And now, back to our regularly scheduled food reviews.
I posted awhile back about Cadbury's Dairy Milk bar, which I called fairly creamy and superior to Hershey's but nothing to write home about. Our local Safeway is not much on the chocolate front, and in desperation last night I grabbed a Cadbury Royal Dark bar. Unbeknownst to me my roommate Jon was about to share his mother's homemade fudge (recipe, I hope, to follow), and so I did not actually need to assuage my cravings with the bar. I ended up eating about half of it, but without great enthusiasm. The bar (hekshered OU dairy) describes itself as "indulgent dark semi-sweet chocolate." I found that description inaccurate on all counts. First and foremost, it had dead spots I associated with the milk bar, points at which the chocolate coated the tongue and tasted like nothing it all. But in this case that was the highlight, because the bitterness of the bar was not the bitterness of cacao, but rather as if the company had tried to manufacture an artificial dark chocolate bitter taste. It didn't resemble any natural ingredient known to me. This is one to skip.
My other and more serious addiction, though, received a welcome bit of help this week as I finally brought home some Oregon Decaffeinated Chai. For some time when I drink Oregon at home I've been drinking its Green Tea version, which I presume has some health benefits and lower caffeine content then its black tea version. The flavor is not as strong, of course, and more honey than vanilla. The decaf chai (I'm not schlepping up to the kitchen to check out the bona fides right now) is made from Roiboos red tea, which gives it a rather striking color. The taste falls somewhere between the richness of the original and the lightness of the green tea: it's got that hint of vanilla that makes it really sweet, but also a slight insubstantiality. I need to try it with dairy milk to make sure it wasn't the rice milk getting in the way. But since caffeine causes me to bounce off the walls in three directions as if I were Gene Kelly, I am glad to find a chai brand that doesn't produce pharmacological fun. Also, Oregon Chai is a company started and run by women. Happy to support that.