Sunday, October 05, 2014

Wild Ophelia Chocolate

Wild Ophelia is a chocolate brand I had never heard of before writing this review.  So I looked them up online.  An American company, through and through.  They use all American farms to source ingredients for their bars (not the cocoa obviously), with a focus on small farms and artisans, connecting local farmer's markets to chocolate.  Of course, ingredients are organic, non-GMO, etc when possible.  More interestingly, even the box that wraps their chocolate is made from recycled paper.

Anyway, they make a variety of bars, either milk chocolate with 41-44% base, or dark chocolate with a 70% base.  Each bar tells you where the ingredients are from and the varietal.  The flavors are quite unique, like New Orleans chili (with cayenne!), salted Chowchilla almond (Chowchilla is where the almonds are grown), southern hibiscus peach (using Bella Viva Orchards peaches, who I regularly see at my local farmer's market), Mount Sequoia granola, smokehouse bbq potato chips (yes, chips are in it), beef jerky (again, yes, with jerky), and a sweet cherry pecan bar.  Given these unique flavors, it probably won't surprise you to learn that they are the sister company to Vosges, which certainly still has the most unique mix-ins to chocolate I've ever tried.

I don't recall where I got the bar I tried, and I clearly didn't pick it out of their full lineup, as I certainly would have gone for one of the more interesting sounding varietals.  I'll have to keep my eyes open in the future.
Peanut Butter & Banana Bar.
I had the peanut butter and banana bar, "Peanut Butter + Hawaiian Bananas + 41% cacao".

The label provided further details.  This bar contained Williams bananas from the "featured artisan" Uncle Mikey's Hawaiian Foods, located in Hanalei, Kauai.  It promised a flavor profile of "a sweet, mild flavored banana with a honeyed smell, blended with roasted peanut butter and rich milk chocolate."  It also told me many details about the soil the bananas grow in, how they are harvested, how they are dried, etc.  I may have rolled my eyes a bit, but, honestly, it is quite cute how they are promoting the artisan's whose products they source.

It sounded pretty good.  I mean, peanut butter and banana are a great combo, peanut butter and chocolate are a great combo, so, why not combine them all together?

I expected to see swirls of peanut butter, or chunks of banana, or ... something.  Instead, it was just a smooth, mild milk chocolate bar.  There was a tiny bit of grittiness, which I imagine came from ground peanuts.  I did not taste any banana, but there was an underlying sweetness.  It was fine, but not nearly as flavorful as I was hoping.  A bit disappointing given how exciting it sounded.
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