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Candy Review: Chocolat Moderne’s Bistro Bar with Pistachio Praline

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Gourmet Candy

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Chocolat Moderne's Bistro Bar

When I see a $7 candy bar that weighs 2.5 ounces (70g), I nearly always keep walking. Seven dollars?! I could buy a… well, a large mocha frappuccino and a couple Rolos for that. But what if it’s in a really cool square box with a red, black and green retro design? And what if it’s an all-natural “artisan” bar filled with one of my favorite nuts of all time – the pistachio? And, what’s that? It’s on sale for $3.99? Okay, now we’re talking.

So I’ve got my little Bistro Bar treasure here at home, and I notice something odd right away. The Chocolat Moderne website says that my variety has white chocolate. But the box in front of me reads: “Parlez Pistache – dark chocolate bar filled with pistachio praline.” Wow, I hope the box is right, because I’m not a big white chocolate fan, and I also imagine that pistachio will taste much better with dark chocolate. But enough imagining. Let’s check it out.

When you open the correct side of the square box, out slides a gold-wrapped block. Once you unwrap it, you’ll see nine distinctly-raised squares, making it easy to break off individual ones. That’s a good idea, especially with gourmet chocolate, because you can savor a piece or two without making a mess, and it’s still in good shape for going back in the box. When I break off my first piece, I notice the deep gloss of the dark chocolate (no white chocolate in sight), and it feels smooth and rich to the touch. And it smells really good – like an excellent cocoa powder for baking or hot chocolate.

Now for a bite. Whoa. An intense chocolate flavor absolutely fills my mouth. Even though it’s quite strong, however, it’s not bitter at all, just a deep, powerful, full-bodied chocolate wave of goodness. Really good. It’s tough to get this deep of a chocolate bean flavor while avoiding any bitterness – but this Bistro Bar has done it wonderfully. And it’s got the right amount of sweetness, too, without hurting the overall chocolate flavor.

I also get a bit of crunch from the interior paste of the square that I bit in half; the praline filling is beige with flecks of green, and semi-solid. But the taste? Well, it’s hard to isolate, because the chocolate is so good and strong that it overpowers the pistachio. So, you’ve got to concentrate. But when I do, I like the result: a delicate pistachio flavor mixed with something like toasted Rice Krispies. That may sound strange, but the rice adds a lighter texture to the (very finely crushed) nuts in the praline. (And yup, I see there’s puffed rice in the list of ingredients.)

But I should stress something about the filling: I could only taste its flavors when I literally separated some of the filling and tried it without the chocolate.

So, overall, what’s my experience with the Bistro Bar? Well, it’s not quite what I expected (except for the square part). I guess I was hoping for a chocolate bar with a strong pistachio nut flavor, maybe splitting the flavor range with the dark chocolate. Instead, the chocolate really dominates. The pistachio comes across more like a distant idea, running well behind the big chocolate sensation. In fact, if I didn’t know better and just took a bite, I’d like the filling for the texture and rice crispiness, but I probably wouldn’t have known that there was pistachio in there at all.

Still, I recommend this bar because the chocolate is utterly delicious – really full and flavorful. So if you’re not thinking this will be the gourmet pistachio version of a Mr. Goodbar or something, you could end up loving the Bistro Bar. But it better be on sale.



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