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Chocomize Review


(c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
If you’ve ever eaten a chocolate bar and thought, “This is good, but I wish it had different nuts, or fruit, or flavorings,” then you’ll be interested to hear about Chocomize, a company that allows you to build your own custom chocolate bar online. You can choose from milk, dark, or white chocolate, and then add up to five additional components, selected from a dazzling assortment of fruits, nuts, spices, candies, and other goodies.

The pricing of the bars depends on what ingredients you choose. The plain bars are $3.85-$3.95, and then the toppings range from $.25 for some spices and seeds up to $3.95 for gold flakes, with most falling around the $.50-$.75 mark. Many of the toppings are to be expected (dried fruits, roasted nuts) but there are also a lot of surprises: gummy bears, crystallized mint leaves, pomegranate granola, bacon bits, and many other unexpected add-ins are all available for the choosing, although hopefully not all on the same bar.

I had the opportunity to sample two bars from Chocomize. The first bar I put together had a dark chocolate base, and I went a little crazy with the toppings: whole pecans, dried cranberries, cayenne, cinnamon, and crunchy almond croquant. (It sounds like a lot, and it sort of was, but I defy you to look at the website and try to limit your add-ons to one or two. The large selection was too tempting!) The total price of this bar, with these toppings, was $6.25, and the bar weighed in at a very hefty 3.7 ounces. I thought the flavor and quality of the chocolate was very good, and I appreciated the plentiful toppings--each bite included most, if not all, of my chosen goodies. For the most part this was a bonus, but I did find that the cayenne was a little overwhelming. I like some heat to my chocolate, but it seemed to be sprinkled on in the same quantity as the cinnamon or croquant, when I think a lighter touch would have provided a better balance.

For the milk chocolate bar I sampled, I chose sea salt, whole hazelnuts, and dried sour cherries--three of my favorite chocolate pairings. I often find milk chocolate too sweet and cloying, but I thought this bar had a nice richness and complexity that kept it from being too one-note. The hazelnuts and sour cherries were wonderful, but again, I felt that the salt was a little too assertive, because the large flakes were scattered all over the top in large clusters. For my taste, salt should be an accent flavor, instead of being used as copiously as fruit and nuts, and I wish that there could be slightly more control over how much of each ingredient goes on the bar, so that the spices aren’t as heavy as all the other ingredients. But as a counterpoint, my husband, who loves salty foods, thought the amount of salt was unexpected but tasty.

The bars have an interesting construction: the add-ins are pressed on the back of the candy bar, instead of being mixed into the chocolate and incorporated throughout. The downside to this method is that the ingredients aren’t always as well-mixed in as you would like (as in the case of my sea salt), and I did lose a bunch of almond croquant in the packaging because it fell off the bar. But for the most part the goodies stayed put, and this method does have advantages: Chocomize offers some classy additions like chocolate butterflies and gold flakes, and these really “pop” when placed on the back of the bar.

In conclusion, I thought these bars had good-quality chocolate with some fun flavor options. The price does get steep when you venture into the 4 and 5 topping range, but the bars are very substantial, and it’s not hard to spend $6-7 on gourmet chocolate bars that are a third the size of these Chocomize bars. The chocolate wasn’t spectacular enough for me to order custom bars for myself on a regular basis; my tastes aren’t so unique that I can’t find a bar in stores that satisfies me for the most part. But I do love the concept, and I would absolutely use this website to create gifts for someone else, customizing their chocolate exactly to their taste. I also think these would make great wedding or shower favors (they do offer bulk pricing), especially if you had a signature flavor combination. Finally, I like the fact that Chocomize donates 1% of its proceeds to charity, allowing the buyer to select from a list of 3 charities to decide where they want their money to go.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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