Monday, June 7, 2010

Chocolate Review: Endangered Species 72% Raspberry

I noted a few posts ago that I like to review chocolate on my Facebook profile. I've decided now that it would be better to do so on my blog, since I have a disclosures page anyhow and would like to share my thoughts with a wider audience.

First, a bit of a back story. When I started transitioning from my high-sugar diet to a high-fat Paleo diet I suffered for quite a while from intense lactose and general sugar cravings. I managed to easily cut certain sweet treats out of my life, but in exchange my body was sending me the signal to drink ever greater amounts of milk, and sometimes I would feel "possessed" to consume something sweet. After having a panic one night with one of my cravings I decided to purchase some dark chocolate in order to pacify my cravings in a healthy way, and to slowly mitigate them.

At first I didn't really enjoy the taste or bitterness of dark chocolate, but I kept at it in order to keep things under control and to benefit nutritionally from the chocolate. (I started at, I think, 70% cocoa.) Strangely enough, after repeated eating I develop a taste for the bitter stuff and can now enjoy upwards to 100% cocoa. Even though my constant milk and carb cravings have disappeared I still partake in dark chocolate and take pleasure in trying out different varieties and brands. I still utilize it for health reasons -- I seem to be suffering from a magnesium deficiency for instance -- but for the most part I enjoy it for its own sake. Just recently I have taken to reviewing the brands and varieties I try since I take the tasting so seriously, and I really enjoy sharing my thoughts on what I'm eating. I don't plan on becoming a professional food reviewer and I probably wouldn't enjoy it if I tried it; I just like detailing my preferences to other people.

So from now on -- though not on a consistent or constant basis, since it costs money you know -- I'll take it upon myself to post my thoughts on the chocolate I'm eating here on Musing Aloud. Hopefully it will influence your eating!

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Disclaimer: I have no relationships with the chocolate companies mentioned other than that of a customer.

So I tried Endangered Species' 72% dark chocolate with raspberries. I'm disappointed, but it's good enough that I'd perhaps eat it again. It utilizes dehydrated raspberry flesh rather than using an extract, so it doesn't have the flavor integration and consistency you would find in ES's mint or cherry, which makes it inferior in my opinion.

However, the fruit flesh does give it a nice appearance. It's combined into the chocolate very inconsistently, rather than smoothly, so when you get into it it has this nice spotty bright pink appearance. In a way it gives me an impression of it being particularly feminine due to its pinkness, but it doesn't bother me and won't prevent me from eating it since all sweet foods remind me of women, therefore leaving me fine with the prospect of feminine sweets. In fact, why not make all sweets feminine in a way? It's a nice association.

Taste-wise it's particularly mild. The chocolate is good as always, but the chunks of raspberry are too mild and end up playing as quiet background singers. There is tartness, but not much. As I said, I'd still eat it again, but I'd like to see ES utilize an extract to intensify the raspberry flavor, as they use such extracts for their mint and cherry bars. In fact, what would really be nice is if they utilized both an extract and fruit flesh; the extract for flavor intensification, integration, and consistency, and the fruit flesh for appearance enhancement. That would be wonderful.

All in all, it's a nice bar, but you may want to pass it up unless you really like raspberries or mild tartness. Fruit-wise I think the cherry bar is superior, and you might come out alright if you stick to bars with fruit extracts. I might buy it again, but with my current supply of bulk chocolate and new flavors to try it sinks really low on my wish list. I'd *really* like to see a bar with apricot extract.

I'm looking forward to trying the organic health collection in my fridge since they have a greater amount of flavors blended into them, making me suspect more intense flavors, but I'm going to take my time getting to them due to my budget. I don't want to exhaust my variety and get into a monotonous cycle.

1 comment:

  1. Your line, "...all sweet foods remind me of women" has forever endeared you in my heart! :) We very much appreciate your thoughful musings about our chocolate. Adding raspberry extract to the Dark Chocolate & Raspberries Bar is suggestion worth exploring; I'll be sure to share with our Development Team and make sure my name is on the list to taste-test if samples are created. :)

    Thanks so much for spreading the word about our chocolate. Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions, insights or suggestions.

    -Monica Erskine
    Chocolate Goddess/Senior Commmunications Coordinator
    Endangered Species Chocolate


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