Friday, January 31, 2014

Kotas Reviews the District 10 Chocolate Bar

Welcome to Day 5 of the Hunger Reviews! Today we finally get away from lame add ins and put the gore in gourmet with the District 10 Bar. District 10 is known for livestock, so what sort of candy could POSSIBLY represent livestock? Turns out, no candy at all. BEHOLD THE NIGHTMARE.

Fire up the abattoir, we've got chocolate to make!
Beef Jerky AND Smoked Mesquite? In a Milk Chocolate Bar? The world has gone mad, and I am at the center of that whirlwind. The label has a nice color scheme and FINALLY we get something off the wall and unorthodox in our progression through this chocolate line up. My prediction upon first viewing this was that it would be wretched. Let's crack it open and see if I am right!

Well, it looks fairly normal.

The first thing you notice upon opening the package is the smell. It smells like mesquite flavored beef jerky AND chocolate. There is NO mistaking this for a non-beef-jerky infused chocolate bar that's for certain. The taste is...surprisingly decent! The sweet creaminess of the milk chocolate is an interesting contrast to the smoky meaty taste of the beef jerky. It is really in there, and you will find your self chewing on a small morsel of the stuff long after the chocolate has dissolved. It is certainly a hefty step above the wretched District 3 bar, which should be purged from existence as soon as possible. Guess I'm no Kreskin, eh? Or for you younger readers, no John Edward.

On the FACE Rating System, this chocolate bar gets 1 smiley face. It's still not worth $5, but the novelty of it along with the unexpectedly decent taste brings up the score significantly. Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of the Hunger Reviews!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kotas Reviews the District 7 Chocolate Bar

Day Four of the Hunger Reviews. Still in search of the one chocolate that is actually worth the money. My sponsors have all but abandoned me, but still I slog on. Will today be the day I find it? I dream of actual good chocolate and living to tell the tale. Today we uncover the District 7 bar, representing...uh...Lumber?

Lumber? Sure, that says "chipotle chili" to me.
This bar has another pretty decent label, but they are all starting to look the same, which isn't great when you are trying to differentiate between 12 different bars. Our second milk chocolate offering comes with chipotle chili as the main (nay, only) addition. Why chipotle chili for Lumber? Uh, it's a plant, and lumber comes from plants? I have no idea. 
Sadly, this bar was damaged in transit. The flavor was not affected.
YAWN, another day, another boring looking bar. Why am I continually surprised at the dullness of these chocolates? Anyway, this isn't all that bad really. The milk chocolate is appropriately milk chocolately, a step up from Hershey's but only slightly better than a good Cadbury Dairy Milk. The chili plays no part in the flavor, but it does add some afterburn to the taste, which was somewhat unexpected. There's really no chipotle flavor here, just milk chocolate and heat. It's not a bad combination, but it is not something I personally get overly excited about. I think it would be better if the chocolate was a dark chocolate. 

On the FACE Rating System, the District 7 bar gets 0 faces. Not bad, but nothing I would seek out again. If they had used dark chocolate and/or actually made the chipotle portion matter, this might have gotten to 1 smiley, but as it is, very meh. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kotas Reviews the District 6 Chocolate Bar

It's the third day of the Hunger Reviews! Today is pretty cold, but I got to stay home and eat candy, so I suppose it is not all bad. Yesterday's candy was a train wreck, what will today's wrapper hold? Set free your Tracker Jackers and hope they find this chocolate before you do! Or, you know, not.

Transportation = Peanuts. Sure, that seems logical.
Here we have another example of a decent label. This is our first milk chocolate bar, and I have this strange feeling it will be fairly full of peanuts. I still fail to see how transportation and peanuts are related, but I'm not a designer chocolate manufacturer, so what do I know about such things? Let's tear it open!

Actual peanuts visible? WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?
The bar does look a bit different from the previous two offerings, with a lighter color and actual visible peanuts. It's not much different, but any differentiation is better than none! Now, as for the flavor...have you ever had a Mr. Goodbar and thought "Man, this would be better if it had higher quality ingredients? Then do I have the chocolate bar for you! It pretty much tastes like a gussied up Mr. Goodbar. The milk chocolate and peanut flavors are strong and distinct, but also fairly pedestrian. The peanut flavor is no doubt enhanced by the peanut butter, but it doesn't have any real "peanut butteriness" to speak of. Not bad really, but I sort of expected more for my $5.

On the FACE Rating System, this bar gets 0 faces. It's not bad, it's not particularly good. It is very "okay". This is not a bad thing, but the value of this chocolate is as meh as the diagonal pattern embedded in its face. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kotas Reviews the District 3 Chocolate Bar

Welcome to our second day of the...uh...Hunger...Reviews! Yesterday's candy bar was good, but not great. Will today's offering stack up? Let's enter the arena and try and murder Wild Ophelia's District 3 chocolate bar!
50% easier to read!

This bar keeps the same general label theme, but is much, MUCH nicer simply because you can actually make out what everything is without eye strain. The bar inside is arabica coffee and crystal salt. Okay, first thing. Arabica coffee is not rare or special. It accounts for 70% of the coffee production of the planet. Yes, it is better than Robusta (the other 30%), but that don't make it praiseworthy. And "crystal" salt? You know what? ALL SALT COMES IN CRYSTAL FORMAT, at least in the world of cooking. But, I suppose "ordinary coffee and salt" wouldn't sell as many $5 chocolate bars, eh? Though, in a weird way, I suppose both are a good representation of technology, which made these once rare products almost ubiquitous. Let's crack it open!

It's like they all have a uniform! You can TASTE the dystopia!
Well, this is another boring old bar. You can barely tell it from the previous one. But the real question is, how does it taste? Ladies and gentleman, it is certainly possible that a salted coffee chocolate would be a gourmet treat, but THIS chocolate is not that treat. The salt is...present, at least but I'm not sure why it is there. The coffee is...also present, melds with the chocolate like butter and bananas, and to top it all off, the coffee isn't like, coffee essence or flavoring or whatever, but actual GROUNDS. Coupled with the salt bits it adds a horrifying grittiness to an otherwise mediocre chocolate. District 3? You might be good at technology, but your representative chocolate is a travesty of culinary justice.

On the FACE Rating System, the District 3 Chocolate Bar gets 2 frownies. I mean, how do you fuck up dark chocolate? Well, Wild Ophelia found a way. Tune in next time for a new District and hopefully a better candy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kotas Reviews the District 5 Chocolate Bar

Ah, it's a brand new year here at Kotas Reviews. The holidays were a bit hectic, but now things have settled a bit and it's time to get back to some food reviews! To celebrate my triumphant return to blogging, we are gonna have another Theme Week! This week we're tackling all the Hunger Games: Catching Fire themed chocolate bars I could get my hands on! Hold onto your butts, it's gonna be a gimmicky, chocolatey ride!

Now, I am not a fan of the Hunger Games. I read the first book, found Katniss to be a terrible protagonist that I didn't care about, and moved on. I am told, however, that the movies fix a lot of the problems I had with the book, so I suppose I should get off my duff and actually watch them. Still! I've never let my dislike for a movie stop me from enjoying any movie tie-in foodstuffs that might be lurking about, so let's dive in with the offerings from Wild Ophelia's Catching Fire line! First up, District 5 - Power.

This just screams dystopian future!
This bar is exactly what it says on the tin package: Caramel Corn and Chocolate. I will admit I like the packaging on this one. Good placement of the tie-in logo, good placement of the manufacturer's logo, nice font choices, etc. I dislike the color palette used because it really makes the District 5 symbol and  the "Power" label hard to make out. Oh well, at least the candy description is easy to read. Let's open it up!

What, no Golden Ticket? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE.
The bar itself is a little underwhelming. I would expect that a $5 chocolate bar would AT LEAST have the District Symbol molded into the chocolate. Instead all we get is this "diagonal line" pattern. The candy bar smells like dark chocolate and caramel corn, which is a good sign. How does it taste? 

First off, this is some pretty good dark chocolate. Just sweet enough to be extremely tasty without being in the same "super bitter" category as those crazy 85% cacao bars you see in the gourmet section of the candy isle. I mean, I LIKE those chocolates, but this will have much better mass market appeal since it tastes very distinctly different than, say, a Hershey's Dark Chocolate(-ish) product. The bar has visible "bits" of caramel corn in it, but their flavor is not very strong. It adds some brown sugar sweetness to the overall flavor profile, but it is almost an echo rather than a partner to the chocolate. I think it would have benefited from a thicker chocolate bar so that you could have bigger pieces mixed in. It could be better is what I'm saying.

On the FACE Rating System, the District 5 Bar gets 1 smiley face. It's a pretty good dark chocolate bar, but I don't think it was worth its original price. I paid $3 for this, and I feel that's still a bit expensive for what I got. If you get a chance to try it though, it's decent. Tune in tomorrow when we continue our highly ironic journey through the world of Hunger Games themed designer chocolates!