Sep 5, 2008

Report from the Field: NM, part 2

I have one more treat to share from our road trip and it is, happily, chocolate. Conveniently located in the same building with Tara's Organic Ice Cream in Santa Fe is the ChocolateSmith. They specialize in dark chocolate, so for us, there was no passing this up. Usually, we zero in on the few dark or bittersweet chocolate offerings in a shop like this. We're both fans of deep dark chocolate. But with a whole shop devoted to dark chocolate, it was a challenge to narrow down our picks to what would fit in one takeaway box (and in our cooler).

My hubby, the real chocolate fiend, asked for their red chili pistachio bark – pistachios dusted with New Mexico red chili and buried in dark chocolate. A really good choice. He's devoted to Dagoba's Xocolatl bar, which includes chiles, nibs and spices in a 74% cacao bar. So this ChocolateSmith chili pistachio bar was a natural choice for him. The red chili kick was slow in coming, but packed a punch, but not too much. It gave you time to enjoy the chocolate and pistachios first.

We also tried the Spat – a square of caramel topped with tarmari pine nuts and coated on the bottom and sides with dark chocolate. It was an ooey gooey treat. I love caramel and really enjoyed this New Mexican version.

The peppermint crunch disc was deep, dark and refreshing. The mint was milder than I expected but delightful. A little palate cleanser after the other flavors.

The classic almond bark is just as it should be. I can never pass this one by. It's my favorite chocolate combination. I think it's my grandmother's fault. All those years ago when she bought me almond Hershey bars. I got hooked on the taste of toasted almonds with chocolate. Although, I like to think my palate has evolved a little since then, I still enjoy the nostalgic flavors of an almond Hershey bar. That's the one I look for in the Halloween bowl.

Last, we tried the toffee almond bark. I expected the crunch of a layer of toffee in the center, but instead, found a chocolate bar with bits of toffee and salty almonds layered on top. It was a really nice variation. I love toffee too, but sometimes it can be too much of a sugary sweet thing. The greater proportion of dark chocolate kept the toffee from being too sweet. Just meant you wanted to eat more. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. But I liked their version.

If this has got your mouth watering, you can order some yourself online. We'll certainly be heading back there next time we're in Santa Fe.

Wonder if there's any left in our stash...

1807 Second Street, #35
Santa Fe, NM, 87501

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