By Benjamin Skipper
Time for another foray with my favorite class of herbs, mint. As you might know, mint chocolate is positively one of my favorite foods period, and in assessing companies I am always naturally tempted to select their mint offering. At my nearest World Market I got my hands on Divine's 70% mint dark chocolate. Admittedly I am not particularly enthused by this company, but mint is mint.
The thing that strikes me as odd is that they didn't advertise, at least on my package, that they added crystallized, minted sugar for a more crispy texture, as that seems it would be an important facet to note about the bar. I was surprised to come across the snowflake-like bits in the gradient after wondering what the crunch was all about. But anyhow, the bar is only mildly minty with an unpleasant bitter grassy theme, with the chocolate being virtually undetectable. The grassy notes are not at all tasty like New Tree's, making me feel as if I had eaten some from the yard. The bar smells of mint and grass, and looks dusty, smeared, and even has scratches on the back, though snaps with a sturdy sound. The melt is just okay, as it seems to be predominantly crunchy with some crystal-like crisp from the sugar clumps.
I deplore those angled lines used as the decoration. Why bother if so little effort is to be exerted? At least I really enjoyed the gold wrapper: It reminds me so much of wealth, money, and the good things in life. The cloth-like texture almost makes me want to keep it.
I leave disappointed. It's not all that minty, the grass is yucky, and the chocolate just isn't there. It seems to be a continuing problem with mint chocolates in that they're either not minty enough, have terrible additional attributes (like the rye taste in Theo's), or overwhelm the chocolate. To date I maintain the opinion that Endangered Species offers the best mint bar out there, with the mint being of just the right intensity, in perfect balance and harmony to a chocolate that can hold its own. In second place I would suggest New Tree's 73% mint, for while the mint is milder it does have a delicious grassy tone, and the green tea extract never fails to make my head feel all cool inside, my favorite aftereffect to a mint experience. This Divine bar just doesn't do well, so don't seek mint fulfillment here.