The Natural Living Center has a lot of specialty chocolates. They’re also right next to the register in prominent displays organized by company – smart marketing. Naturally, Fia and I pick up quite a few to try out. Our latest is an offering from Chuao Chocolatier called Potato Chip. Salty and sweet is a combination I often enjoy, so I figured it would be a shoe-in for one of my reviews. And what do you know – that’s exactly what’s happening now.
Price: This chocolate bar was very expensive – nearly $6. That’s pricey enough that I second-guessed myself quite a few times before actually buying it. If your budget can support that kind of price for a single bar of chocolate, awesome – but I know a lot of people will balk at that number. Still, I can understand why it’s expensive: this is a handmade chocolate produced by a company with a small market penetration. It’s unique. I get it – but that doesn’t make it affordable.
Taste: I expected this to be a salty, crunchy chocolate bar by virtue of the name alone. And it is. But what I didn’t expect was the exact nature of the crunchiness (hundreds of tiny crumbs of what feel like super-crisp kettle chips, rather than distinct pieces of chip) and the intensity of the saltiness (it’s pervasive and quite strong). I’m not sure if it’s the grease from the chips or something else, but this bar felt a bit waxy on my tongue. It took a bit of work to get it to melt at first. It’s a soft bar, too – it snaps silently, rather than making an abrupt click when you break off a piece. The milk chocolate flavor is closer to dark chocolate than many of the milk chocolates I’ve tried – and the salt brings out even more of that richness. However, if you eat more than a few bits, the saltiness begins to overpower the chocolate. It’s balanced to a point, but something is off and I can’t quite say what that is.
Presentation: I didn’t really care for the matte foil package that this bar came in. It creased too easily, giving the wrapper a used and worn look before I’d even opened it. The metallic accents are a nice touch, and the photography is gorgeous, but I really wish they’d used a thick paper wrapper or something a bit classier than plastic. Inside, the bar itself is beautiful – cast in a seamless mold with a very nice design. The typography is decent, if a little bland – but they were shooting for minimalism, and I think they achieved it.
Would I buy it again? Not this variety, no. Salted dark chocolate works far better than salted milk chocolate in my opinion, and for more than $5 a pop, this is a very high investment snack. I appreciate the care Chuao has put into the product, but this variety wasn’t really for me. That isn’t to say I won’t try another of their flavors, though.
Rating: 3/5 Forks