Friday, May 20, 2011

Chocolate Review: Endangered Species' 72% Coexist Toffee Pieces

By Benjamin Skipper

This chocolate review will actually be the first to defy my usual practices by being one of a chocolate covered confection rather than a bar. It's never been against my rules or desires to try out any non-bar form of chocolate, I just never tried it before. With what limited offers are available I'm not sure how often I'll be able to trek into this different territory, but I hope to do it often. For the first in this new type of review I'm eating Endangered Species' 72% Coexist toffee pieces, which is what I stated I would do in my dissatisfied review for Endangered Species' 72% toffee bar. I know I'm not yet ready to engage in my official chocolate restocking, but I couldn't help but pick up a package while I was originally up in Texas for perform my stage.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the first of my chocolates that have bloomed, so I cannot give my best thoughts on its appearance since I don't remember much what they looked like when I first pulled them out. My memory indicates that the chocolate coating was smooth and nearly without imperfection, and while the shine was null it did have the pretty appearance of being dusted with sugar. Distinct from the bloom, each piece bears the shape of a square with rounded edges and is roughly the size of what you'd expect boxed chocolate to be.

It's absolutely better than its bar counterpart. The ratio favors the toffee about 1.5:1 or 2:1, and that makes its flavor so much stronger. I thought its thickness would make its texture like that of taffy, but to my surprise it was just like a very crispy brittle with a smooth melting chocolate, which upon biting treated me to the aroma of milky chocolate and flavor notes of sweet cocoa, nuts, butter, salt, and caramel, with a hazelnut finish on the breath. Here the toffee is fully experienced, whereas in the bar it's only suggested. The chocolate coating is thick enough to hold its own in the flavor profile quite competently.

My only complaint is with the packaging. I like the goody-bag shaped pouch, but it doesn't have the same interesting reading you get with bars of Endangered Species, and like a greedy child I'd like to see bigger offerings so as to make sharing a more comfortable option. As it stands now the Coexist line has 3 ounces of confection per package, the same amount of chocolate you get in a bar. I'd like to see about 4.5 ounce options, to have a little fuller bag and something worth eating with another.

But regardless, this is still very much a satisfying confectionery. This is my second exposure to toffee, and given its simple ingredients (nuts, butter, sugar), I'd like to try other varieties as part of exploring other paleo-friendly confections. This Coexist variety definitely trumps its partner bar, and I'll absolutely be trying out the others in the line. I recommend this treat.

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