Yesterday, I got together with a long-time friend who recently returned from the UK, and two of her friends who had brought her cat from California.
Why do you care? Because our get-together took place at Biagio’s monthly sample day!
There were, as usual, about a dozen chocolates for us to sample. After enjoying some Theo caramels, I was delighted to see another Theo creation, their chai tea milk chocolate bar.
The bar had a very strong chai flavor, and my friend noted that it reminded her of Mexican hot chocolate. The chocolate itself seemed a bit grainy, and I don’t think this bar represents Theo’s best work.
Another interesting flavored bar, this one by New Tree, was provided for our inspection: the 73% cocoa dark chocolate bar with pink peppercorns.
I’ve enjoyed pepper-enhanced chocolates before, especially when salt is included as it is in Taza’s Salt and Pepper disc, but found that the pepper here is a bit overpowering and drowns out the chocolate.
Another flavored bar was available for tasting – the Artisan Du Chocolat Darljeeling.
Remember Artisan? The folks who make the semi-illicit Tonka bar? Well, unlike that Tonka bar, the Darljeeling bar is legal. It also happens to be quite enjoyable, just like the Tonka bar. There is a distinct tea flavor with hints of spice to accent this smooth bar with a slow melt.
And then there was the bar for the true hardcore chocolate fiends: The Pralus 100% cocoa bar, which is sourced from Madagascar.
As in: no added sugar. Just cocoa. It was intense. Despite a weak aroma, the taste is very bitter and a bit sour, with smoky notes. We all agreed that there seemed to be a taste similar to that of the charred edges of a fine steak.
Most of the time, Biagio’s sample days inspire to me examine several new chocolates in the comfort of my own kitchen; this time, I zeroed in on the Artisan Darljeeling.
As you can see, I also happened to add in a few other new chocolates, including a pretzel milk chocolate bar from Philadelphia-based Eclat, as well as a bar by Amedei - this chocolatier has been highly recommended by Candice, and who am I to argue.
And some standby chocolates found their way into my bag.