Saturday, August 11, 2012

South Bend Gift Basket, Part 1

Do you recall that back in June I mentioned that while on my 20th wedding anniversary trip we found three chocolate shops in Indianapolis?  No, go back and look at our "On the Road" posts please.  There you will find mention of the Chocolate Cafe but we've been so busy with other features and tons of frozen treats that it is only now that I could squeeze a feature about the gift basket they gave us to reveal to you all.  This has so much stuff it in that it will take three posts to do it justice.  So without further ado, let us reveal some of this basketful from South Bend Chocolate Company.

This is their summer gift basket with two special summer items: a flower shaped  candy pop and a bag of their Crunch which is caramel corn with a candy coating.  Here's the big problem: neither of these is chocolate, yup, no cocoa butter, no cocoa, not chocolate liquor or mass, nothing chocolate in them.  So beyond the photo I can't really judge one way or the other.  Neither claim to be chocolate so they are merely added into a basket of chocolate to give it a citrus summery touch.  If you want to see more summer specific items, the website lists seasonal products.



So I'll add into today's feature two bags of chocolaty treats you can find in many shops that sell South Bend chocolate: double-dipped peanuts and chocolate covered raisins in their gold foil bags.  The peanuts are 16 oz while the raisins are 3 oz.




Let's start with the Double-Dipped Peanuts in their pound bag.  There is also a dark chocolate version of these but the ones it the gift basket were milk chocolate made with cocoa butter and chocolate liquor.  If you are not familiar with double-dipped chocolate treats let me briefly explain the concept, it is simple.  You take whatever you are going to cover in chocolate,  in this case peanuts, and you cover them with chocolate.  Then you let that dry and harder and dip them again.  Easy right?  The result is that some of these peanuts were stuck together by so much chocolate and that the milk chocolate practically drowned out the peanut flavor.  The coating isn't particularly shining but it has a strong vanilla and chocolate fragrance.  With such a thick double layer of chocolate it makes a fairly loud sound when you take a bite plus the whole peanut inside continues to crunch.  While the peanut flavor didn't stand up well to the very vanilla chocolate, the salt did come through to counter a bit of the cream in the coating.  These were good and they tempted us to eat them quickly so we had to exercise self-control to slow down and enjoy them.  I'm betting the dark variety would be even better.

I'm not a huge raisin fan so I got help reviewing the raisins from this basket.  This is what our Fruit Acolyte had to say about these milk chocolate covered raisins: The chocolate-covered raisins have a light chocolate scent and are glazed like Raisinettes. The texture is nice, solid to bite into and crumbles well. The raisins inside are large, sweet, and have a solid
fruit flavor. The raisins' sweetness lingers after the chocolate in a very satisfying way. One of my favorite combinations and in this case
the unique qualities of the chocolate compliments the raisins well.
Definitely a superior product to Raisinettes!

There we have it, one third of the products in this basket have been revealed to you.  Have you had these particular treats from the South Bend Chocolate Company?  What did you think of them?  We think both the peanuts and the raisins are some of the best on the market and for that reason plus their being a business that supports other local and regional businesses, this is Sacrament Worthy.

1 comment:

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Please don't put links into your comments to only promote your own business. Comments should be about the topic or article of the day. I have to delete all others.