Looking Back - Gourmet Boutique's Top 10 of 2012
Posted: Jan 17 2013
Here are the top 10 fascinating chocolates I have stumbled upon and relished at the Gourmet Boutique in the year 2012. All unique in their own way, every bar has a story engraved within - here goes the countdown.
10. NEWTREE’S THYME BAR
New Tree believes that all of us must engage in exploring nature’s secrets while we bite into chocolate. That is how this Belgian brand created its Thyme bar – a savory dark chocolate bar made with fine Latin Cacao beans and blended with aromatic thyme, golden flax seeds and crisped rice. A great bar of chocolate that adds spice in your life and makes you think healthy even while satisfying that sweet-tooth!
9. MARIEBELLE’S MATCHA BAR
Mariebelle’s Matcha Bar is inspired by the company’s desire to offer something filled with refreshing ingredients. Nothing can be more organic and rejuvenating than Japanese Matcha – finely ground green tea powder brought to Japan by the Zen Buddhists which continues to be an important component of Japanese culture and tradition. This fine white chocolate infused with Japanese Matcha tea is definitely a great addition to 2012’s unique selection of chocolate.
8. WHITE CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO BY VENCHI
Italian culture is written all over this bar of fine white chocolate mixed with salted pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds. A well-recognized brand from Italy, Venchi has used Italian recipes ever since it began its chocolate journey in 1878. The Italian culture of using almond and hazelnut paste instead of cream and butter fillings can be witnessed in this fabulous white chocolate. The dual taste of sweet and salt makes this bar a great snack!
7. BT McElRATH’S CHILE LIMON CHOCOLATE BAR
This dark chocolate bar mixed with chilies and lemons surely creates a WOW effect and is suited only for the adventurous and the brave. One of the spiciest bars at the Gourmet Boutique, (good with a glass of water or milk) leaves behind a memorable, fresh, hot n tangy taste – definitely worth a try.
6. RAVISHING ROCKY ROAD BY CHUAO
This Venuzualien Chocolatier, based in Southern California brings a rather unusual twist to marshmallows. The wonderful American tradition of roasting marshmallows by the bonfire is the inspiration behind this bar. Salted caramelized almonds and chewy marshmallows create a rocky path as they are blended with milk chocolate. Now, who can say no to this?
5. MARABOU’S COOKIES AND CREAM
Sensational would be an apt word to describe this Swedish chocolate bar. Inspired by the Oreo cookie, Marabou has created its version of delicious milk chocolate with a double layer filling. The base layer has a soft creamy filling with bits of crunchy cookies and the top layer is filled with dark chocolate sauce that oozes out as soon as you take the first bite. It certainly can’t get better than this.
4. GIANDUIA BAR BY CAFFAREL
Another Italian wonder makes this list because this chocolate bar is pure creamy hazelnut heaven. Gianduia is the name for chocolate blended with hazelnut paste and Caffarel makes its paste from the hazel trees of Turin, Italy. This smooth, velvety milk chocolate bar will give Nutella a run for its money!
3. REBER’S ALPINE YOGURT AND LIME
German brands tend to blend mildly sweet creams and yogurts with their chocolate to offset the sweetness of the chocolate itself. This concept is used in Reber’s milk chocolate blended with lime and yogurt filling. The sourness of the lime is subdued by the creamy yogurt, leaving behind a citrus flavor made all the more sweet by the milk chocolate.
2. WINTER DREAMS BY NIEDEREGGER
I would give the best holiday bar award of 2012 to Niederegger’s Marzipan Weihnachtsschokolade, a spiced Marzipan chocolate bar, only because this bar tastes like Christmas from beginning to end. From Lubeck Germany, known as the “marzipan of world renown,” Niederegger has meticulously mixed all the classic Christmas spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise with marzipan and a hint of alcohol (it’s not the holidays without a hint of liquor!). This marzipan filling is then sandwiched between creamy milk chocolate. Every bite is warm and satisfying!
1. AL NASSMA’S CAMEL MILK CHOCOLATE
Number one on this list is the camel milk chocolate by Al Nassma – that’s right, milk chocolate made with camel’s milk. What makes this chocolate even more unique is that Al Nassma is the only producer of camel milk chocolate in the world and Gourmet Boutique is the only importer of this exotic chocolate in North America. To experience the Middle-Eastern flavors, Al Nassma’s Arabia and Date bars are worth a try. Both inspired by the spices and fruits commonly used by women of the Bedouin tribe, one bite will transport you to the magical Arabian nights. Such confident, innovative and robust creations has made 2013's line of chocolate all the more interesting, funky and of course tasty.