I had my first experience with Theo chocolate recently and I was very happy & satisfied with their 45% milk chocolate bar. After it was completely consumed, I decided I should go out and look for their products in the store so I could try some more! Thankfully, QFC came through for me and had a perfect little selection to choose from.
I honestly don’t buy candy, not because I don’t like it (far from the truth!) but because I am incapable of practicing self restraint and will eat it all way faster than decency allows. We’ll see how long my purchase lasts! I did originally discover that the bars are great for savoring so I may hold out longer than I expect.
I decided to branch away from traditional bars and buy the bread and chocolate bar I viewed on the website. Bread, my favorite food, and chocolate combined, it had to be great right? Yep! I couldn’t believe how crispy the bar was, with pieces of toasted breadcrumbs in each bite. (My factory tour, read below, taught me that those breadcrumbs are sourced from the Essential Baking Company– a great organic bakery that supplies bread to my local QFC.) You know when you buy some good crusty artisan bread and it gets a little stale? Well imagine dunking those crisped up pieces of crust into some dark chocolate and sprinkling a pinch of salt on it. That visual might mislead you, but the mix of bread to chocolate was perfect. There was just a hint of saltiness, and the dark chocolate was very rich and savory. The bar comes in 4 breakable pieces, and each is great for a snack, or even breakfast! Let’s be real, there are worse things you could have for breakfast. I would highly recommend this bar if you are looking to spice up your dark chocolate routine, or you just need another reason to eat chocolate.
A chance trip into Eat Local in Capital Hill ended up with me buying Theo’s Big Daddy Marshmallow 3 pack- the dreamy candy that I saw on the website and haven’t been able to find until now. I was equally enthralled with this store- and couldn’t believe I had just discovered it! They provide high quality, frozen meals cooked with all natural, organic locally sourced foods with traditional cooking methods. The meals themselves cover a wide range of cultures, and although are a bit pricey, sound delicious and you’re paying to support these important food movements. They also sell local food products, hence why I found the Big Daddy candy. If there was a store in Bellevue, I know where my paycheck would be going!
The Big Daddy name suits the candy well, with three hefty squares inside the box, certainly large enough to be eaten as an occasional treat, or all at once. No judgement. I had one for breakfast even (second time in a week I’ve done this with Theo…. clearly their chocolates are incredibly versatile.) Your first bite will reveal perfectly layered airy marshmallow, rich caramel, and a graham cracker bottom that resembles the delicious buttery graham cracker crust on a good cheesecake, all coated in dark chocolate. If you like scotchmallows, you’ll love this. If you like graham cracker crust, you’ll love this. If you like chocolate, you’ll love this. I wish it wasn’t $10 a pack, but I’ve come to learn that good food is worth the money.
The end of my recent Theo “research” was a tour at their factory! Located in the adorable Fremont neighborhood in an old brick building that used to be the Red Hook brewery (also a great tour to go on if you haven’t already…), the scent of melted chocolate could be smelled from blocks away. Hairnets were required, and chocolate samples were plentiful on the hour long tour, through the small factory and into their chocolate gift shop, where a 10% discount awaits you (for tour participants only… on select items of course). Among the samples, the coffee & cream chocolate stood out as incredibly delicious, while the fig, fennel & almond wasn’t for me. We also tried some assorted candies: I chose the lemongrass curry caramel which was interesting to say the least. It was sweet, savory, salty and spicy all at the same time, with the lemongrass and curry taking me away from everything I normally expect out of a caramel. I was thrilled to learn on this tour that Theo also pairs with Jacobsen Salt Co, an artisan salt maker from Oregon that I happen to have read a ton about recently. They have a special 4 pack of caramels featuring Jacobsen’s sea salt, one of which is the lemongrass curry.
Everything I’ve learned about Theo chocolate I appreciate, whether it’s their delicious products, the fact that they supply local stores, support other local companies, or their use of fair trade cocoa beans and organic ingredients. The day I move away from this area, I’ll hope Theo supplies my new grocery store or I’ll have to start becoming a hoarder, and I really don’t want to resort to that.
For any Theo newbies, I’d highly suggest going on the tour if possible because first of all, it’s a chocolate factory and it’s fun, and you also get to taste a ton of chocolate which helps determine which quirky flavor you’ll want to spend money on. As for me, it’s time to dive into unknown territory involving their caramel and sipping chocolate selections. Looking forward to my future posts about them!