I would like to pretend that I’ve been saving the first of today’s chocolates to review at precisely this perfect post-American-Thanksgiving-and-all-its-pumpkin-splendour time. Alas, the truth is I’d simply forgotten that, once upon a time, I was sitting on a queen-sized bed in Austin eating a Bissinger’s Pumpkin Chocolate Bar and giggling at texts coming in on my phone. Now I’ve remembered.
Bissinger’s Pumpkin Chocolate Bar
The blurb on the back of the Bissinger’s Pumpkin Chocolate Bar package states that this creation is made with “real pumpkin, which is antioxidant-rich in beta carotene”. I do so like it when chocolate can double as one of my five-a-day.
After oohing over the pretty orange-coloured pumpkin-flavoured white chocolate swirling through Bissinger’s 38%* milk chocolate, I broke off a piece and was immediately impressed by how completely the aroma mimicked that of pumpkin pie. And not just pumpkin pie spice, either; the aroma flew me right back to UVA, circa November 2007, when I bought a can of pumpkin pie filling to eat with a spoon in my dorm room in the hopes that the taste would approximate real pie. It didn’t. It wasn’t pleasant. However, the pumpkin pie aroma of this chocolate was pleasant, so I’m not quite sure what the UVA anecdote adds to this story.
Bissinger’s Pumpkin Chocolate Bar was oh-so-truly rich in notes of roasted sweet pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, with the milk chocolate’s flavour quickly following in a burst of hyperactive, aggressive sweetness. So. Much. Sugar.
I enjoyed the novelty of this chocolate confection, and appreciated that Bissinger’s went for a real pumpkin flavour, not just spices, in its white chocolate swirls. However, the milk chocolate itself was too cloyingly sweet and one-dimensional for my tastes.
Lulu’s Raw Chocolate Maca Chunk
Having previously liked Lulu’s Raw Vegan Chocolate Aztec Crunch with Raw Cacao Nibs, I was excited to try the company’s Maca Chunk flavour, which came as a caramel-coloured bar studded underneath with large squares of raw dark chocolate.
Boasting 5,600mg of maca (as I have no frame of reference for maca intake apart from knowing that most people don’t eat it, this 5,600mg claim is quite meaningless to me) and about four hundredty thousand other health-focused claims, one might be forgiven for expecting Lulu’s Maca Chunk chocolate to taste of moonbeams and enable a person to fly.
The aroma reminded me of white chocolate, caramel, smoke, and raw cacao butter. The texture was slightly grainy, and the flavour a mixture of smoky, tangy, fruity with raspberry and pineapple, something a bit tropical, and a hint of cream cheese. I didn’t care for it. I wanted to like this, but I couldn’t. However, the dark chocolate chunks attached to the bottom of the bar were lovely (and a welcome relief), tasting of rich cacao and brownies with pecans.
It seems I still prefer mesquite to maca. All 5,600mg of it.