I’m sharing some sweet surprises today with a Frittata Test Kitchen spotlight on Chuao chocolate bars. WARNING: Reading this post could result in addiction. I’m on a mission to do a thorough assessment of what I like to call “fancy chocolate bars”. It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it. Fancy chocolate bars are not the chocolate bars you find in the checkout line. These are not the chocolate bars that you give out for Halloween. The fancy chocolate bars I’m referring to are works of art, and usually cost as much.
Fancy Chocolate Bar Fetish
There are tons of fancy chocolate bars to try. In fact, there are almost enough to fill an entire aisle in upscale grocery stores, and the Whole Foods where I work is no exception. Much of my hard-earned pay has been spent on fancy chocolate bars this month, and now the winner is in. Let me introduce you to Chuao chocolate bars.
Chuao. Pronounced “Chew-Wow.”
First, let’s figure out how to say it. Remember when we did a little pronunciation exercise for Taos, New Mexico? We’ll do the same thing here. I had no idea how to pronounce Chuao, so I looked it up. It’s an exotic name, but it just made me that much more curious.
Chuao is a village in Venezuela known for cacao (chocolate) plantations. The magician behind this brand is from Venezuela, so that’s where Chuao chocolate bars sources chocolate from. It’s totally luck that the pronunciation makes sense for a food product.
Free Chocolate Bar Advertising
Second, let me assure everyone that I am not being paid for my endorsement of Chuao chocolate bars (yet). If I spotlight a product, it’s because I’m genuinely obsessed with it.
The Inaugural Chocolate Bar
Chuao’s “Oh My S’mores” chocolate bar was the first one to catch my eye. I love s’mores. Without a doubt, anyone who knows me knows that. I get tagged on Facebook pretty much anytime s’mores are mentioned.
The picture below was taken from my kitchen when I finally bought myself a proper “indoor s’mores” torch about 2 years ago. Unfortunately, it never actually worked. The torch did not make the trip to California. But as you can see, that night I was making s’mores with the traditional Hershey’s chocolate bar.
Not only did I make normal s’mores, I had also been turned on to s’mores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. My head exploded on that idea because I could not believe I was in my 40’s and just seeing THAT for the first time. I’ve had a life-long obsession with Reese’s cups and it seemed so obvious to use them in s’mores.
In addition to Reese’s s’mmore, banana s’mores are a wonderful twist on the classic. Banana s’mores are featured in Summer Recipes – Second Batch. Making banana s’mores is self-explanatory, but there are instructions just in case.
Chuao Chocolate Bar Sweet Surprise
Let’s take a closer look at this fancy Chuao Oh My S’mores chocolate bar.
I was sitting on my couch after dinner getting ready to watch a true crime documentary, and what goes better with true crime than fancy chocolate bars?
I purchased this Chuao chocolate bar and was just waiting for the right moment. It was not the first fancy chocolate bar to cross the threshold. Like I said, I’m doing a full survey. But many of the chocolate bars I’ve sampled were just ok and didn’t earn a second purchase.
As soon as I opened the package I thought there had been some mistake. For a millisecond I thought I had gotten a defect. I was NOT expecting actual mini-marshmallows to tumble out (a couple got pulled off as I was disrobing the chocolate bar). For some unexplained reason, this little unexpected surprise made giggle.
I took a little nibble. Just a small piece of the top corner. I felt like Charlie before he found his Golden Ticket. He’d always try to take just a small nibble of his Wonka Bar so he could save some to share with Grandpa Joe.
Back to the Chocolate Bar
Back to the chocolate bar. It’s like a micro layer of graham cracker inside an equally thin layer of perfect dark chocolate. A touch of sea salt, I think. I took a second bite.
The balance was perfection. So much so that I lost track of what was happening on my show and had to rewind twice because with every bite I became more and more enamored with my Oh My S’mores chocolate bar.
One Is The Loneliest Number..When It Comes to Chocolate Bars
I woke up thinking about my Chuao Oh My S’mores chocolate bar the next morning. I went to work and coveted the moment when I’d be back in the fancy chocolate bar aisle adding them by the handful to my basket.
I decided to try a second flavor of Chuao chocolate bar. They make some pretty interesting “luxe” bars, including some that I’m skeptical about. Stay with me because you’re going to find out what those are. But one bite at a time.
Sweet Chocolate Bar Anticipation
I’m a sucker for toffee and chocolate, so the Chuao Pretzel Toffee Twirl chocolate bar was my natural next choice.
I decided to open this chocolate bar a little more carefully. Now I’m really like Charlie as he’s peeling back the corner of that Wonka bar just praying for that glint of gold.
If you haven’t seen this in a while, take the 2 minutes. It’s SO worth it.
I have easily seen that movie 10,000 times. No lie. I sang a spontaneous live version of Veruka Salt’s “I Want the World” to spice up a work meeting a few years ago. I have video proof.
Side thought: As I watch this video today it occurs to me that young Charlie looks a lot like a young Jon Bon Jovi. Does anyone else see that? I digress…
After overcoming the surprise of actual marshmallows on my other chocolate bar, I was NOT surprised to find actual pretzels on the Pretzel Toffee Twirl Chuao chocolate bar.
Indeed, all key elements were in perfect balance with just the right amount of salt.
Getting Chocolate Bar Exotic
Next day after work I’m back in the fancy chocolate bar aisle. I’m feeling bolder about my selection this time. Let’s get a little wild.
The Chuao Totally Tangy Mango chocolate bar temporarily replaced Oh My S’mores as the Frittata Favorite. You can’t really see the mango, but it seems they used gooey dried mango and chopped it up very fine, and then stirred it into the chocolate bar.
After I finished it, I realized that I kept reaching over to the coffee table for another bite and only found an empty wrapper. I’m also feeling a little like an addict that didn’t get their fix today because the Chuao Totally Tangy Mango chocolate bar was sold out when I went to buy more.
Going Straight to the Chuao Chocolate Bar Source
Time out. I just noticed on the website that Chuao Chocolatier’s factory and store is in Carlsbad, California. That’s like ten minutes from my house.
And I totally bet they have my Totally Tangy Mango chocolate bars there. 💖
Yes. Yes they do.
And a few other fancy chocolate bars too.
The Chocolate Bar Joy Factory
It was a pretty simple shop but they have a plate glass window that looks into the actual chocolate factory. That’s bold. I’ve always been a fan of the restaurants where you can see into the kitchen, not only so I can watch the food preparation as I anticipate my meal but also because it means they are pretty confident about their cleanliness.
I can hear “I’ve got a Golden Ticket” in my head as I walk around. It was at that time that I spotted the Joy Dance Floor. They have a dance floor because when you try Chuao chocolate bars for the first time, you just might need one.
Just when I thought my chocolate bar research was nearly done. 🤩
Here’s the final ranking of Chuao chocolate bars from most to least addictive:
- Oh My S’mores – winner winner marshmallows for dinner
- Totally Tangy Mango – a VERY close second
- Pretzel Toffee Twirl
- Potato Chip – Yes, they put potato chips inside a chocolate bar. It worked for me.
- Ravishing Rocky Road – Really good but not as good as Oh My S’mores
- Honeycomb – crunchy honeycomb yumminess
- Firecracker – a must do for pop rocks fans
- Baconluxious with plant-based bacon – Bacon should be it’s own food group. It makes most things better, except maybe chocolate. I had to eat this one in small doses and pair it with a Manhattan.
- Carrot Cake – I strenuously object to white chocolate. I tried this because they gave me a free sample. It wasn’t horrible, and it did taste just like carrot cake (which I don’t really like either).
A Bag S’more of Surprises
I was also introduced to this bag of happiness at the Joy Factory. I now have the bag in my fridge but it’s going fast.
I did not try this one because I’m not on the PS (Pumpkin Spice) flavor train. If you are you might want to try this:
I hope you enjoyed this round up and that you can appreciate how difficult it was for me to do the work 😜
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