So awhile back I was having lunch in a quaint little town not very far from my home. I had planned an outing with some of my work friends so we could enjoy a fabulous lunch and some shopping in what I assumed would be unique little shops. They were definitely unique. They were also almost entirely resale clothing shops specializing in fashions for the over 50 or jewelry stores. I probably should have been tipped off the moment I walked in to the cafe we ate at and saw the art in the gallery portion. Now, I’m not a total and complete art snob, but wow…we spent a good portion of lunch deciding which paintings we would give each other as ironic gifts. I got the creepy Marinette one, so I think I came off the biggest loser there.
The only store I was even remotely interested in was the wine store. Not because I’m keen on wine (I actually really don’t care for like 90% of it–it’s only the sweetest dessert wines for me), but because like all good wine shops, it also had lots of gourmet foods.
I can’t help myself when I’m in this kind of shop. I simply adore all the jars of fancy mustards, bags of exotic chip-like creations and assorted jams and jellies, most of which I would never, ever put on my toast. I go a bit gaga over coolers filled with cheeses I’ve never heard of, let alone tasted. And, I go sort of weak in the knees when I see some sort of new chocolate creation. This store had everything I love looking over, including some funky looking chocolates from Gourmet Divine. The only link I could really find for it was this one, which I probably should have taken as a sign. I also could have taken the display of chocolate wine sitting right above the shelf with these chocolates as some sort of divine intervention (no pun intended) trying to stop me from purchasing the shiny, red rock-coated chocolate, but my love of all things cocoa and my intrigue to find out just what those pebble-like substances were over-powered me.
Now, I hate to speak ill of anything chocolate, but I may have to make an exception here. Although I’m not totally sure how I’m going to describe it as words, quite frankly, are escaping me. I’m not sure I’m speechless, but the only think that is really coming to me mind is, wow…what was I thinking?
Being a near worshipper of chocolate and raspberry mixed together, I grabbed the chocolate raspberry bark. I knew I was asking for trouble the moment I laid eyes on it. The spikey bits on top reminded me of crushed up Lifesavers and I had a feeling this was not going to be the chocolate-fruit mix I usually adore. But, I bit in anyway.
I was pleasantly surprised that they were not hard bits of raspberry crystal. I was perplexed by that fact, but a little relieved. Rather than crunching, they were chewy. Which, on second chew, when they were getting stuck in my teeth, I realized should not have been any sort of comfort to me. They were definitely tart like raspberries should be. However, they were also sort of overly sugary, so they very much tasted like sugar trying to masquerade as raspberry. I can take this when it is in a circular form and is intended to be sucked on (via Lifesaver), but not when I’m expected to chew it up with a mouthful of chocolate.
The chocolate itself (which on first glance looks like a layer of white on top a layer of milk), is completely lost in the overpowering fake raspberry taste. I think what I initially took for white is actually supposed to be some sort of raspberry flavored chocolate, but honestly, neither layer tasted like much to me. The chocolate was crumbly rather than melty and didn’t really have a distinct flavor. I think the makers may have been relying on the unforgettable wave of raspberry to make the taster completely forget there was even supposed to be any other flavor mixed in.
For anyone who has missed my subtle hints here, I did not like it one bit. Aside from a sort of eye catching stained glass looking novelty appeal, I can’t really say much nice. The after taste of this raspberry imposter lingered in my mouth for far too long. Although the company makes the bars in eight other flavors, I can’t imagine myself having a favorable reaction to any of them. I like chocolate and fruit, but I like chocolate and real fruit, not candied fruit-inspired flavoring.