I’m sitting here so innocently. You’d think there was nothing out of order. But do you see that gleam of fear in my eye? Follow my gaze, and there, just inches away, you will see the orange bull that’s staring me down. It stands against a purple background, beside the words 44% Cacao Beef Jerky Milk Chocolate Bar and above, that’s right, the Wild Ophelia logo.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have so much fear of a cow appearing in my chocolate–bacon has, after all, been a trend for a while. But I’ve never had a bacon chocolate, and beef jerky chocolate sounds even more frightening, maybe because I occasionally eat turkey bacon but never eat beef jerky. Hence, it took me days after opening this chocolate and smelling its strong scent to taste more than a small nibble.
And while I cowardly put off a proper tasting, the bull continued to stare me down. When I finally found my courage, I observed that the first two-thirds or so of a bite were alright: the 44% milk chocolate is a balanced percentage, not sweet but still having all the flavorful caramelness. Then the salt and spices kicked me and I fell over, temporarily injured. The ingredients for the beef jerky list both soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and the bar also contains smoked paprika. I think that there isn’t so much of a beefy flavor as there is from the rest of these tastes, but it can all be quite powerful.
As often happens, my second piece (still not very big) didn’t taste so strong, and I didn’t get the beef jerky aftertaste I got the first time (which was a bit disturbing). While part of this was certainly me getting used to the flavor, the amount of flavor does seem to vary throughout the bar. What is either amusing or disconcerting, depending on your view, is the presence of tiny beef jerky pieces, almost like sea salt crystals. This is most definitely preferable to large pieces, or even medium ones.
But what surprises me is that the card box has no information on where this beef jerky came from. After the background Wild Ophelia provided on the BBQ chips in the last bar, I had hoped to hear about how the beef was free-range or free of hormones or at least something. There is nothing, however, the website does give assurance of these two traits. Further, the beef comes from Piedmontese and Angus cattle from Idaho that are grass-fed with a 100% vegetarian diet. That’s assuring, though I wish that info were on the bar itself.
If you were as disturbed by the idea of a beef jerky chocolate, let this one go by. But if you’re adventurous and/or a beef-jerky-eater, give it a try. It’s put together in a balanced way that doesn’t mask the chocolate, and the quality of the ingredients is estimable.