I’m not usually wowed by chocolate bars. There are so many now. Beyond the 25 stalwarts you’ll find in big markets, such as Snickers and Reese’s, even littler stores will have those plus their own cadre of local purveyors, espousing the level of cacao, explaining on the package how they help the environment, are free range, non-gmo, free trade, gluten-free etc. etc. It’s easy to be overwhelmed at the shelf. I often just shrug and buy a Kit Kat.
Yet, this past weekend I broke my candy buying lethargy because of this bar that got my attention: Tony’s Chocolonely. Big, cartoonish, and in lots of varieties – this chocolate is damn good.
Tony’s packaging turned my head. Willy Wonka meets Archie comics. I was drawn to the Chocolonely bar’s very original look and feel on a shelf with other chocolate that looks the samey chic cosmopolitan.
And the size. Tony’s bars are big. Like big Ghirardelli bars but thicker and taller. Mine was on sale for $4.79 so it looked like a huge bargain. And this isn’t a one-sitting candy experience. Mrs. Guru and I ate half last night and that was too much for most humans.
I also loved how the bar wasn’t straight-forward squares in perfect alignment. You can see the design of the various bits to break off — all different shapes and sizes. Fun.
But it’s the taste and texture that makes these a must buy. I bought the milk chocolate sea salt caramel because I’m a sucker for salt in chocolate, and because, well, caramel. I expected these to have a gooey center and they did not. Strike half a star for that. The caramel was little chewy bits, not unlike a Toblerone, and still very good. The milk chocolate was soft, creamy and thick. This bar is yummy.
Although new to me, Tony’s is not new to the earth. Dutch chocolate maker Teun van de Keuken shipped his first bar in 2005. He was a TV news guy, did a story on how the chocolate industry is riddled with child slave labor, and decided to go beyond reporting on it and do something about it. So he made his mission to make good chocolate without slave labor. If you need a good reason to buy chocolate from Tony’s Chocolonely, not sure I could create a better one.
Plus, the candy is delish. Go. Get.