REVIEW: Lake Champlain Fruit and Nut Five Star Bar

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Lake Champlain’s Fruit and Nut Five Star Bar is the kind of chocolate that will make you break that New Year’s resolution. We totally agree with Vogue¬†magazine’s assessment that this is “the ultimate chocolate bar.”

You may have seen Five Star Bars in the checkout line at Whole Foods or other gourmet grocers, and like us, you may have been put off by the $4 price tag for a compact chunk of candy. But trust us: it’s absolutely worth it – in fact, when we’re craving a savory-sweet treat, $4 seems like a small price to pay for this much awesomeness.

It’s kind of crazy, because generally speaking, we’ve never really been huge fans of chocolates with fruit – the fruity ones have historically been the last pieces standing in assortment boxes of chocolate around these parts. But while the other selections from Lake Champlain’s Five Star line – Caramel, Hazelnut, Peanut, and Granola are all incredibly delicious, the Fruit and Nut is, well, otherworldly. Yup, it’s really that good.

We were surprised to find that there is both milk and dark chocolate in the Fruit and Nut bars, as the color is very dark and the taste is what you’d expect of a high-quality dark chocolate: firm, rich, strong, and slightly bitter. The nuts (small pieces of pecan) add a slightly salty crunch, and the fruits (raisins and dried cherries) pack just the right amount of juiciness without being overly sweet. The bars are equally delicious paired with coffee, milk, or a nice red wine that brings out the fruity tones quite delightfully.

The Lake Champlain chocolate company, founded in 1983, is a “third-tier chocolate maker,” meaning they source finished chocolates from various international sources, and then process the chocolate with locally sourced ingredients including butter, cream, honey, and maple syrup from Vermont. We love ingredient lists with no weird chemicals or unpronounceable freaky stuff, and Lake Champlain is totally cool like that. The company states that 86% of their chocolate is sourced from Fair Trade providers, and they are currently working to increase that percentage.

Yes, we’d committed to eating healthier in the New Year, but we just couldn’t resist this little digression on our last shopping trip. If you’re going to cheat on that New Year’s resolution, this is a good way to do it. We don’t regret it a bit.