Friday, June 5, 2015

Crown Aloha: Pali Pineapple Dark Chocolate

June means summer, and World Market has their summer things up. I love World Market and while I enjoy browsing the displays for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day, and Easter, I'm not usually overly fond of the summer displays (minus the Fourth of July things, of course). A lot of bright colors I don't like and barbecue, picnic, or patio items I don't need. Then sometimes they have the Hawaiian section with a couple of food items that don't appeal to me at all--except for when I spotted some chocolate in there.

I always want to try new chocolate, and Hawaiian chocolate is new to me. (There are some pretty nice cacao plantations in Hawaii these days--it's worth looking up and reading about if you're interested.) This little circular tin is made by Crown Aloha, which is based out of Honolulu. I'm not certain, but I'm guessing that they buy their chocolate and then make it into these flavored sets. While pineapple chocolate sounded a little questionable to me and I almost got a different flavor instead, I convinced myself that if I was bothering at all, I'd better get the pineapple kind. Pineapple chocolate--that's definitely new to me.

Inside the yellow tin you'll find eight triangles of chocolate; underneath them is a sheet of paper to separate them from one more set of eight triangles. So it all comes in to a full 100 grams. There was a tad of bloom on my chocolate, presumably because it had a long journey to get to me (most chocolate does, but I suppose the trip from Hawaii is a little more complicated than trips solely by land). Curious, I broke a piece apart with my fingers, finding a golden filling almost like a stiff caramel. There seem to be three narrow tunnels in each triangle that hold this pineapple filling.

Besides looking like caramel, it also tastes somewhat like caramel, even a tad salted. So then I glanced at the ingredients and saw that it is listed as pineapple caramel. Hmm. I think it would have benefited this chocolate to be labeled as containing pineapple caramel on the front--that way it looks a little less intimidating to people cautious about trying a new flavor in chocolate. After all, pineapple chocolate might just as easily have chunks of pineapple in it--and that would certainly appeal to me less than pineapple caramel.

First you taste some of the chocolate and some of the caramel, quickly followed by the slight saltiness; the pineapple follows in next and finishes off with the last remnants of chocolate. And it doesn't taste at all odd to have pineapple in the chocolate: I probably, in fact, prefer it to citrus chocolate. A tad sweet, a tad fruity--that's what the pineapple is and that works just great for chocolate. This is 70% dark chocolate and it's decent quality. Nothing spectacular but certainly much better than a lot of chocolate that circulates these days: it even has a little bit of flavor to it. So I am very pleased that, whether this is chocolate from another company or their own, Crown Aloha has decided not to skimp and use very cheap chocolate.

I find myself rather pleased. I was excited to try something new but also half expecting not to like this chocolate. Instead, I find that it is rather nice and is in fact a good summer chocolate. It's definitely worth trying.

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