Saturday, 14 May 2011

Chuao Chocolatier Panko Bar

Ok I am extremely irritated with Blogger firstly, I had written up all the review for this and was planning to post it today but alas they have been suffering problems and have deleted everything I wrote! Argh! So I will write it all frustrating..computers these days!

Anyway enough of my rant, this bar from Chuao Chocolatier was another bar I was sent from my chocolate swap with, on doing some research I found out that Chuao Chocolatier is an American based chocolatier founded by 2 Venezuelan brothers, who named their company after the world famous Chuao region of Venezuela, famous for it's amazing cacao production, in order to highlight the quality they wished to live up to & the standard at what they wanted to deliver at.

Chuao Chocolatier Panko Bar

The bar itself I was sent was their Dark Chocolate Panko bar that consisted of a 60% cocoa dark chocolate  bar that was blended with panko breadcrumbs and a dash of sea salt; ok firstly what is Panko, this certainly wasn't something I had heard of before and in doing some good old google searching I found out that Panko is a special kind of flaky breadcrumb often used in Japanese cooking in deep frying. This in a chocolate bar would it work?!

Despite the bar getting smashed on travelling you can still see what a lovely design Chuao have decided on for their bar; I quite like that they didn't take the simplistic square approach and decided to decorate the bar with a cocoa pod design with their name "Chuao" at the top, I thought it looked something really special and just something a bit different from the normal. On opening the bar it gives off quite fruity light aromas; but on tasting it certainly wasn't the fruitiest or acidic dark chocolates I've had by a long shot.

Chuao Chocolatier Panko Bar

The bar is quite sweet in terms of it being a dark chocolate, there are slight hints of fruity notes of red berries and cherries at the beginning but the main flavours that I found were light vanilla, caramel and honey notes throughout the bar that contrasted every so perfectly with the panko breadcrumb filling. For me the flavour combination really worked, I was quite surprised as I really didn't think that breadcrumbs in a chocolate bar would work; but the savoury/sweet contrast is just perfecty, I didn't really get a lot of sea salt flavours within the bar but I think the flavour profile given by the dark chocolate and the breadcrumbs was enough to satisfy me, reminding me of a warm delicious pain au chocolat.

However in order to receieve the true flavours of this chocolate bar you of course have to let it melt on your tongue; and this is where things went slightly pear shaped; although the melt of the dark chocolate is wonderful & smooth and enrobes your mouth excellently as soon as the chocolate has disappeared you are left with a horrible almost painful gritty like texture on your tongue from the panko breadcrumbs. The texture certainly wasn't pleasant and I would certainly recommend that when the chocolate has nearly all melted to chew the rest of the bar to avoid the horrific scratching feeling that is given by the breadcrumbs.

I was quite disappointed in terms of the texture of this bar; the texture and the flavour offered by the Panko bar just don't seem to match up, the texture suggests that it should be much more of a munching/crunching chocolate where as the flavours offered suggest that this bar should be savoured slowly and to enjoy the wonderful contrasting flavours that it provides. Despite really enjoying this bar I just really wish that the texture could have been as delightful and pleasurable as the flavour, such a shame.

Chuao Chocolatier Panko Bar

Taste - 8/10 - A wonderful contrast between the savouryness of the panko breadcrumbs and the sweeter deeper dark chocolate provided a delightful experience.
Texture - 5/10 - The melt of the chocolate was lovely but the grittiness left by the breadcrumbs was most unpleasant.
Appearance - 7.9/10 - I really liked the design of the Panko Bar; however due to the panko breadcrumbs swirled throughout it looked like it had a slight "bloom" or was scuffed.
Price - 7.5/10 - I'm not actually sure how much this bar cost, but on looking on the website it's $18 for 3 bars which works out about $6 a bar which I don't think is too bad.
Overall - 7.1/10 - A bar with an excellent flavour just completely let down by its texture.

To take a look at Chuao Chocolatier's range you can visit their website at


  1. That is quite disappointing about the texture - I was also hoping to read about a nice, crunchy bar. I wonder if larger pieces of panko would help. At least the chocolate itself was high quality.

  2. It was quite nice and crunchy, its just that when you crunched it you didnt really get all that much flavour to be honest :(

  3. I was annoyed with blogger being down on Friday too...

    ...breadcrumbs dont sound like they belong in a chocolate bar...

    ...very weird!

  4. I, on the other hand, love the texture.

    Where can I find this in New York City?

  5. Oh really, im not sure im sorry, i got mine sent over from someone in the US :(

  6. I thought the Panko bar was wonderful and I particularly liked the texture; it was almost like an adult Crunch bar. However, I am not the type of person to put a piece of chocolate in my mouth and let it melt, I prefer to chew food when I put it in my mouth and appreciate the flavor and texture.