ethel m. chocolates (changed rating from 9 to 1)

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Rating: 1

I really like St. Valentine's Day because I always get a box of Ethel M. chocolates. I have had, and made, better truffles but Ethel M. has a consistent flavour and texture to their chocolates that I really enjoy.

If you happen to be near Henderson, NV and you have some time to spare, I think it is worth a stop to their factory and cactus garden. The factory tour is not much to see, just a few workers and some equipment, but you do get free samples at the end of the tour. For me the highlight is wandering through the garden. I like to get a box of chocolates and/or one of their ice creame cones, take a leasurely stroll through the garden and find a nice place to sit back and relax for a while.

On the weekends be sure to get there when they first open, before the tour buses start arriving, if you want to have some quiet time in the garden.

review

On to the review. Ethel M. chocolate is extremely smooth, has a nice snap, and a rich chocolate flavour. I especially like their dark chocolate and really wish they would make a semi- or bitter-sweet version of it.

The chocolate does not have the fruit or flower overtones that you can find in some of the fancier French, Belgian, and Swiss chocolates; which are really nice, but sometimes I just want that straight chocolate flavour and Ethel M. always gives me that.

I do not give it an over-all 10 because there are better chocolates out there. I would give it a 10 on consistency, texture (never grainy), and chocolate-ness (fills the mouth and nose without any chemical notes that you find in fancy wrapping chocolates that use vanillin instead of vanilla). They get the 9 for not having semi- and bitter-sweet chocolates and for blending out any fruit/flower that may have been present in the beans.

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I am sorry to report that if

I am sorry to report that if you did not get any Ethel M. chocolates before they "improved" the brand and changed the name, then you have missed out. I just got my last box of chocolates from them for Valentine's Day and it was terrible.

The dark chocolate used to be creamy and sweet - with a pleasant snap as you bit into it. What I just tried was hard, bitter, and grainy. I actually like bittersweet chocolates, but when dark chocolates are filled with a sweet filling a bitter chocolate just tastes bad to me. Also, when I bit into several of the filled candies the chocolate was so hard that little shards of chocolate jumped out of my mouth and onto the table - this never happened before in the 20+ years of my eating of Ethel M. chocolates.

One more wonderful food memory ruined in the name of progress.