The urge to experience something new seems to be built into our DNA. Whether it’s making a new friend, reading a new book, or eating something unfamiliar, novelty spices up life. We generally disdain the mundane and boring in favor of the unfamiliar and exciting.
As someone who devotes a fair amount of time to sampling chocolate, I am always delighted with creative packaging, beans sourced from new locales, or innovative combinations of ingredients. Of course, some of the most amazing chocolate is pure and simple, beguiling us with its essential nature. Luckily, there’s no need to choose since both satisfy in different ways.
Being the novelty loving sybarite that I am, I was immediately intrigued with Coco Dolce’s line of bars and bonbons. Their beautiful pyramidal Mallomars were a riff on this childhood classic. A thin dark chocolate shell housed a light-as-air homemade marshmallow in one of three flavors: Tahitian Vanilla, Chocolate with Caramel, and Cinnamon with Sour Cherry. I enjoyed all of them, though the Cinnamon and Sour Cherry was an especially wonderful combination.
Cocoa Dolce’s Caramel Collection contains three different types of dark chocolate coated caramels: Chocolate, a little baton of chewy dark caramel, Classic Walnut, a tall rectangle of slightly softer (but still chewy) walnut studded caramel half dipped in dark chocolate, and two large squares of Applewood Smoked Bacon Caramel in dark chocolate. Each was uniquely delicious and it was fun having such variety.
I happen to love alcohol with chocolate, and was interested in their Chocolate and Fine Spirits collection. Tequila, Rum, Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey were separately housed in a crunchy sugar crust and enrobed in dark couverture. Quite decadent and satisfying.
Cocoa Dolce’s Tavalozza bars (5.5 ounces) were very generously topped with various fruits and nuts. I sampled the 57% Berry Bar laden with succulent blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Technically, these are dried fruit, but they were as fresh and moist as could be, lending a lovely chewiness to their snappily tempered base. I also tried the White Tavalozza bar with Fruit and Nut, a beautiful piece of edible art festooned with cranberries, pistachios, and dried orange peel.
Clearly, Cocoa Dolce is a very creative company. There are many other tempting products on their website including wine infused truffles, sugar free bars, single origin bars, grey salt caramels, peanut butter creams, and turtles.