Monday, February 25, 2013

The sweet and the savoury, Conillin™ Chocolates has something for everyone

Connecticut-based Conillin Chocolates has an intriguing story and a totally unique product concept. They make whole freeze-fried fruit that are rolled in chocolate (panned), as well as chocolate bars with fruit flavours. It began with an idea to provide the same taste experience that you get from real chocolate-covered strawberries, but in a product that can be packaged and endure long travel and shipping.

Founder Patrick Cayer decided to freeze-dry fruit because he believed that "fruits dried with sugar produced a gummy and raisin-like texture, which in the end was too sweet on the palate" (ref). I agree. Personally, I have never liked dried fruit in chocolate for the same reason - it just tastes too sweet.  And when added to chocolate, the resulting super-sweet combination also has a chewy texture, rather than a nice chocolaty melt.

Freeze-dried fruit never seems to taste any sweeter than fresh fruit. So when combined with Conillin's chocolate, there is a wonderful fresh fruit taste without the added sweetness, and a nice crunch from the freeze-dried pieces.

This fresh-fruit flavour was clear in Conillin's jar of panned Raspberries, which I tasted for the first time a few days ago. These whole freeze-dried raspberries are lightly rolled in a semi-sweet 58% dark chocolate and then tossed in more raspberry powder for a unique look and taste. The raspberry flavour really stands out and holds all its naturally bitterness, but with a hint of semi-sweet chocolate.

I love the Raspberries because they satisfy my cravings for a chocolaty snack. I also feel less guilty while eating them; there is little fat in this product and it is mostly made of freeze-dried raspberries, with important vitamins and antioxidants. And we cannot forget those weight controlling 'rasberry keytones' that are all the rage! So I feel that this product is a way to enjoy a gourmet dessert while being healthy.

On the other hand, if you prefer your chocolate-raspberry combination to be sweet, try Conillin's 58% Dark Raspberry chocolate bar.  In this case, the chocolate's sweetness really stands out and there is just a hint of raspberry. This is a nice change from many other raspberry dark chocolate bars on the market, which are either too bitter (i.e. a 70% paired with unsweetened raspberries) or overwhelmed with raspberries and you are left crunching seeds for hours after. In Conillin's chocolate bar, you will get your semi-sweet chocolate fix while enjoying just a hint of raspberry flavour.

Conillin also sells a 38% Milk Chocolate Chai Tea bar with a nice balance of spice and chocolate, and a wonderfully smooth texture.

Their other milk chocolate bar is Passionfruit, which was also very tasty. The fruit flavour was at the forefront, but very naturally paired with the milk chocolate.

Conillin Chocolates uses real vanilla and no artificial ingredients - an important fact for any true chocolate lover to know!

Patick Cayer is now planning to bring his chocolate-and-freeze-dried-fruit concept to many more consumers through his Kickstarter campaign. The goal is to increase production space and distribution in order to bring  Conillin's chocolate-and-freeze-dried fruit concept to more consumers. So check it out! Every level of donation will provide you with a variety of Conillin's products to try, which are well worth the taste (speaking from experience!).

Conillin also sells jars of panned blueberries, orange pieces and strawberries, as well as an Earl Grey Tea chocolate bar. For more information on Conillin Chocolates, check out the website:


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