Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Chocolate Graphics Chocolate
This is a somewhat unusual review for me, in that this is neither a mass market product nor even one that can be purchased in single servings. But my reason for reviewing it is that I thought it was such a cool product, I couldn't resist. Just look at the images below:
Chocolate Graphics produces personalized pieces of chocolate candy for both large and small corporations, and for individuals for special occasions. That is what appealed to me. Several years ago, we were trying to plan a surprise 40th birthday party for someone who had everything, but was (is) a complete chocoholic. If we had only known that, we would have given him slabs of chocolate with his picture or a favorite saying of his (most of which really cannot be printed on this blog -- well, they could, but wouldn't be family or work friendly). That would have been, hands down, the coolest thing we could have possibly gotten him.
Incidentally, this was in my pre-blogging days, and I was not as savvy about what was really out there as I am now. Now that I know Chocolate Graphics is out there, I wanted to spread the word.
As you can see from photos, the colors are really vibrant and the detail on the pictures is so fine you can even make out the earrings on the woman in the photo of the couple. (To get an idea of the fineness of the detail, bear in mind that the chocolate with the couple on it was no more than two inches across, and the one with the landscape perhaps twice that.) They also have a huge range of printing styles, chocolate styles, novelties, etc. that you can choose from.
We know the chocolate looks great, but how does it taste?
They make three different versions: a dark, a milk, and a white, so we are going to work through all of them individually. And I am going to state one disclaimer up front: I am not a fan of white chocolate as a rule, so therefore I am probably not the best person to review it to begin with -- so take my thoughts on that version with a large grain of salt (or sugar). Understood? Good. Now, on with the review...
The dark chocolate:
There's not much in terms of scent, but if I had to come up with something I would say it smells kinda vanilla-like. There's a nice little snap to the slabs. It has a rich, dark color and it melts very quickly. In terms of taste, I can't say it really reminded me of dark chocolate...or even semi-sweet. What it did taste like to me was dry hot chocolate mix, straight from the packet. (Don't judge me! I can't possibly be the only person ever to have done that!)
The two strongest notes seem to be cocoa powder (which is a good thing) and vanillin (which is not such a good thing). Honestly, I did not enjoy eating it. But oddly enough, because it tastes so much like hot chocolate mix, it does leave a pretty pleasant aftertaste. Go figure that one out.
The milk chocolate:
This slab smells milky. No shock there, I suppose.
Did I mention how good the chocolates look? That's about the nicest thing I have to say about this milk chocolate. It's oily, it's too sweet, and there's a strange, unpleasant aftertaste that lingers for a long time. I wanted to like this, because again, they are so pretty. But that just wasn't happening.
Sadly, sometimes looks really are everything.
The white chocolate:
I am not lying when I tell you I'm getting nervous at this point. I am not often a fan of white chocolate to begin with, and the dark and milk chocolates are not exactly blowing me away here.
The smell is sweet and sugary, so maybe we are off to a good start...
...or not. Words fail me. I am going to pass on commenting on this one, because I couldn't get through the piece. And again, I am just not a white chocolate aficionado, so let's leave it at that.
What makes this review difficult is that I still say these candies are beautiful to look at. The level of detail is beyond impressive. If you are looking for a visual bang for your buck, you are in the right place -- and that really is the selling point here, isn't it? I just can't say I actually enjoyed eating the candy. And that's sad, because what fun is candy if it doesn't give you a case of the nom noms?
(Finally, I am sorry to have shown pictures of damaged goods, but there wasn't much choice, and I cannot blame the manufacturer for this. I am sure they left the factory in perfect condition. But evidently at some point in transit, the package was either tossed around like a Frisbee for a few hours, or maybe was dropkicked off a four-story rooftop onto a concrete sidewalk. Makes you wonder what happens to packages the shippers get really careless with.)
Sample from company
Prices vary. Please see official website for more information.