Advertisement
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm)
Sign Up For The Top Pick Of The Week
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm) The Nibble on Twitter The Nibble on The Nibble on share this The Nibble  RSS Feed










Top Pick Of The Week

April 1, 2008
Updated January 2019

.
. .
 

Pierre Marcolini White Chocolate

Pierre Marcolini’s white chocolate bar wins the beauty competition. Real white chocolate is ivory, never snow white. All photography by Claire Freierman | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Twelve of the world’s finest white chocolate bars.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: More cocoa butter in the recipe, top-quality cocoa butter and a more restrained hand with sugar give these bars aroma and flavor complexities unmatched in lesser white chocolate.
WHY WE LOVE IT: For the same reason we like all great chocolate. Nothing else tastes this good!
WHERE TO BUY IT: Chocosphere.com and MarcoliniChocolatier.com (for the Pierre Marcolini bar only).
.

.
The World’s Best White
Chocolate

Page 4: The Best White Chocolate Bars


This is Page 4 of a five-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

INDEX OF REVIEW

MORE TO DISCOVER

The Best White Chocolate

The average composition of a typical bar of top-quality white chocolate is about 30% cocoa butter and 70% sugar and milk solids combined. With such a low percentage of cocoa butter in comparison to milk and sugar, the texture is usually thick, soft and sometimes fudge-like. By contrast, a 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar has a smooth and creamy texture because its composition is usually around 40% cocoa butter, 30% cocoa particles and 30% sugar (and no milk—only white chocolate and milk chocolate contain milk).

White chocolate is known for its “dairy flavors,” which include butter, cream, milk, honey, vanilla, caramel and/or fruit. Every brand of white chocolate will have a different assortment of these flavors. Some bars will be light and ethereal like a bride’s veil, while others will be strapping and bold like a groom’s tuxedo. Like any chocolate, each manufacturer has its own recipe, and the proportions are highly guarded secrets. As shown in the explanation of cocoa butter, above, differences in the raw ingredients significantly impact the chocolate, and manufacturers may use a combination of sweeteners—not all table sugar, for example.

We hope you enjoy every one of these bars as much as we did. Ten of our 11 bars are available at Chocosphere.com. Pierre Marcolini is available at MarcoliniChocolatier.com. Prices are verified at publication, but are subject to change.

Amedei White Chocolate Bar
(Cioccolato al Latte Bianco)
Strong and powerful but not overbearing, this is a white chocolate that strikes a wonderful balance. Neither too strong or too light, it’s the Goldilocks choice of white chocolate bars, being “just right.” It appeals with a sophistication that’s difficult to describe in words, as good as we usually are in our descriptions. Our most expensive bars, they are definitely worth the price.

Amedei White With Pistachios Chocolate Bar
(Cioccolato al Latte Bianco con Pistacchi)
Sweet and savory, smooth and crunchy, and complemented with a remarkably fresh green flavor, this is a bar any producer should be proud of. Pepper highlights linger in the back of the mouth, contrasting with the sweet white chocolate, while lemony notes are prominent throughout. While companies have traditionally paired almonds with white chocolate, one bite of this bar will convince you that pistachios and white chocolate were made for each other. Amedei, one of the greatest chocolate-makers in the world, gets it right with this bar.

  • 3.5 Ounces, $11.75
  Amedei White Chocolate
Amedei is an elite, boutique manufacturer located in the town of Pisa, in Tuscany. All of their bars are a favorite among connoisseurs.

Askinosie White Chocolate Bar
Askinosie is the first microbatch chocolatier to produce a white chocolate bar. And what a bar!

Made from 34% undeodorized cocoa butter, this bar looks more like café au lait than white chocolate. El Rey, below, is perhaps the most famous undeodorized white chocolate bar (also 34% cocoa butter), but the bars taste nothing alike and make for a fascinating side-by-side tasting experience.

Askinosie’s white chocolate has pronounced fruity flavors and, while the organic cane sugar content can approach 40%, this is the least-sweet white chocolate you’ll taste. Another defining factor is that, instead of cow’s milk powder, goat’s milk powder is used to make the bar. While the bar doesn’t have any goat milk flavor (e.g., the flavor of fresh goat cheese), you know that this bar is somehow very different.

  Askinosie White Chocolate
The color of this not-so-white white chocolate bar is a result of undeodorized cocoa butter. Photo by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.

Askinosie’s is also one of the only single origin white chocolates in the world, made from Arriba Nacional cacao from San Jose Del Tambo, a village in the Andes foothills of Ecuador. It is available plain, as a Nibble bar (with cacao nibs) and with pistachios. The fresh-roasted crunchy cacao nibs and pistachios add excitement to what is, in it’s plainest form, a peacock of a bar. It is most fascinating to taste these bars in tandem with Askinosie’s San Jose Del Tambo 70% cacao bar and Nibble bar.

Café Tasse Blanc White Chocolate Bar
Among the bars we tried for this review, Belgium’s Café Tasse is probably what most people would expect from a “classic” white chocolate. It’s a little on the sweet side but manages to evade cloying territory. It’s a great go-to bar, and it definitely won’t break the bank.
If you want a lemon-flavored white chocolate, the company makes a “pocket size” bar (1.58 ounces), Blanc Citron, which can be found at specialty stores and cafés that carry Café Tasse. (Neither the Blanc nor the Blanc Café, below, is made in this smaller size.)

  • 3.5 Ounces, $4.25

Café Tasse Blanc Café White Chocolate Bar

Instead of simply adding a coffee flavoring to its white chocolate bar, Café Tasse does it the right way, with actual ground coffee beans. The flecks not only add a charming speckled appearance, but provide a more interesting texture—a wee bit of crunch. The coffee accent is whispered rather than shouted, which is a good thing—large doses of coffee flavor in chocolate can be oppressive.

  • 3.5 Ounces, $4.25

Chocovic Jaina White Chocolate

Chocovic’s Jaina has 31% cocoa butter...and some
tangy yogurt!

 

Chocovic Jaina White Chocolate Bar

This is an unassuming bar that hides a surprise for those who have not read the label prior to the first bite. In appearance, it looks like a normal white chocolate bar; but wait until you taste the tangy yogurt zip in each bite! It’s a light and refreshing bar, definitely more candy than sophisticated connoisseur confection. But it’s equally as enjoyable as the others on this list.

  • 2.82 Ounces, $4.75

Read our full review of Chocovic chocolate, from the Spanish city of Vic, near Barcelona.

El Rey Icoa Chocolate Bar

As mentioned earlier, Icoa, from Venezuela, is the only white chocolate made with non-deodorized cocoa butter. As a result, its flavor is actually chocolaty and nutty, distinctly strong and masculine, which contrasts directly with all other white chocolate bars on the market. (You should be able to pick it out blind, if you’re tasting it with other white chocolates.) A subdued sweetness makes it serious and stern, giving the impression that the bar actually contains less sugar. The texture is also smoother than most white chocolates, which contributes an added sense of refinement. See photo above.

 

Green & Black’s White Chocolate Bar

This is a very “macho” and assertive bar, boasting strong vanilla flavors and a subdued sweetness level that may seem uncommon for white chocolate. The mouthfeel is a bit more restrained and smooth than other white chocolates. A strong sprinkling of scraped vanilla bean gives it a dramatic appearance. Green & Black’s, from England, is one of the world’s leading brands of organic chocolate.

  • 3.5 Ounces, $4.45

Pierre Marcolini Blanc White Chocolate Bar

UPDATE: JANUARY 2010

We regret to announce that the importer’s license expired at the end of 2009; this great chocolate is not currently available in the U.S. But grab a supply in France or Belgium.

A chocolatier and patissier, Belgium’s Marcolini likes his white chocolate bright and strong, perhaps even dessert-like in effect but not as sweet.

 

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Strong visually and on the palate, Green & Black’s white chocolate bar is organic, too.

The chocolate is very lemony with hints of that wonderful Tahitian vanilla speckling the surface of the bar. It’s a fairly complex and vivid white chocolate that resembles Venchi’s bar but diverges with a fuller body and stronger lemon flavor. The lemoniness is natural to the cocoa butter and the production—there’s no added lemon.  In addition to great taste, the product design is stunning, from the square bar that spell MARCOLINI like a beautiful puzzle (photo at the top of the page), to the elegant, minimalist box. At more than $10.00 a bar, it may seem pricey; but Marcolini is always worth it.

Slitti Bianco White Chocolate Bar

Slitti’s white chocolate is simpler than all the other bars we tried, but it remains unique nonetheless. Its flavor is somewhat mild, yet highly reminiscent of sweet milk, which is surprising given that the bar’s cocoa butter content is 30%. The bar is also much harder than any other white chocolate, which makes the texture smooth, not soft. We love Slitti chocolate in general, but the packaging puts it at a disadvantage when compared to the other bars. For a line launched in 1988, the package looks like it’s from 1968 (not a stylish era, and lots of gold foil passing for “class”). Perhaps its location in the tiny town of Monsummano Terme, in Tuscany, keeps it locked in time. But no matter how good the contents, packaging sells—especially in other countries where you’re not well-known. Per favore, Signor Slitti: Let some of Italy’s great design talent give you a new look.

  • 3.5 Ounces, $7.95

Venchi Bianco White Chocolate Bar

A very light and refreshing bar, laden with crisp lemon notes (natural, no lemon added). There are subtle peaks of vanilla that contribute an interesting cookie-like flavor, but with sophistication in mind rather than any cloying sweetness. This is a very pleasant and low-key white chocolate with a gentle temperament. The elegant, Old World-evocative wrapper, with a 19th-century painting of a woman pouring chocolate into a mold (photo at right), hints at the great flavor inside.

  • 3.5 Ounces, $5.60

Venchi Bianco Sugar Free White Chocolate
Bar

Venchi’s line of sugar-free chocolates are world-class across the board. No one would know there’s no sugar in this bar (it uses maltitol, the best sugar alcohol for “real”-tasting candy and cookies). Although this sugar-free white chocolate retains the same pleasurable features that make the regular white chocolate bar so uplifting, here we see a somewhat savory, fuller sensation at the beginning of the taste. This dissipates, however, and the flavor evens out into a lemony and crisp theme that’s light, refreshing and very cheerful, just like the original.

  Venchi White Chocolate Bar
Venchi’s white chocolate bar. The sugar-free bar (not shown) tastes almost as good as its regular white chocolate. While you’ll notice a difference, because sugar has a different consistency and flavor than maltitol—no one eating the sugar-free bar alone would realize it’s sugar-free.
  • 2.45 Ounces, $6.35
    (the higher price is due to the cost of maltitol)

 

Vosges d’Oliva White Chocolate Bar

This is an eye-catching bar to be sure, flecked with black. And it’s an eye-raising one as well: olives in chocolate?

But there’s no need for alarm—this is no weird, experimental bar. Although Vosges gets kudos for the experiment (along with its Mo’s Bacon bar, a delightful dark chocolate bar with pieces of real bacon), this bar is delicious.

The olives are chopped so finely that they contribute a mild tanginess and texture, without an obvious salty, Kalamata olive flavor. Or at least, there are no explosive olive bursts, just subtle charm (you can give a piece to someone and they may not know they’re eating olives).

Using El Rey’s Icoa white chocolate as the base was a good decision, since Icoa’s strong character balances out the tangy olive notes and contributes its own great white chocolate flavor.

 

Strong visually and on the palate, Green & Black’s white chocolate bar is organic, too.

 

Continue To Page 5: Where To Buy White Chocolate

Go To The Article Index Above

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, special offers, contests, opinion surveys, THE NIBBLE back issues archive, product gift-finder and more, visit the home page of TheNibble.com.

Do you have friends who would enjoy THE NIBBLE?
Click here
to send them an invitation to sign up for their own copy.

 


© Copyright 2004-2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is subject to change at any time without notice. All details must be directly confirmed with manufacturers, service establishments and other third parties. This material may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Lifestyle Direct, Inc.

.
Contact Us

Green Mountain

 












.