Saturday, November 30, 2019

Choceur Milk Chocolate Bar (Aldi)

If this image doesn't make your mouth water, you've never tried it.
My wife and I returned from a visit to her parents, who live out in the hills of Tennessee, with some leftover marshmallows and graham crackers, but no chocolate. We had made s'mores out in their backyard, browning the marshmallows in a fire pit, and it made me remember exactly why those are one of my favorite desserts ever...they're so simple to make, yet somehow so full of decadence. Anyway, the package of chocolate always seems to go faster than the rest of the ingredients, and so we were left with just two-thirds of a tasty treat.

The problem was further compacted by my wife's insistence on only getting the name brand chocolate bar. Normally, she's willing to try just about anything that Aldi offers, but she is steadfast in her commitment to two products: ketchup, and chocolate. The curious thing about this, though, is that she has had Aldi's chocolate before, and really likes it...just as far as s'mores are concerned, nothing will do for her except the kind that's manufactured in Hershey, PA.

Now, I was a little hesitant to get this because of the package mentioning that it is made with “hazelnut paste”. If that's just an ingredient, then obviously I don't care, but I didn't want my chocolate tasting of hazelnut, especially if its main use was going to be as the center of a tasty s'more. I opted to grab it anyway, considering a bar retails for under $2, so I didn't stand to lose too much even if it disappointed.

These taste pretty darn good straight up, with a sweetness that is also counterbalanced with a slight bittersweet flavor that prevents it from going too deep over the “sweet” spectrum, which some chocolates can do. For me, though, the texture is where it's at: whereas I've always found the main chocolate brand to look like plastic straight out of the wrapper, Choceur's looks much softer; just as you think it will, it starts to melt in your mouth almost the moment you put it in. It's loads better than the national brand in any conceivable measure, and also much cheaper, with a 5.29 oz. bar coming in at $1.69...really a good price for chocolate that tastes like this.

Now for the question I know everyone is dying to know the answer to: how did this perform in s'mores? Personally, just as I found this chocolate to be better on its own when compared to the national brand, I also thought it was way better with marshmallow and graham crackers. Since it has the propensity to melt in your mouth, it also melts quicker in the microwave (no room for fire pits in our cramped suburban home), and gives you a much creamier s'more with all the drippy goodness. I was absolutely certain my wife would agree (and am very rarely wrong in these scenarios), but I must say her stubbornness and thick skull won out over me on this day—she agreed the chocolate was delicious, but said it didn't come anywhere close to s'mores made with her preferred confection brand...a very disappointing thing to hear, considering I thought it was a night and day comparison, but to each their own.

I rarely buy chocolate from anywhere, simply because I don't want to be tempted by a house full of sweets, but I really do need to explore Aldi's chocolate offerings more. In fact, word seems to be getting out about how they offer some excellent chocolates at inexpensive prices—a couple ritzy people I know even go to Aldi just to stock up on them. And if these are any indication of what I can expect from the rest, well...I may become a chocoholic before long.

Overall: 10/10. A virtually flawless chocolate bar that melts in your mouth almost immediately upon entering, and has the appearance of a more upscale offering...yet this is Aldi's "low-end" bar. It has a nice chocolate taste that's as sweet as the "milk chocolate" descriptor would indicate, but is offset by a slight bitterness that doesn't come off as too sweet. Coming in at just $1.69 per 5.29 oz. bar, it's depressingly affordable, meaning it will take some willpower to prevent me from throwing in a whole box of these on every future shopping trip. There are certainly better chocolates out there, but not many in this price range.

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