Mmmmm....what can be better than snacking on plantain chips? If you've never tried fried plantains, I feel sorry for you. When I went to school in France, I had a wonderful friend from Africa who fried me up some plantain chips one afternoon in her apartment and it was one of the best snacks I have ever had. So when I was shopping at Vosges in Las Vegas, and saw their Habana organic milk chocolate bar with plantain chips, I couldn't resist buying it (if you've read my blog before, you'll know that I couldn't resist much of anything at the Vosges store and pretty much bought every flavour of their chocolate bars!). I also couldn't resist the mini "Barcelona Bar" with hickory smoked almonds, grey seas salt and milk chocolate. So today I am tasting both of those chocolate bars.
Yesterday I had the Vosges Organic Peanut Butter bar and was inspired to go through my chocolate cupboard and try the rest of the Vosges milk chocolate bars. They all say "deep milk chocolate" on the packages, which somehow makes it more appealing than regular milk chocolate. I suppose it is "deep" because it contains 45% cocoa solids, which makes it my kind of milk chocolate, since I usually like to eat 70% dark chocolate. Normal high-end milk chocolate might contain 30-35% cocoa solids, and commercial milk chocolate candy would contain a lot less cocoa solids (15% to 25% if you are lucky), so this truly is "deep milk chocolate".
The Habana bar is fantastic. The chocolate just melts in your mouth but isn't really sweet and there is definitely a salty taste to it. The plantains are not overpowering, just a little crunchy with a hint of banana-y flavour that doesn't sweeten the chocolate in a way that banana chips would. The whole bar was 85 grams, and I had trouble stopping myself at the halfway point. However, with the Barcelona Bar staring at me, waiting for its tasting turn, I had to stop and move on.
The Barcelona Bar is really tasty in a similar way: the milk chocolate melts in your mouth and there is a salty aftertaste. However, I found the hickory smoked almonds to be almost too subtle in the chocolate. The pieces were very small and, although, made the texture nice (I don't usually like huge chunks of almonds getting in the way of experiencing the smooth chocolate texture), it could have had a little more almond bits. But overall, it was still a tasty chocolate bar and at only 0.5 oz or 14 grams, you can't over-indulge on this little treasure!
Some other good points about the Habana bar are: the cocoa is Rainforest Alliance Certified and organic too. Also, the manufacturer has used sunflower lecithin instead of soy. So if you are avoiding soy for whatever reason, then you can eat this chocolate bar. However, see the package details below for the manufacturer's warning that they do make the chocolate bar in a facility that handles soy. Oh and both chocolate bars are Gluten Free - good news for people who can`t have gluten!
Well, it was a good chocolate-tasting day, thanks again to Vosges Haut Chocolat. I hope my chocolate cabinet has not yet been emptied of "deep milk chocolate" by Vosges, because I am beginning to enjoy my daily milk chocolate treats!
Here are the package details and manufacturer info on the two Vosges chocolate bars that I tasted today:
Vosges Haut Habana Made with Organic Milk Chocolate and Plantain Chips, 45% cacao, 3 oz (85g)
Vosges IP, LLC (Chicago, IL USA)
Ingredients: *Milk chocolate (*sugar, *+cocoa mass, *+cocoa butter, *dry whole milk powder, sunflower lecithin-an emulsifier), 9% plantain chips, salt. Chocolate bar contains: 40% cocoa solids minimum, 15% milk solids minimum. *Organic ingredients. +Cocoa mass and cocoa butter from Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) farms. Contains: Milk. Manufactured in a facility that handles tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, wheat, shellfish and soy. Gluten-Free. Certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Vosges Haut Chocolat Barcelona Bar with hickory smoked almonds, grey sea salt, deep milk chocolate, 45% cacao, 0.5 oz (14g)
Vosges IP, LLC (Chicago, IL USA)
Ingredients: milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, dry whole milk powder, soy lecithin-an emulsifier, vanilla), 6% smoked almonds (peanut oi, natural smoke flavor, salt), sea salt. Chocolate bar contains: 38% cocoa solids minimum, 15% milk solids minimum. Contains: Soy, milk, almonds, peanuts. Manufactured in a facility that handles tree nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, wheat, shellfish and soy. Gluten-Free.
Okay, okay! So I've tried nearly every flavour of Vosges' chocolate bars. Want to read reviews of other Vosges Haut chocolate bar flavours? Check these out:
- Chili and chocolate flavours by Vosges: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/fire-and-ice-vosges-uses-chili-and.html
- Single Origin Chocolate by Vosges: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/vosgues-dominican-dark-chocolate-and.html
- Bacon and Chocolate by Vosges: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/las-vegas-chocolate-part-2-bacon-and.html
- Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate by Vosges: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/mmmmpeanut-butter-exotic-salts-and-deep.html