Saturday, December 28, 2013

Start a New Year with New TCHO

Teaming up with other restaurants, or famously chocolate or candy makers is apparently the rage; we've seen this from another company just last month so now we are looking at three new TCHO Pairings bars from TCHO; our Mocha Acolytes had looked at the first bar in this collection some time back.  All four bars in this collection are also Fair Trade certified for those of you that care, that should be all of us, Sisters and Brothers.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is like what you'd expect with chocolate, strawberries, rhubarb, and pie crust!  My mother always grew rhubarb but for some reason I never wanted to try it but I know some folks love it.  I do love strawberries depending on their sweet vs tart level that changes over time.  Let's try to break off a section and give this try; it breaks off fairly easily, I think the uneven nature that I'll discuss at the end of this article helps that.  All I can smell is milk chocolate -- no hints of what is supposed to be inside.  The bite makes a snap and there is a constant crunching as I chew.  The immediate flavor is a tart strawberry with creamy milk chocolate that turns into a sweeter flavor that must be the rhubarb and finally fading into the sweet-tart tinged milk chocolate. If the pie was made with TCHO chocolate I'd try a slice!

I rinse my mouth out well before turning to the TCHunky TCHOtella bar.  This is milk chocolate with hazelnuts, hazelnut butter, and sea salt -- might be overkill on the hazelnuts but let's find out.  This has a strong hazelnut and milk chocolate fragrance when I bring it close to my nose.  This bar seems a bit softer than the previous for some reason though they have been kept under the exact same conditions before they were tested.  The bite is soundless but there are soft crunches as I chew.  The hazelnut is thoroughly blended into the chocolate making it creamier tasting, the salt is a touch too much there could be less and it would only improve the overall good flavor.  You must love hazelnut to love this and luckily I do! I rinse out my mouth again because hazelnut always lingers before I move to the final bar to try for you all.

Galactic Gelato is a mint "astronaut ice cream" in dark chocolate.  I made this one last because we always work up from lightest to darkest chocolate when we do testing but also because mint tends to be a strong flavor as well.  This is very tough to break and it doesn't break off evenly which is disappointing but I do get one clean, full square of it to try for you all.  The little lumps  you can see in the photo are the unevenly placed pieces of astronaut ice cream -- freeze-dried ice cream -- that provides a burst of cool mint.  Once you break off a piece if you break through one of these lumps you get the mint scent but as a full bar it is just dark chocolate you smell.  The first bite makes a sharp snap and there is a surprising crunch because it turns out that the freeze-dried ice cream is throughout in very tiny quantities.  This means that the mint flavor is mixed throughout the dark slightly bitter chocolate and the only time that mint rears up is when you hit a bigger piece but even then it does not overwhelm our Sacred Substance.  The astronaut ice cream is also a bit chewy when you get a chunk of it.

This final photo is what each bar looks like on the front.  I think you can just make out a very interesting two switch-ups with the normal look of TCHO bars.  First the TCHO part is twice the size of the other sections -- think of each horizontal section as 1/2 of a serving of the bar according to the nutritional information on the label.  Second can you see the shadows on some parts of the bar itself?  The other seconds are raised or lowered on their bottom edge every other one which gives the bar an uneven look that plays little tricks on your eyes.  I liked all three of these but I think the one I liked the most really surprised me by being the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie... perhaps I'll have to give that pie a try?

What did you think of this trio, Sisters and Brothers?  Do they sound worth you trying out in 2014?  Leave a comment and let us know please.

2 comments:

Doreen Pendgracs said...

Hi Tammy Jo and Happy New Year! I, too, enjoyed the new bars from TCHO. They are quite a stretch from the rest of their lineup, but fun for when we're in a playful mood. I, too, really enjoyed the strawberry rhubarb flavour, but I admit to really liking all three!

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Thanks for commenting, Doreen.

I liked all of them but probably the hazelnut one the most which is odd since I feel hazelnut is so overdone with chocolate.