It was in the South Pacific Islands where I developed a love for chocolate. My father started a Chocolate company when we lived in Samoa and by the time I was 8 years old, I was helping him roast the Samoan Cocoa Bean and process it into a variety of chocolate products including a delicious hot chocolate drink called Koko Samoa, a traditional drink enjoyed in the islands. You could say, I literally have chocolate in my blood – I’ve consumed a lot of it over the years.
It’s because of this love of chocolate, that I decided to explore the chocolate produced by Chocolatiers from around the world and share my discoveries.
The first chocolate confection I wanted to sample is from the Bissinger’s company which boasts over 350 years of producing fine chocolates and confections. They claim Napoleon Bonaparte was a fan of their chocolate. In fact, King Louis the XIV granted them the title of being the Confectioner’s of the Empire.
The Bissinger’s company is now based in St. Louis, Missouri but they are still using the family’s recipes from way back when. I decided I would sample their Banana Pecan Caramel Milk Chocolate and Himalayan Pink Salt. You can watch the review video here.
I must say that the box the chocolate comes in is very classy with what looks like a family crest of the letter B as a watermark and raised metallic letter across the top of the box. The copper lettering is a beautiful complimentary color to the overall scheme of the box, tying it in to it’s caramel ingredient, rather than the banana. It’s clean lines and earth tone colors hint at a delectable and classy treat inside – although if they were trying to play up the caramel with the accent colors, why didn’t they just call their chocolate treat, the Caramel Banana Pecan? Maybe they wanted to avoid the thought of the traditional Caramel Apples that many of us are familiar with.
When opening the box, I found the chocolate bar was wrapped in a cute printed copper foil package which turned out to be a little difficult to open. I should have used scissors to snip of the top off so I could slide the chocolate out, but I couldn’t find any at hand and had to rip the package in half down the center which made it hard to extract the chocolate bar without damaging the corners. But I was careful and managed to get it out with out too much difficulty. The roasted pecans on the back of the bar fell off the bar and made a mess on the table.
It’s smell was chocolatey enough, but when I bit into it, I was surprised to find the chocolate square I had broken off to sample had the banana-flavored caramel inside as a filling. For some reason, I thought the banana/caramel would be infused with the chocolate. I don’t like caramel, and it was really runny for being a caramel filling – which is fine because the stickiness of caramel is the reason I don’t like caramel.
It’s banana flavor was mild, but strong enough that I couldn’t really tasted the caramel. I couldn’t taste the pecans either. The pecans gave the bar a soft crunch to it, softer than almonds, but overall, I wasn’t exactly impressed with the chocolate treat. With the great history behind Bissinger’s chocolate, I guess I was hoping to be impressed with their version of milk chocolate.
I want to try their dark chocolate, which is my favorite kind of chocolate, as I feel milk chocolate is an inferior chocolate diluted with milk, and I really can’t stand milky aftertaste in my chocolate. To be fair, I’ve had good milk chocolate before, but it’s hard to hit that sweet spot for my taste buds with the perfect balance of milk and chocolate to satisfy me.
I would have to give Bissinger’s chocolate a generous 2.5 Cocoa Bean rating.
For their chocolate packaging, I would give it a 3-star rating.