L.A. Burdick: Antioxidant Bars 68-72%

I must confess: in the past, I haven’t always been so fond of neutraceutical chocolates.  Even the name sounded ominous, but Burdick’s three bars have changed my mind.

Those of you who read my posts regularly know that any chocolatier who scores his 3.5 ounce bars into 30 little rectangles already has my affection.  

The first bar I tried with apricots, pumpkin seeds and pink peppercorns was quite a carnival of flavors.  It took me a few tastes to pinpoint each of them.  The pink peppercorns were quite arresting and addictive, their texture and spiciness unusual against the foil of dark chocolate.  The apricots were less prevalent, and the pumpkin seeds added a light crunch. (Dolfin makes a 52% dark bar with pink peppercorns, but their chocolate is not this good.)  If you like a bar with some zing, this is the one for you.

The next rendition had goji berries, blueberries and cocoa nibs and a much stronger chocolate taste.  Here, the dominant experience was one of nibs and very satisfying depth of flavor.  The counterpoint of sweetness from the berries was delicious.

The last one had raisins, flax seeds, and hazelnuts.  Intense dark chocolate was the predominant flavor with crunchy hazelnuts to add interest.  Less assertive was the mini-crunch of the flax seeds, though I loved their nutritional punch.  As for the raisins, there are raisin lovers and raison haters.  I fall into the former category.  Here, they added a wonderful chewy-sweetness without being overpowering.

One more thing: I know everyone has different preferences for the percentage of mix-ins they like in their chocolate.  These bars have enough to keep each bite interesting but not so many that they overwhelm the chocolate.  

The packaging is lovely and easy to re-close with its corrugated cardboard box and pretty brown ribbon. A great gift for all your health-conscious friends and family.

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