I just love mushrooms. In fact I think I had garlic mushrooms as a starter three times in a week whilst on holiday. So when Kate said she’d bring me a bar back from the States I rubbed my hands in glee – although temptation had got the better of her as she had nabbed a bite before she posted it over. ;-)
This is my first encounter of a Vosges bar even though I’ve been on their site countless times eyeing up their offerings and, boy, do they have some interesting stuff on there – one of the new funky bars should be winging it’s way to me next week as well. But what about the bar? Well, I’m not sure if the packaging of the bar I’ve got is the new or old style, as the design as it’s different to the one on their website with this one reminding me of the New Tree bars – although looking at them, they’re not too similar to be truthful.
Whatever the similarity of the front of the packaging, the reverse was like heaven to me. I adore reading a story about the bar and even more so the life story of the chocolatier and here you get to know Katrina Markoff’s background. Also on the back you’ll find all the RDA-type information you’ll need as well as comprehensive list of ingredients and allergy information – the geek in me was satisfied at this point.
Before I opened up the inner foil I was trying to predict how pungent the mushroom aroma would be. I thought it’d be nose-stingingly strong. It wasn’t. I mainly got a sweet cacao aroma with a deep, but not strong earthy characteristic. At this point there was nothing that gave away the added ingredients.
Only on inspection could you see that there was something out of the ordinary with the bar. There were some white bits contained within the chocolate which were, in actual fact, walnut pieces. You see, not only is the bar 6% Reishi mushroom powder but also 6% walnuts. However, on researching Reishi Mushrooms I learned that:
Side effects from reishi can include dizziness, dry mouth and throat, nosebleeds, and abdominal upset. These rare effects may develop with continuous use over three to six months. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should consult a physician before taking reishi.
But as I’m neither pregnant nor breast-feeding (although, having put on 2st in the past year it may be physically possible) I thought I’d give it a go. What I loved about the bar was that it wasn’t classically acidic; it was more sweet and earthy but offers a transitory taste sensation as it becomes increasingly bitter and delivers a mustard or wasabi tone – and something I completely didn’t expect. In short, I love it.
The texture has somewhat of a popping candy edge to it too. Your mouth will experience a sparkling sensation which may serve to distract from a non-smooth feel, but life would be boring if it were all as smooth as silk at had “hints of blue fruit of tobacco, grown amongst banana leaves”. Some people may reach for the same Galaxy bar each week they go to the supermarket and not allow themselves to try something different, and to me, it’s a shame. You only live once, so try out chocolate that sounds strange, you might like it. I’m not asking you to eat bacon chocolate of course!