Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dolfin: Au Lait Au Masala

Michael brought this bar home from Boston for me -- undoubtedly from the liquor store on Broadway in Somerville, because they stock all of these plastic sleeve Dolfin bars -- two birds, one stone, right? Just kidding. Here we have another milk chocolate bar made with masala. I know I pegged masala chai as corny a couple of posts ago, but I just want to clarify that masala itself is not corny. Hello, have you ever had chicken tikka masala? We all have -- it's dead serious. It's chai that I take issue with, and this bar earns automatic points for abandoning that nasty four-letter word and maintaining the sweet, addictive flavor.

Dolfin: Au Lait Au Hot Masala
Cocoa content: 32%
Notable ingredients: hot masala
Origin: n/a

Ok, first. Masala, what is it? Usually, it's cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. It's just a name for a mix of spices commonly used to brew tea. But of course, the spices themselves do not add up to tea unless you steep them in water, which is kind of why I object to the concept behind that Le Pain Quotidien bar from two weeks ago.

Aside from having different names for the same thing, this bar and the Le Pain Quotidien bar are very similar. The LPQ bar had a cocoa content of 38%, and this bar is 32%. A 6 point difference in cocoa solids isn't hugely noticeable in this range, but I did feel like the LPQ chocolate was slightly higher quality. However, the spices were blended better in this Dolfin bar: it was less grainy, a little subtler (with a more surprising finish toward the end,) and sweet without being cloyingly so.

Both bars have beautiful packaging, a good snap, and good flavor. I didn't give the LPQ post a grade but this grade can serve for both of them: B+.

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