars are smaller more “fun size”. The texture is characterized by semi-crunchy nuts and fine granules.

     Flavors that stand out are syrup from the crystallized raisins, taffy, creaminess and undertones of cotton candy.

     Much like the taste, aroma is artificial smelling: Between descriptions of holiday fruitcake, the corn syrup they use to make cordial cherries and some questionable tropical fruit drink.

While our previous two choices had a smooth finish or little aftertaste this bar leaves an oily mouth feel. Remaining molasses-like taste, dryness you would experience from consuming too many Christmas cookies or pure frosting.

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