Some chocolates are like people: you have the feeling that you already know them, or at least that they remind you very much or someone else you once knew. That's how ChocXO's 37% cacao Milk Chocolate is: so familiar, like something I have tasted before but can't quite place.
In the town of Carlsbad, about 45 minutes above San Diego, is a place called The Chocolate Bar; they sell coffees and hot chocolates, desserts, truffles, and an assortment of other candies and chocolates. There I found a selection from ChocXO, a company based out of Irvine, CA that I had never heard of and therefore had to investigate into. This was one of those occasions where I felt inclined to choose the milk chocolate over the dark chocolate. I can't say why exactly; that was just what I felt like choosing. Anyways, a milk chocolate is generally as good of a marker of a company's talents as a dark chocolate.
As usual when a chocolate has to travel home with me, this poor little 40 gram bar went through a little wear on the way, and yet when I unwrapped it I still found it quite a sight. Is it just me that thinks this chocolate is a beauty? The design is simple: nine rectangles divided by criss-cross lines in alternating directions. Yet I find it perfect. Maybe it's because I like chocolate bars that divide into small pieces, and yes, you can break this chocolate along all the lines to create a set of 18 little triangles if you so choose.
Strongly fragrant, this chocolate tastes of vanilla, resulting in a caramel nuttiness that reminds me so much of another chocolate. I just can't be quite sure of which one. Or maybe that should be plural: the taste may be the flavor generally belonging to generic milk chocolates sold in the U.S. that are labeled as being made in Belgium. Yes, I think that may be it: that high vanilla content and that nuttiness, that's where I've tasted them before.
I don't mean exactly to call this bar a generic chocolate. Because here is the thing: this is bean to bar chocolate made with all organic ingredients. Just cane sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, cocoa paste, and vanilla. And that's the preferred way for chocolate to be, whether you're craving a complex dark chocolate one time or a simple milk chocolate another time. It's important that chocolate can be made with quality and integrity no matter if it is intended to be complex or simple. This is a simple milk chocolate, creamy and sweet, and yet it is made with organic ingredients. Though I keep calling it "simple," this is a stellar replacement for candy bar chocolate and yet it'll still satisfy those cravings for something sweet, while also being a better thing to purchase.
Yes, I paid $4 for 40 grams, but you can easily split this bar into three sections if you find the price a little high. And ChocXO is smart for keeping the bar size down: $4 is less intimidating than $8 for a larger, 80 gram bar.
The milk chocolate passes the test. Now I find myself curious about the dark chocolates that I left behind--but it isn't as if I can rush back to Carlsbad for them. Until next time then.