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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Moonstruck Milk Chocolate

Moonstruck Milk Chocolate 
Posted: 18 November 2011    8.0 
Moonstruck Milk Chocolate It's rare to come across a milk chocolate so creamy, with such pronounced flavor, with such a great texture. The bar is that good. I am married and my wife loves milk chocolates, so I dared to share, and she, too, loved it. I still ended up with three-quarters of the bar.    
Avg price/gram: USD 0.05   Cocoa %: 31  Size: 85g   

Moonstruck, manufacturer of chocolates in Oregon state, featuring St. John's Bridge on the front of every one of its bars, purveyor of chocolate treats at a half dozen Oregon choco cafes, strikes American chocolate gold with their Milk Chocolate.      

When Burma Mike brought over 29 bars of American chocolate for the Chocolate Republic's expert taste assessment, I wouldn't have bet that Moonstruck was going to be coming out as a frontrunner.   I can't even be sure Moonstruck is a real manufacturer as opposed to a chocolatier.  Yep, there's a difference, as I just found out.   A manufacturer is in charge of the full bean-to-bar process.  A manufacturer sources the beans, roasts 'em, conches 'em, tempers 'em.  It converts the beans into chocolate.  A chocolatier just fashions chocolate created by others into its own shapes, add its own fillings, puts on its own wrapper.  Duc De Praslin and Seattle Chocolate Company are chocolatiers.  Ghiraradelli and Theo are manufacturers.  Without doing the research, it's too simple to conclude the manufacturers are superior in quality.  Ghirardelli is a bean-to-bar manufacturer.  So what?  Its products are average.  Seattle Chocolate Company is a chocolatier and it's average as well.      

Lesson learned.  A chocolatier sourcing the best chocolate and then combining that high quality chocolate with the best quality fillings and other ingredients can kick the )*@$)(@ out of most manufacturers without the need to have the full array of chocolate-making equipment.       

So is Moonstruck, based in Portland, Oregon, a manufacturer or a chocolatier by this definition?  Knell's Law of Omissions would suggest that Moonstruck is just a chocolatier.  If Moonstruck were bean-to-bar, the company wouldn't hide that fact.   It would be all over their web site.  That nothing is mentioned one way or the other tells us all we need to know.  Moonstruck's key business is chocolate cafes.  The choco cafe model in Australia is thaving other quality manufacturers make bars for the cafes, but with the cafe's brand name on them.  It looks like Moonstruck is taking a middle ground stance.  They're buying the chocolate from somewhere else but fashioning the raw materials into bars themselves.

Moonstruck's Mayan bar was incredible. That bar, using Moonstruck's 31% milk chocolate base, left me wondering how the milk chocolate would taste without anything added to it. I got my chance to put that curiosity to rest with this Moonstruck Milk Chocolate bar.   Moonstruck informs the taster in advance that "you may very well bring romance into your life when your share your bar of Moonstruck Milk Chocolate.  Then again, you may simply lose half a bar.  Play it safe.  Stash one away to have all to yourself.   Share if you dare."     

It's rare to come across a milk chocolate so creamy, with such pronounced flavor, with such a great texture.   The bar is that good.  I am married and my wife loves milk chocolates, so I dared to share, and she, too, loved it.  I still ended up with three-quarters of the bar.

Ghirardelli should find out who Moonstruck is buying its cacao from, stop manufacturing its own chocolate bars, and start using the same cacao as Moonstruck.   Ghirardelli would be doing everyone a favor.  

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Meiji Black from Japan -- 43% cocoa solids
 Lindt Les Grandes White Almond from Switzerland -- 21% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index

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