Thanksgiving is late this year and I do have quite a pile of Christmas chocolates, so I'd best get started putting these out before Thanksgiving. Subject number one is Chocolove's Peppermint Creme 55% Dark Chocolate Bites. For setting the wintry, Christmas tone, this one definitely captures the look. The bag portrays a classic starry night with pine trees decorated in all festivity of candy canes and lights. It's a pretty bag to bring home, but also nice enough to give as a small hostess gift or such.
Beside the Non-GMO Project and Rainforest Alliance stickers on front, there is also a Sustainable-Social-Ethical badge on the back. From what I understand, Chocolove does maintain fair trade values and keeps supply chains clear, but doesn't have fair trade certification on all their chocolates (which is fine given that certification is . . . complicated). This bag came with 20 pieces of chocolate and I bought it for $8.79, which comes in at about $0.44 per piece. Nice and average.
While not quite as appealing as the main bag, the individual wrappers are still alright. Their blue color is missing the touch of whimsy that the red and white Christmas trees give the bag. But the pale snowflakes still give enough of a festive look that these are good for either adults or children. Maybe they'll go in your candy bowl or you'll sneak them into Christmas gifts, but I imagine mainly they're going to be going into stockings.
The little chocolate trees do look about as good in person as they do in the picture. Some are slightly imperfect surfaces, but only slightly. Not bad especially given that they're only protected by their thin wrappers. In fact, they're cute enough to use as a dessert garnish or to unwrap a set of them and put them on a dessert board.
The trees give off a classic mint aroma and the flavor is exactly that, as well. There is not much more to say. The 55% dark chocolate is sweet and almost even seems slightly oily, so it appears best when it is eclipsed by mint like this. The mint is the focus. It's that sweet and creamy mint flavor we all know so well--a sure crowd-pleaser of a mint. The only note I would give is that the mint is inside the thicker part of the trees; that is, the top part of each tree is solid chocolate. This does mess with the proportions slightly: there is balance in the bottom of the tree, but not in the top. On the top, you can taste the chocolate more without having any mint. Yet it's a small detail and even smaller if you eat the whole tree in one bite. And the trees are pretty enough that even I agree that a slight imbalance in proportion is worth it.
So while I hope that these won't be the best out of the six Christmas chocolates I have so far obtained, they're a good start. Again, just a very classic chocolate mint candy put together in a festive packaging and shape. I'll be saving some for stockings for sure.