The Buddha may have said comparison is misery, but when it comes to chocolate we want to compare so we can have the best experience possible.
Valor, a Spanish company, has four new flavors: Forest Fruits, Pear, Toffee, and Banana. All are made with 70% chocolate, and all are good quality. They snap with the precision of an army sergeant, and each has the added crunch of its particular mix-in.
The Forest Fruits is a predominantly raspberry experience, even though it also has dried blackberries. Visually, it’s very appealing: little hints of red against almost black chocolate. If you love the classic combination of raspberry and chocolate you will enjoy this.
The Pear lacks the textural interest of the raspberries in that the pieces of fruit are less crunchy. It has a pronounced pear flavor that seems to come from the added “natural aroma.” While the aroma may be natural, it tastes a little over the top to me. Not artificial exactly, just not echt.
Valor’s Banana is surprisingly delicious. I was afraid it would taste ersatz, but it doesn’t; and, the banana bits are nicely crunchy–not hard like banana chips in trail mix, but a perfect foil for the chocolate.
Counter-intuitively, the Toffee bar has 30-50% less sugar than the other three. There’s a honey undertone, and lovely small shards of friable toffee. The texture is perfect. Of the four, this is my favorite. Of the three with fruit, I prefer the forest fruits and banana. If pressed I would take the banana, only becuase it’s more unusual.
At about $3.00 a 3.5 ounce bar these are an affordable treat.