Chocolate for the Spirit a few years back at the Brown County Humane Society Chocolate Walk. We've been trying to find time on both our calendars to bring you some of their creations first because they make very intriguing chocolate but also they are one of the Indiana Artisans that our state government has helped to promote over the past few years. Finally we can bring you part of their sample to us for these Winter Holidays and some more later in 2013. Today's featured trio includes their dark chocolate Buddha bonbon and two types of barks: Peppermint and Golden Tiger Swirl.
Buddha Bonbon is 72% dark chocolate; they also make a milk chocolate version. He has caramel as well as pink Himalayan salt underneath his edible gold dusted exterior. He measures 1.5 inches both at his widest and his longest and he is almost an inch thick at his tummy. I'm a bit worried about picking him up because I don't want him to melt in my fingers so I do so very carefully. The gold comes off my fingers a bit but otherwise he feels cool and smooth. Hard do I bite into him? I decide to do like I do with bunnies and other such critters, fast with a head bite. The body makes a snap when I take a bite and inside is a creamy textured slightly salty but sweet caramel flavor that quickly blends into a dark cocoa that reminds the final essence in my mouth. Getting my mouth around the top part of the torso is a bit of a challenge but the taste and texture experience is the same. The dark chocolate here in comparison seems slightly bitter compared to the sweet and salty aspects but I really like them all together. Did you know that today, December 8, is also Bodhi Day, a day when Siddhartha experienced Enlightenment? I'm so thrilled by this connection that I just had to point it out. Remember, Sisters and Brothers, multiple religions and cultures celebrate festivals in the winter so expand your mind and your mouth to mark them all. This little guy comes with a message from Julie, the woman behind Chocolate for the Spirit but you'll need to get one yourself to learn what that is.
Peppermint Bark- New School is very festive looking for the winter holidays and there is just something about peppermint that we've grown to so strongly associate with them here in America that if we don't see, smell, or taste something peppermint it hardly seems like the holidays have arrived. This has dark and white chocolate, peppermint oil, peppermint candy pieces, pecans, cranberries, and pistachios with a edible silver dust here and there. Obviously as you can see in the photos, the bark came in pieces. One of these in this case was basically the dark chocolate infused with the peppermint oil; it melted so evenly in my mouth after a very loud snap from taking a bite, the peppermint built up with each chew then receded into the background leaving the deliciously lightly bitter chocolate. Then I try a piece with more of the white chocolate, the candy pieces, and the nuts and cranberries. The cranberries and candy are chewy, the nuts crunchy, and the white chocolate mixed well with the darker, all bringing out the peppermint for a while but leaving a creamy nutty essence behind. Personally I was a bit overwhelmed by all the various flavors but the differences in textures was fun to explore.
Golden Tiger Bark is more a general bark that you could enjoy year around but since I was covering the previous bark, I decided we'd do this one as well. This has dark, milk, and white chocolate as well as peanut butter, pecans, French sea salt, and edible gold dust again. These have a light peanut butter scent to them when I open the lid and the chocolate is more milk than anything else. This feels softer in my fingers than the previous bark did but then that one seemed to have a base of the dark chocolate it was built on while this looks and smells to be more of a milk chocolate and peanut butter base. The only sound is soft and comes from the nuts when I encounter them. There is also a hint of the salt with the creamy chocolate and peanut butter. The white and darker chocolate are too little to make much an impact on my taste buds though I'm sure they are blending in and just unable to stand out on their own. I really, really love how it all blends together but if I closed my eyes I couldn't identify all three chocolates.
There you have three timely treats from Chocolate for the Spirit and one is perfect for this particular winter holiday we have today while the barks are either more general or winer season fun. My favorite had to be the Buddha bonbon and he earns a Sacrament status for this time of year. Of the barks the Golden Tiger Swirl was superior for me and even that was a bit busy because I couldn't pull out individual flavors as well a the blended whole. If you've tried these, Sisters and Brothers, please let me know what you think. If you haven't, how cute is the Buddha bonbon?