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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review:Patsy's Crystalized Ginger Bar

     
Patsy's Crystalized Ginger Bar 
Posted: 24 October 2012    5.5 
Patsy's Crystalized Ginger Bar from USA Sorry to say, Patsy's isn't exactly an exemplar of premium chocolate. That Patsy's would call this a "dark bar" with just 45% cocoa solids is a red flag. A premium producer would've either used enough cocoa solids to make this a real dark bar or else called this a bittersweet bar.  And yet for the merely passable quality produced which falls far short of excellence, Patsy's is charging the same price per gram as premium Madecasse and more than other quality and better known American chocolate makers such as Scharffen-Berger.  If this happened in Spain during the 1930's, it would've led to a revolution.  
Avg price/gram: USD 0.078   Cocoa %: 45  Size: 64g   
       


Patsy's Candies is another one of these down home folksy stories of Americana, similar to the one spun by Hammond's Candies.  Patsy's is named after Patsy Mehaney, an Irishman who in the late 1800's concocted a unique candied popcorn recipe.  According to Patsy's website, legend has it that Patsy sold his recipe to the famous Cracker Jack company.   This I found terribly difficult to believe and conducted further research to discover that a German immigrant named Frederick William Rueckheim and his brother first mass-produced Cracker Jack and sold it at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.  So much for legend.  Patsy relocated west and settled in Colorado, starting Patsy's Candies in 1903.        

Patsy's is undoubtedly churning out better product than its fellow Colorado house-of-quality operation, Hammond's Candies.  A glance at the ingredients shows no vegetable oils or trans fats.  So Patsy's can run rings around Hammond's on the quality front. All right, that's an easy one. Hershey's and Mars can produce better chocolates than Hammond's.            

But, sorry to say, Patsy's isn't exactly an exemplar of premium chocolate.  That Patsy's would call this a dark bar with just 45% cocoa solids is a red flag.  A premium producer would've either used enough cocoa solids to make this a real dark bar or else called this a bittersweet bar.  At this cocoa solid percentage, Patsy's Crystalized Ginger is just about as dark as Madecasse's Milk Chocolate.  While there are ample crystalized ginger pieces in every bite, the dark chocolate itself is rather hollow tasting.  It lacks substance.         

And yet for the merely passable quality produced which falls far short of excellence, Patsy's is charging the same price per gram as premium Madecasse and more than other quality and better known American chocolate makers such as Scharffen-Berger.  If this happened in Spain during the 1930's, it would've led to a revolution.  Sadly, I think there are a lot of pseudo "family-owned" chocolate operations out there, now owned by small consortiums, that produce chocolate worse than what the multinationals are spitting out, but are able to seduce customers with their century-old brand names and fake family spun charm.           

My wife picked this bar up and several other American ones as she was traveling through Denver International Airport.  She had no idea if they were good or bad. She just knew that if she didn't buy them while she was in Colorado, we had very little chance of getting our hands on these bars again to sample them for the Chocolate Republic.  As it turns out, for these prices, for this quality, she would've been better off not getting her hands on these and just bringing back the mass-produced Ghirardelli bars she picked up at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. 

Patsy's Crystalized Ginger Bar is no prison sentence, but it isn't a walk in the park either.   Think of this as paying scalper's prices to see an overhyped film on opening night that's so average, you'd have been better off watching YouTube clips at home for free.         

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Valrhona Jivara from France -- 40% cocoa solids
 Ghirardelli Twilight Delight from USA -- 72% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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Computer Comprehensive Companion

  Patsy's from Colorado manufactures a crystalized ginger bar that isn't very dark. Not truly dark chocolate. Rumor has it that Patsy sold his recipe to Cracker Jack.