Sunday, January 1, 2012
Please excuse this long sabbatical -- I've been wrapped up in other things, but I wanted to stop in to tell you about a bar I've recently Known. This particular one was a Hanukkah present. It comes from Vosges, the excellent chocolate store with locations in Soho and the Upper East Side. Oddly, most high end chocolate stores seem to be concentrated in and around these two neighborhoods.
Vosges: Gingerbread Toffee Bar
Cocoa content: 65%
Notable ingredients: allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, toffee
This is one of Vosges's limited edition candy bars, probably just released for the holiday season. I thought it was going to be amazing because I'm a huge fan of gingerbread, but as it turns out, gingerbread is one of those things that you can only expect to enjoy when it is entirely itself -- in other words -- not trying to lend its graces to other treats, candies, cookies, pastries, and the like. With the exception of cookies -- gingerbread cookies are great -- nothing is a good vehicle for gingerbread spices. If you've had a disgusting gingerbread latte at Starbucks, then you already know.
I don't know what I expected -- for there to be little nuggets of chewy gingerbread tucked into the chocolate bar? Needless to say, there were not. The word "gingerbread" on the bar actually just indicates the presence of spices commonly used in gingerbread -- allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. And the bar wasn't simply flavored with these spices -- rather, the toffee was flavored with these spices, and the toffee was -- allegedly -- strewn throughout the bar. So, at this point we're about 3 degrees of separation away from gingerbread, the advertised star of this bar.
As it turns out, there wasn't even any detectable toffee, really. There was something crunchy, which I still can't identify, and there was a certain stale space flavor, reminiscent of those gingerbread lattes. My dreams were a little bit dashed.
In fairness, I didn't get to try this bar at its absolute best. My apartment is not really a hospitable place for chocolate right now -- it's unspeakably hot during the day while I'm at work (I open windows when I get home), so it gets melty if I leave it out, but it gets chalky if I put it in the fridge. Any and all suggestions for the care and keeping of chocolate are welcome.
This bar gets a C.