December 27, 2007

evite taste test: vosges haut chocolat

ooh la la! the chanel of chocolate

There are just a few days left to eat anything you want before that pesky New Year’s resolution kicks in. You could have leftover pie and cookies — they’re still mostly fresh. Or, you could get that calorie overload in style with some ultra-chic chocolate. And when it comes to couture chocolate, Vosges and its Exotic Chocolate Bar selection take the triple-fudge, devil's food cake.

We created our very own, super-scientific Extreme Chocolate Tasting with the Evite staff to find out the answers to serious questions like: Would Applewood smoked bacon be as tasty in chocolate as it is on its own? How do kalamata olives taste in a bath of white chocolate? Read on to find out what we thought of some of Vosges’ more unusual flavors, written up Zagat-style with real quotes from real Eviters.

death by chocolate?

Red Fire:
Mexican ancho and chipotle chilies, Ceylon cinnamon in dark chocolate
“Va va voom!” With this flavor, the “spiciness kicked in when the chocolate melted.” While most loved how the “mild spice bloomed into heat,” a couple tasters thought this was “too hot” for their liking. Its subtly crunchy texture was “almost like little bits of cinnamon Red Hots,” according to one taster. Overall, this “hot chocolate” was a favorite among the Evite crowd.

Favorite stand-alone comment: “Hit me one time! Me likey!”

Mo's Bacon: Applewood smoked bacon, Alder wood smoked salt in deep milk chocolate
I guess Voges operates under the assumption of “chocolate — good, bacon — good.” So they put the two together in a “sweet and salty masterpiece” that was clearly a love-it-or-hate-it flavor in our group. Even before tasting, the bar had a “deliciously smoky smell” that “complemented the bits of salty goodness,” which were wrapped in the “sweet milk chocolate.” But another taster lamented, “Bacon bits in chocolate is just a waste of good chocolate.”

Favorite stand-alone comment: “Two things that aren’t good for you in an unholy union, cut into a square. Awesome.”

d'Oliva: Dried kalamata olives in Venezuelan white chocolate
Most agreed that the “creamy white chocolate” was “excellent in flavor and texture,” but the sweet-to-salty ratio got mixed reviews. Some thought the “sweet white chocolate with salty olive” combo was “too salty,” while others “loved the saltiness” and “wanted even more olives.” Final consensus: Good for those who like sweet-and-savory combinations, and not so much for those who don’t.

Favorite stand-alone comment: “Not as complementary as, say, peanut butter. Reese’s has nothing to fear.”

Evite loves a party

Espresso, cocoa nibs, New Orleans-style chicory in bittersweet chocolate
The adjectives describing this flavor were similar to how you hear people describe coffee: “Smooth” from those who enjoyed it, and “bitter” from those who didn’t. More than one person commented that the chicory gave the chocolate a “burnt” aftertaste, while another noted it as “bark-like, but quite pleasant.” This was one of the more “mellow and subtle” flavors we tested.

Favorite stand-alone comment: “Unimaginative coffee grounds in chocolate. Boo."

Black Pearl:  Ginger, wasabi, black sesame seeds in dark chocolate
The ginger and wasabi against the dark chocolate were “not as overwhelming as one might think.” Many noted more ginger than wasabi, so “take heed if you’re not a ginger fan.” Tasters described this flavor as “exotic” and felt that the “ginger paired unexpectedly well with the bittersweet flavor of the chocolate.” One advised to “give this spicy and complex some time” because it “starts out a bit awkwardly, but after a few seconds on your tongue, it blends like a dream.”

Favorite stand-alone comment: “Tastes very much like if a plant made chocolate-wasabi babies. Wasaaaaaaaaaabi!”

Posted by Lindsay on December 27, 2007 in Food and Drink

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7 responses to "evite taste test: vosges haut chocolat"

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How I wish I was there! :)

I'm planning on throwing a chocolate-tasting party soon. Anyone have any suggestions for what to pair with it? Should I also do coffee or wine, or just water? I know I could pick music with "chocolate" in the lyrics, but I'm thinking more sophisticated. Are there any composers that would be particularly suited to a chocolate tasting?

By the way, for my opinion of Vosges and other designer chocolates, you can go here:

A chocolate-tasting party? Will you be my friend?

Anyway, for beverages I'd go with water and wine (hearty reds or ports are what I usually find paired with chocolate).

For music, I'd go with jazz. You might also take example from the Grove Collection put out by the Vosges folk themselves.

A chocolate-tasting party sounds terrific. I'd serve a range of beverages to complement the different flavors in the chocolates you're serving. Like, everything from coffee and ice-cold milk to California Zins, port and chocolate stouts (Young's Double Chocolate Stout is great with chocolate). Also, lots of sparkling water to give people a break from all the intense flavors.

I like Emily's suggestion of jazz music and would also suggest bossa nova. Maybe it's just me, but really good chocolate puts me in a "Girl from Ipanema" kinda place.

I'm so there, but yet not there.

I hear what you're saying about the Chocolate and Bacon thing, I recently made some Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies after reading the recipe on someone's blog. The cookies were good...salty and sweet but also bad...because of the weird bacon texture. A lot of people wanted that salty sweet combo though, maybe next time I should make olive-white chocolate chip cookies?

Nothing like dark chocolate with cognac!