I tried the 100% PURE chocolate thins first, in a 70g/2.45oz package. The artificial vanilla flavour was immediately noticeable. However, with each piece that I ate, this chocolate grew on me little by little and I soon realized that even though artificial flavouring was used instead of real vanilla, the flavour was subtle and not overwhelming, and the chocolate taste really came through. What I like most about this chocolate, is that each piece really is "thin" and breaks in your mouth but melts quickly. Each little piece feels like a perfect indulgence and a snack at the same time.
I do have an issue with the "100% PURE" statement that is front and centre on the package. I feel that, since artificial flavouring is used, it should not be called "100% pure" because the term "pure" evokes the same idea as the term "natural" does. So it gives the buyer the idea that you are buying something made from pure (as in not-modified) ingredients. Artificial flavouring just does not fall into that category.
Max Brenner's main slogan, "Chocolate by the Bald Man", is a funny one. However, it is just not appealing to me. I don't mind if the man who makes the chocolate is bald, but since I am a visual person, I immediately pictured eating the chocolate off of this bald man's head. Yes, I'm weird. But we are all a little weird in some way, aren't we? I just happen to have instantaneous "Ally McBeal" style visions of everything I read and hear. I may also have had this vision because there is an illustration on the package of just a bald man's head and some brown scribbles across the bald part of his head, which I think is supposed to be his signature, but it initially looked like streaks of chocolate to me, which only fueled my vision of licking the chocolate off his head. I know, I started with "eating" the chocolate off his head and now I am "licking" the chocolate off his head. This article is really going downhill quickly, isn't it?
Anyway, moving on to other Max Brenner products.... I bought a small box of four Max Brenner bonbons: a 70% square truffle rolled in cocoa powder, a dark chocolate orange truffle, a raspberry dark chocolate truffle and a simple dark truffle (likely made from chocolate with 50 to 60% cocoa solids). They were all very good, with the 70% being the most interesting, as its centre was like a dense chocolate mousse, rather than a smooth and melty truffle. The raspberry was a little strange, but the seeds indicated to me that it was made with real raspberries, which was a nice touch.
Overall, my Max Brenner experience was pretty good. I like the concept of tying chocolate in with food, so you don't have to just buy chocolate there but you can experience it too. If I can ever figure out how to navigate their complicated website, I may be able to figure out how Max Brenner got started. The chocolate thins package says they are made in Israel, but I found one article online that said Max Brenner started in Australia. So I really have no idea where the business originated and the website is pretty confusing. But all that aside, if you are looking for a decent meal and a good desert, or chocolate and souvenirs to take home from Las Vegas, check out the Max Brenner at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace.
|A postcard picture of the giant |
"truffle-inspired" clock and the
box that held the free truffle
that the machine spit out.
The website info for Payard at Caesars Palace is http://www.caesarspalace.com/casinos/caesars-palace/restaurants-dining/payard-patisserie-detail.htmlPayard, where you can find out why it is described as a "multi-layered" chocolate experience, also serving a gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dessert menu sounds divine. The official Payard website is: http://www.payard.com/.
So while in Vegas, if you want an interesting food experience with a sweet-treat twist, check out Caesars Palace for Max Brenner or Payard Patisserie & Bistro.
Here are the details from the package of the Max Brenner 100% PURE chocolate thins that I tasted today:
Pure Dark Chocolate Thins, 70g/2.45oz
Manufactured by Max Brenner, Israel
Ingredients: Chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, artificial flavour. Dark chocolate contains cocoa solids 70% minimum. Allergy advice: Contains soya. may contain peanuts, milk, nuts, wheat or eggs. Kosher Dairy under supervision of Bet-Shemesh Rabbinate.