One last hurrah before I start my long and lonely drive with little more than Supertramp and protein shakes for company. I picked this up at Whole Foods a few days ago- it’s rare that I miss the Fancy Food Show; this would have been my fifth consecutive year, and with work obligations and the weekday timing of the show, I just can’t make it. I’m sadder than I expected, so I’ve been combing the shelves in a sort of halfhearted miniature attempt to mimic the real thing. And lo and behold, I found some new chocolate! From what I’ve read, Bixby Bars have been around since 2013 and have some magnificent flavors and sweet, minimal packaging with a vintage flair. This is- was, the Whippersnapper, with 72% dark chocolate, walnuts, Maine blueberries, and Tellicherry black pepper.
The bar is perfect for one serving when you’re craving chocolate and has a substantial, hearty feel to it that tricks the mind into thinking you’re eating much more than the 43 grams. It’s a wonderfully tempered, non-scored weighty brick of a bar full of chopped walnuts and berries. The fruitiness of the Tellicherry pepper is rather adept here. Combined with the jammy flavor of the dried blueberries and the natural spice notes that come out of the chocolate, the end result tastes somewhat like a fine drinking gin, reminiscent of St. George’s Terroir gin with resiny, fruity spice on the palate. The walnuts are buttery and provide, along with some puffed rice, a decent crunch and variation in the texture.It’s easily one of the most unique flavor profiles I’ve had the pleasure to try, and is refined in almost every aspect- the pepper is ground pleasantly so as not to emit that awful crunch of whole peppercorns so many chocolatiers seem to be fond of and the blueberries are chopped finely so every bite gets a little bit of fruit, though the pepper is the strongest flavor aside from the chocolate. The other flavors are more conventional- currants, cardamom, and fleur de sel make appearances, but if they’re anything like this, I’ll likely enjoy them as well.