At some point during every visit with my mother-in-law, we end up having ice cream. Whether we head to the local ice cream place or have it at a buffet, the discussion always ends the same. She wants chocolate. Not rocky road or chocolate chip or any other combination. Just plain chocolate. Not me. I like trying different flavors all the time. I guess that’s why I was drawn to Wild Ophelia artisan chocolates.
The first time I tried them was during the BlogHer conference this past summer. At the time, Wild Ophelia was featuring their Hunger Games line of chocolates but also had several others on display. They had samples set out to try but didn’t tell you what flavors they were. You had to guess.
It was chocolate. They were samples. I was doing my duty as a blogger and tested them out. That’s what bloggers do, you know: Sample chocolate. At least that is what *this* blogger does. Any time there is an excuse to have chocolate, I will gladly utilize said excuse. “It’s for work. I have to.”
My guessing abilities weren’t even remotely close. I expected that the bars were probably some kind of fancy cocoa bean mixed with trendy products like bacon. Instead, I discovered that Wild Ophelia chocolates are much more sophisticated than that. They feature flavors like Southern Hibiscus Peach and New Orleans Chili. One that I vividly recall guessing incorrectly was Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips. When they told me what the flavor actually was, I wanted to go back and sample more, just so I could picture it in my head while savoring it.
What makes Wild Ophelia unique isn’t just their ability to successfully integrate exotic ingredients into a chocolate bar but it’s also their business model. You see, the Wild Ophelia chocolate bars aren’t simply a chocolate bar with additives. They’re actually a product of a family farm or artisan food crafter in specific regions of the country. For example, the bananas used in the Peanut Butter and Banana bar are harvested from a family farm on the North Shore of Kauai. The lava-enriched soil and frequent rains produce “the most enchanting bananas on the planet.”
They go beyond that offering “All Natural, No Preservatives, Gluten Free products. Made with renewable energy on 100% recycled paperboard.” While the chocolate bars are created with unique ingredients, they aren’t odd. As an example, the BBQ Potato Chip bars have a salty taste to them but not a woodsy taste. In the Mount Sequoia Granola bar, bits of granola pieces were incorporated into the smooth chocolate offering a bit of crunch.