Trust New Tree to turn chocolate on its head with their innovative combinations. I have thoroughly enjoyed some of their unusual pairings in the past, as well as their mission to make chocolate more of a go-to food than an occasional treat.
Let’s start with their 51% Dark Milk. With 30% less sugar than comparable bars, and three times the fiber, it sounds a bit too healthy to be as delicious as it is. I loved the strong hits of vanilla from both natural vanilla flavor and vanilla bean powder. There are some people who say the reason we love chocolate so much has more to do with the vanilla than the actual chocolate. I don’t agree, especially since some producers don’t add any vanilla and make fantastic chocolate; however, this dark milk bar is set apart by its intense vanilla notes. I tasted them in the first bite and also at the finish. Even with 51% cocoa solids it still has a very strong milky presence, and the texture is definitely that of milk chocolate. A great way to enjoy a milk bar with all the extra benefits that come from higher cacao content.
Granola 31% with Lime and Green Tea is a novel combination. Granola gives it crunch, lime adds a slightly acidic note that plays well with milk chocolate, and the green tea brings astringency to the table. This is one of those bars that kept me going back for more simply because each bite had different flavors and textures.
Roasted Almonds in 31% milk chocolate with Golden Flax Seeds is a healthy, textural bonanza. This one also has 30% less sugar, but you won’t notice. Its sweetness is highlighted by crunchy caramelized roasted almonds, and creamy milk chocolate.
Belgian Biscuit 65% is being re-evaluated here in its thinner form. I was quite enamored with it in a past review, but that was the chunky, thicker version. This was just as satisfying. It’s hard to pin down the difference. The thinner version seemed more like a confection, while the thicker bar was like eating a decadent cookie. The flax seeds simply add an extra crunchy dimension.
Superfruit is a 65% bar with cranberries, goji berries, pomegranate, grape and papaya. The pomegranate seeds are a bit chewy, and different fruit flavors take center stage depending on which bite you have. Another chocolate inspiration full of antioxidants, fiber, and with 30% less sugar.
65% Dark with Flax Seeds and Crisped Rice is the crunch bar for grown-ups. This one also contains 30% less sugar, but you’d never know from the taste.
31% Milk with Flax Seeds and Crisped Rice is more like an enhanced Nestle Crunch bar. It only has one more gram of sugar than its 65% cousin, but it tastes much sweeter and creamier.
Pink Peppercorn, aka “Sexy,” is a 73% delight packed with sweet, spicy, and slightly astringent pink peppercorns that give little bursts of flavor, like sensual firecrackers, along with an energy boost from guarana extract. I loved its intensity.