It is what it is may seem a bit Buddhist for a chocolate review, but when something is quintessentially what it is it’s worth noting. Sconza, a Bay area, family owned company since 1939 makes the best dark chocolate covered raisins I have ever had. Years ago, I stopped buying all chocolate covered raisins as they were a perennial disappointment, but these have won me over. Their freshness, chewiness, and rich, dark chocolate are simply perfect. Usually, I gravitate towards the super darks (70% range), but, for some inexplicable reason, raisons don’t marry well with such intense chocolate. For me, the typical milk coatings are just too jejune. If you love raisins and dark chocolate these are a slam dunk. Sconzacandy.com has their full line, but they’re the wholesaler. You can find these in many grocery stores, or email Sconza for a full list.
I was also quite taken with their dark (70%) chocolate toffee almonds. Typically, anything with toffee in the name is cloyingly sweet, but these have a thin toffee coating that gives them added crunch without all that extra sugar. I couldn’t have designed one better. Rich, satisfying, with the most perfect crunch of almond you can imagine; and, a few are enough to really stave off that mid-afternoon hunger attack without spiking your blood sugar, while providing four grams of fiber, and 10% of your iron for the day.
The chocolate Toffee Pistachios are made with milk chocolate, but they were also delicious. My problem with pistachios, as much as I adore their Kermit green color, is their lack of crunch. However, these were roasted and coated in that thin veneer of toffee, so they actually were crunchier than most. The milk chocolate was good, but I did wonder how they would have been with a darker variety.
In the past, I have raved about the Perigord walnuts from France (imported by Kis Global Flavors in Canada). Sconza’s have a much thicker dark chocolate coating, and two are incredibly rich and filling.
If you are a fan of chocolate covered dried fruit, they make cherries dipped in milk and white chocolate, and a “Chocolate Fruit Basket” with an assortment of cherries, cranberries, blueberries, apples, and apricots. These are a bit sweeter, and, unlike the four reviewed above, some have colored coatings. I am simply fonder of less sugary chocolates. Compared to their other fabulous offerings, I thought these more typical of their genre.