Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spokandy Elegant Treats

Sisters and Brothers, you may recall the name "Spokandy" from a June 27, 2009 Saturday Sacrament. With the fall and winter being incredibly busy holiday periods in many cultures, your Chocolate Priestess has decided to do two of the offerings they sent us in today's Revelation instead of just one. I hope you will read my journey with their products and then look at their website to see if their treats might make a delightful and elegant addition to your holidays.

Spokandy first enters into our toffee category with their "English Almond Toffee," which is made with milk chocolate (though it looks dark in color to me), butter, almonds and other ingredients, both natural and artificial.  A 6-ounce box of their toffee has 4 servings in it, or 8 pieces of candy.  Each serving has 220 calories, 7 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 24 g sugars, and 2 g protein, with 2% of the calcium and 4% of the vitamin A an adult needs every day.  All of this information seems on par with previous toffees that I have revealed on The Chocolate Cult, but as you know, Sisters and Brothers, we have to embark upon the full sensory journey in order to truly compare it to the four toffees that have come before this one.

The pieces are almost uniform in shape, in 1.75-inch squares of a good half inch thickness.  I can smell both the almonds and the butter, but primarily it's the cocoa I smell, and once again, even though the ingredients list says milk chocolate, it is darker than what I expect.  The chocolate feels a bit slippery as I lift it up to take a bite, which makes a loud snap after a bit of effort.  Inside is a very solid, golden toffee that is incredibly buttery.  The chocolate mixes very well with this, and neither gains control of my taste buds until after I finish chewing, when the buttery tang lingers.  This is important because, as I've revealed several times, with toffee the cocoa can easily be hidden, and that isn't what we want in The Chocolate Cult.  Taking a bite with bigger almond pieces on the top involves more salty and nutty flavors that hide the chocolate a bit more, letting more of the toffee itself out.  I think this is a great balance of flavors, and with almost uniform pieces it is easy to monitor and control portions.  Overall there is more of a sugar rush than cocoa, but you never forget the chocolate is there.

Spokandy also creates dinner mints, and this category is a first on The Chocolate Cult, so they have no competition yet.  They sent two types, dinner mints and pastel mints, which came in four color schemes. All of the mints are one-inch squares with a thickness of half an inch.  The pastels are three layers, with one color over and under another, as you'll see soon.  The dinner variety is only two layers, mostly the milk chocolate with a thinner layer of mint green.  As soon as I unwrap the outside plastic sheaths, the scent of mint hit me and continued to remain strong for several minutes.

The Dinner Mints, the dark ones,  came in a 3-oz. box containing two servings of six mints for a total of 12 mints.  Like the toffee, it is made of primarily chocolate, and then other natural and artificial ingredients.  The mint comes from pure peppermint oil, but the green layer isn't chocolate.  Each serving is 260 calories, 16 g saturated fat, 35 mg sodium, 21 g sugars, and 1 g protein.  This is a sugar rush waiting to be released, as most mints are. The mint's scent is primarily mint, but there is also a hint of cocoa.  These are basically bite-sized pieces, so I try one with the milk chocolate side down and one with the green layer down.  They make no sound when I chew them and are smooth and creamy, releasing a cooling sensation in my mouth that travels upon to tickle my nose.  There is only a slight difference in taste, a tiny bit more cocoa, when I eat one with the darker side against my tongue.  Primarily the taste is mint, not chocolate.

The Pastel Mints are made of white chocolate dyed blue, yellow or pink and also flavored with pure peppermint oil.  They have the same number of servings as the Dinner Mints but slightly different nutritional value, with 250 calories, 17 g saturated fat, 40 mg sodium, 22 g sugars, and 1 g protein.  I see no indication that these different colors should taste differently, so, since I urge you practice moderation, I will try only two, the pink and green, to see if there is any difference. These have no cocoa scent as the Dinner Mints did, and that is to be expected with white chocolate, but upon further inspection of the label I am annoyed: I see no part of the cacao plant being used in these mints, meaning this is not chocolate in any form.  At the very least it should have cocoa butter in it, but that is not listed.  Because of that, I must leave these aside for a later date.

I could easily see a bowl of Spokandy English Almond Toffee laid out for guests, as well as the mints.  The mints, though, offer greater variety in ways to serve them, because I think these might make lovely additions to cookies or brownies, but just remember that only the Dinner Mints actually use any part of the cacao plant and choose wisely.  I think I'll try that in the future, Sisters and Brothers, and let you know how it turns out.  Until then, please check out Spokandy and see their wide range of products.

Have a great Halloween today, if you celebrate.  Please look back at the 10 tips I offered earlier this week.  Yes, holidays and Saturdays are wonderful times to indulge in the Sacred Substance, but never forget Moderation and Purposefulness, so you can fully enjoy what you eat and drink.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.


Ann said...

I wish I can visit your place for trick or treat! :)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you, Ann.

If you had come, you could have had some nice cookies and organic, fair trade chocolates. Sadly since we expected over 100 trick or treaters we had to go with less expensive candies for them.

I'll report tomorrow, very briefly, on Halloween went at The Chocolate Cult's headquarters.

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