I love World Market. I love their funky furniture (including my gorgeous dinning room table), their fun kitchen accessories, their wacky kids’ toys and I really, really love the unique foods from around the world. Every year at Christmas I spend hours there looking for fun (and tasty) stocking stuffers.
However, despite my love of the place, it never dawned on me that WM might just be the place to get some exotic chocolates to nibble and review here. I just happened to be there last week killing time with my BFF, when I was reminded of the HUGE aisle practically devoted to chocolate.
Perusing the shelves, I wasn’t sure where to start. I only wanted to get one or two items since I like my reviews to be fresh. Nothing like commenting on month old chocolate, right? Each shelf held a cornucopia of chocolatey happiness from just about every country. My eyes were racing and my mouth was watering. My brain was pounding…I had far too many choices.
Then, I saw it: Blood Orange. World Market actually has their own line of chocolate bars and the first one I laid eyes on was a milk and blood orange combination. My decision was made.
I first had a blood orange (also called Moro oranges) at the incredibly rural school I teach at. It was not at all the place I expected to find something so exotic, but every year our FFA sells boxes of fruit as a fundraiser. I didn’t actually buy any of the fruit as their smallest box was like 10 lbs and it was just my husband and I back then (I stuck to the caramel corn, which is fantastic as well), but I guess they had over ordered and as a treat for the faculty, the sponsor left a fruit tray in the lounge.
When I saw the oranges which actually looked as if someone had beaten them, I was a little wary. The grapefruit, navels and red apples were being gobbled up, but everyone seemed afraid of these horror film rejects. But, as I am a bit of an adventurous eater, I figured what the heck, threw caution to the wind and grabbed a slice. Then I grabbed another, and another. It was the best damn orange I’d ever had. It was sweet and tart and juicy and, well, the best damn orange ever.
From that moment on, the allure of blood oranges has been to strong for me. Whenever I see anything associated with blood oranges (including the kick ass caramel made by Vosages), I must have it. So, I grabbed a bar and headed for the check out.
When I unwrapped it, I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t smell any citrus. Not that I expected the chocolate to smell like an orange, but I thought there might be some hint of the sweet tartness to come. There wasn’t.
The first bite wasn’t what I was expecting either: it was crunchy. Yes, that’s right, it was crunchy. Not in a Nestle Crunch sort of way. It tasted like it had seeds in it, which was very odd to me since oranges aren’t very seedy fruits. I quickly turned the wrapping over to look at the ingredients and found the culprit: blood orange peel. Still, I was unnerved because orange peel isn’t usually crunchy either. My guess is that it was dried and then mixed in with the chocolate. As I continued looking at the ingredients, I notice the only one actually associated with a blood orange was the peel.
This was a particularly bad find since peel often adds a slightly bitter taste in cooking. And in this candy it definitely did. There was none of the sweet tartness I’ve come to know in a blood orange. The chocolate actually tasted more like it was infused with grapefruit. Not overly citrusy, but a slight bitter citrus after taste I’ve always attributed to grapefruit. I don’t care if it’s good for me, I don’t like grapefruit.
The slight bitterness was especially well, bitter, since it was milk and not dark chocolate. The combination of flavors though, reminded me of a dark chocolate, which was very disappointing to me. I’ve had other, orange chocolates which haven’t tried to sucker me in by claiming a blood orange connection. I both like and respect those chocolates far more than this one.
I went in to this taste experiencing expecting greatness. My tongue was primed and my mouth watering, but I could only finish three of the 15 squares offered me because I just didn’t like it. I’m going to try to sneak the rest of it in my husband’s lunchbox as a treat. He’s not at all picky about anything food related, so he might actually see it as a treat and not me wanting to alleviate my guilt over spending too much on bad candy.
Appearance: 3/10 (nothing special about it)