Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Review: a Dolfin Chocolate Sampler

This past weekend I had some free time before my group signing at Chicklet Books in Princeton, so we slipped into NYC for a few hours. Yes, I know I'll be in the city next week, but as I'm manning the table for Phaze Books at the first ever Rainbow Book Festival (that's March 28 from 11AM to 6PM at the GLBT Center, see you there) I won't have much sightseeing time, so I leaped when I could. Last Saturday, we leaped into the Chelsea Market, where I bought more chocolate for The Stash (above).

Among the bars bought were five Dolfin Chocolate squares, varying from milk to flavored dark to straight dark. I can't seem to find a site for Dolfin, but from what I have found they are a Belgian confectioner, and they like to be creative with their offerings. Checking the major chocolate sites, I see bars of cumin, masala, and pink peppercorns. Worth a more thorough hunt next time I'm in Chelsea.

For now, I have the following varieties: Cafe Lait, Earl Grey, Ginger, 70% Dark and 88% Dark. Rather, I had them. Tasting squares go pretty fast around these parts, but I did make an effort to savor each bite and report back.

Cafe Lait (milk): Creamy texture coupled with a strong coffee flavor at times. Tiny granules of coffee offer a slight crunch on occasion. Seems where the coffee is closest, the taste is stronger, so the "cafe" isn't fused throughout.

Earl Grey (dark): Earl Grey is my favorite tea, and rubbing this square released the familar bold scent I enjoy often. The square has a sharp snap to it, and the tea flavor compliments the chocolate well - not overpowering or grainy. The larger Earl Grey bar is listed as 52% cacao, and that seems right for this square.

Noir Gingembre (dark): There doesn't appear to be a strong scent to this one. The snap is good, and holding the chocolate releases the spicy ginger gradually into a pleasant finish. Am guessing, based on the contents of a larger bar, that this is also 52%, but it tastes darker than that.

Noir 70%: Deep cocoa aroma with a more decided snap than the others. It melts easily into a tangy finish that varies bite to bite. One second it's a strong cocoa, the other I detect a savoriness to it. I tend to stick with darks in the 70s, and this one was not unpleasant.

Noir 88%: The aroma isn't as pronounced as the previous dark, and the snap came off as duller. On the palate there is more bitter, almost a licorice finish. Something like this I could only take in small doses.

Next week, I'll take Manhattan for some more, if I can find it.

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