Today I learned that the B. Manishewitz company, maker of all sorts of kosher foods, also makes chocolate. Or at the very least, they ensure that the chocolate is produced under strict rabbinical supervision. It isn't clear to me from the label whether the company makes the chocolate themselves or whether they just distribute it after ensuring that it's kosher. Perhaps some kind soul can shed some light on the matter?

Dark Chocolate

This isn't a bad dark chocolate, but it's also not stellar. I certainly enjoyed it, but I probably wouldn't recommend this chocolate to someone unless they had nothing better available or they needed it to be kosher. There are other things I'd tell people to try first.

This chocolate has about the shortest ingredient list I've seen: sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter. I'm assuming that "chocolate" means "cocoa solids" until someone tells me differently. The flavor is an interesting one, and the balance of sugar to cocoa is very nice. The flavor suggests that the cocoa beans used for this chocolate have been roasted a little bit more than usual, and I suspect the resulting cocoa poweder was also dutch processed but it's hard to tell. There is also a little bit of a nutty undertone to the flavor. All in all, the combination of those factors makes a very nice tasting chocolate. If flavor and sweetness was all I rated chocolate for, this would get a higher rating.

However, I also factor the feel of the chocolate into my reviews, and that is what I find fault with in this chocolate. This is probably the driest feeling chocolate I've ever had. You're probably familiar with how a good dark chocolate is brittle and has a nice crisp snap to it when it breaks (this is due to the crystalline structure of cocoa butter). This chocolate lacks that feel when you chew on it. It is sort of crumbly and chalky feeling in your mouth, which I take to mean that there isn't much cocoa butter in this chocolate. I suspect that this makes it more resiliant to heat and poor storage conditions than many other chocolates, but it suffers for it in the actual eating experience. Probably a good chocolate to take camping, though.

Another minor nit I have to pick with the B. Manishewitz company is in how the chocolate is packaged. The five ounce bar is split lengthwise into two long skinny bars which are individually wrapped. This is itself a nice idea, but it requires that the two halves be secured with respect to eachother for shipping. This they did by means of a heavy paper insert placed behind the bars, to which wrapped the bars are glued with a line of what looks to me like hot glue. The problem is that the hot glue process mars the back surface of the chocolate bar, leaving a sort of melted, puckered streak on the chocolate itself. It took me a while to figure out that the damage was purely cosmetic and the chocolate itself wasn't contaminated.