Friday, August 7, 2020

Nordi: Hazelnut & Campsite Coffee Dark Chocolate

Finnish chocolate I do believe is a first for me. And so this chocolate bar from Nordi is exactly the type of thing I like to find at World Market, rather than the World Market brand chocolate or Ghirardelli or Lindt that you can buy anywhere. Those chocolates must sell better, though, because I've noticed in recent years that they will typically only sell "new try" chocolates like this one (whether from a U.S. company or from abroad) for a limited time. It used to be they would carry something for a year and then trade out again the next year. Now things seem to be a little different depending on the brand. Point being, get the chocolate you want when you see it: you might see it again but you also might not.

The packaging here definitely has more of a European look with those shades of blue and even the font. And I suppose the campsite up in the snow and pine is Finland. I have never been camping in Finland, so I won't be able to say whether this Hazelnut & Campsite Coffee Dark Chocolate reminds me of a Finnish camping trip. I also did not yet drink coffee the last time I went camping, so I don't have any ideas beforehand of campsite-specific coffee. Nor do hazelnuts really remind me of camping. Maybe the hazelnuts don't have to do with camping, though, just with coffee since they are commonly added to coffee?

While the foil inside the card box doesn't necessarily remind me of the look of the outer packaging, it is great foil. It's regular silver on the inside with a pattern of black and grey arches on the outside. That look continues onto the chocolate bar. Different sizes of rectangles have either those same arches or a mild, dotted texture only visible from up close. The look uniquely combines the sharper approach of geometry with the softness of the arches. 

On the back of the bar, some of the pale hazelnuts are visible peeking through the chocolate. And the coffee aroma is wonderful. I've come across other chocolate bars with a strong coffee aroma, but this feels different somehow. It feels more like literally walking into Firecreek Coffee in Flagstaff and getting that wave of strong, freshly ground coffee (side note: if you are ever in Flagstaff or you see their coffee for sale in a nearby store, Firecreek really does have amazing coffee). 

The texture of the coffee is slightly hard--the expiration date of 10/27/20 is getting close. If World Market was anticipating only selling a small amount of these in a small amount of time, the time that they were closed and that people were shopping less even after they'd opened probably threw things off as far as expiration dates. (World Market already has an issue with trying to guess what people will buy before the expiration dates come up, which is why they always have so much clearance food that's so close to expiration or already expired--and why am I getting off on so many tangents today?)

The hazelnuts don't seem to add a lot of flavor, just a light crunch to the texture. I do like hazelnuts; normally, though, I associate them more with milk chocolate. I think also that I zeroed in on them first as far as flavor search because a curious thing happens with the chocolate and coffee in this bar. They meld into one flavor, each indistinguishable from the other. So it seemed easier to consider the hazelnuts first.

I would use the comparison of a cafe mocha as chocolate and coffee blending well together--except that those are very sweet and milky. So perhaps an affogato (espresso poured over gelato) made with chocolate gelato would be a better way of putting it. It's that strong taste of the coffee that puts espresso in mind. Yet it isn't exactly that eat bite is strongly full of coffee; it's that the coffee taste that is in each bite is strong coffee. If you get my drift. I can't say how the chocolate tastes on its own because it so linked with the coffee.

I don't mean to imply that this chocolate has no sweetness. It contains 70% cocoa (which comes with the Non-GMO Project and Responsible Cocoa labels) and comes in at the sweeter angle for that percentage. There is also a sense of creaminess to it that also adds to my affogato comparison. The hazelnuts, then, I suppose keep it all light and casual. I'm still not entirely sure what campfire coffee means. But it's good.

This is an enjoyable chocolate bar. I would be open to trying more from Nordi if I were to come across them again, though based on this bar I also wouldn't categorize them as a don't-miss company. 

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