The Good: Great taste, Wonderful quality, Does not melt easily
The Bad: Lacking on the salt flavor, Fairly expensive.
The Basics: Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate Bars are worth their price . . . for anyone who absolutely loves dark chocolate and coffee flavors!
With the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (reviewed here!) on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, I’m finding myself amused by and enjoying the merchandise surrounding the franchise. For the cinematic release of The Hunger Games, licensees were a bit more conservative and NECA seemed to take the most risk, producing both action figures and a trading card set (reviewed here!) for the film. Today, I swung by a drug store and found most of a display of Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire chocolates! The gimmick is an interesting one; apparently the chocolatier Wild Ophelia manufactured twelve different chocolate bars (one for each District in Panem, the world of The Hunger Games). While this seems like just a classier, dressed up version of the cookies I bought as a kid themed for Return Of The Jedi, looking over the ingredients and concepts of the six bars I was actually able to find (I wish I could get my hands on the other six now!), I very willingly let Wild Ophelia suck me in. Because I like to try new things that I might actually like, my first selection is the Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire District 3 Technology Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate chocolate bars.
The Wild Ophelia Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate Bars are my first experience with Wild Ophelia chocolate bars and it is clear the company is providing a premium product (given how expensive the bars are). Fortunately, the bars intended to represent District 3 in Panem is worth it. They have a powerful dark chocolate flavor, augmented by a delightful coffee texture and taste!
The Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate Bar is a solid dark chocolate bar from Wild Ophelia. Each 2 oz. chocolate bar is wrapped in a cardboard wrapper indicating that it is from District 3. Inside the cardboard case is a thick metallic plastic wrapper (with a seam resembling a Pop Tart more than a chocolate bar). The actual chocolate bar is 4 1/2” long by 2 13/16” wide by 1/4” thick. The Bar has no identifying marks or logos on it, but it is segmented to make three 1 1/2” wide by 2 13/16” long bars. The top features ribbing that give the bar a very Art Deco look that is distinctive.
The chocolate is very dark and incredibly solid. Individually, the bars are found in the $3.99 range, which is expensive, though I found mine on clearance for $2.99. Given the quality of these bars, it is tough to call them too expensive.
Ease Of Preparation
Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate bars are chocolate, not surviving The Hunger Games! Preparing them is as easy as unwrapping the candy bar. Because the chocolate is pricy, I recommend eating this a little at a time, not just biting right into the bar.
The Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate chocolate bar is very aromatic; the bar smells strongly of rich, dark, unsweetened chocolate. The bar smells exclusively of dark chocolate and it is mouthwatering for anyone who loves high quality, rich dark chocolate.
On the tongue, Wild Ophelia provides a completely delightful dark chocolate with real flavor depth with their Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate chocolate bar. The chocolate is dark and rich and it must truly linger in the mouth for the chocolate to melt away. As it does, though, what little sweetness chocolate possesses is replaced by the bold, bitter flavor of the coffee that is ground into the bar. The added texture from the coffee beans makes for an intriguing experience in the mouth and, interestingly, helps keep the flavors rotating over the taste buds!
What the Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate bar lacks is a recognizable salt flavor. The bitterness of the coffee and droolworthy dark chocolate completely overwhelm any sense of sodium in the flavor palate.
The The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate bar has a slightly bitter aftertaste that lingers on the tongue for about three minutes after one is done consuming the bar.
Wild Ophelia makes their fine chocolates with fine ingredients, which is arguably why they are so expensive. With the primary ingredients being dark chocolate (70% cacao), ground coffee and sea salt, the Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate bars are not a wonderful food to try to survive on (but who expects that from a candy bar?!). However, they do use natural ingredients and organic ingredients where possible; none of the ingredients are unpronounceable. In a 1 ounce serving (which is odd because there is no easy way to break the bar into two equal pieces), there are 150 calories, 110 of which are from fat. This represents 19% of one’s RDA of fat (38% of the RDA of saturated fat). Each bar has 25 mg of Sodium and 2 grams of protein. There is a smattering of Calcium,(2% RDA), Iron (20% RDA) and Magnesium (10% RDA), but no other vitamins and minerals. In other words, this is not a snack to try to survive on.
While the bars are all natural and have no preservatives, they do contain soy. As well, there is an allergy warning for tree nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, milk, wheat, and soy, which implies that these The Hunger Games: Catching Fire bars are not Vegan-compliant. They are, however, Gluten Free.
Because the chocolate is so hard, the Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate bars are not especially susceptible to heat. Still, these should be kept cool in order to not melt. With that in mind, as long as they are kept cool and dry, these will last almost a year (the one I picked up today would have lasted until August 2014, had it not been devoured by my wife and I).
Clean-up is easy, so long as the chocolate does not melt. The Wild Ophelia Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate bars have wrappers that ought to be properly disposed of, but otherwise, the chocolate washes off skin and non-porous surfaces. It the chocolate melts onto fabric, consult a fabric guide.
The Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate Bar is delicious, but I’m weirded out by how it is segmented in a way that is entirely inorganic to the serving size. Why didn’t Wild Ophelia segment the bar in halves or make the serving size 1/3 of a bar (2/3 oz.) so the nutritional information would actually be useful?! Between that and the fact that the promised salt flavor is pretty much absent from the bar’s flavor palate robs the bar of a perfect rating. Even for the price, though, the Wild Ophelia The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Arabica Coffee & Crystal Salt And Dark Chocolate Bar is a pretty wonderful candy worth tracking down!
For other fancy candies, please check out my reviews of:
Chuao Chocolatier Maple Bacon Bar
Endangered Species Chocolate Dark Chocolate With Forest Mint Bar
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Chocolate Squares
For more food reviews, please check out my Food Review Index Page!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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