So I'm back from Barcelona, back from Europe, and back to blogging in my pajamas in bed with the television on. Too much? This is the first in what will be a pretty long (say, monthlong?) string of Barcelona reviews, since I did an unspeakable amount of chocolate shopping there on the Carrer de la Princesa. This one is from an amazing store called Xocoa that sells all manner of chocolatey things: perfect looking chocolate chip cookies, chocolate coated rice-krispie treats, and hot cocoa mixes. The bar selection is crazy: rosemary, lemon verbena, and above all -- this one! I had no idea what to get, but luckily Michael bit the bullet with Wasabi.
Cocoa content: 52%
Notable ingredients: wasabi
I was a little worried about the taste of this bar. I have a harder time with wasabi than chili peppers because it's much harder on the nasal passages, which for me are more sensitive than my taste buds. This bar was not actually spicy, though -- no more so than many of the chili pepper bars I eat, certainly. Wasabi is really more like mustard: it's savory, kind of sour, and spicy in the nose. And you would actually never think to mix mustard with something sweet, really -- except -- does ketchup count?
Anyway, I had my doubts. But the bar turned out to have only a hint of spice toward the end of the melt, and my nose went virtually unaffected. The taste, however, was striking. It's almost impossible to describe -- something like American horseradish, but somehow creamier, and smokier, like some sort of smokey, spicy legume paste. I would venture to say horseradish is salty whereas wasabi tastes of umami, but I don't want to be THAT GIRL.
So I'll just say that it was really surprising, really interesting, and pretty deliciously weird. The quality of the chocolate, also, was immediately recognizable as fine, pure, and snappy. The bar was big and generous. I have no complaints save for the fact that I don't know how to tag this bar -- wasabi is derived from a root, so it's not exactly a spice -- but then again, so is ginger. Spice it is. I award a B+.