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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Dagoba New Moon

     
Dagoba New Moon 
Posted: 1 October 2014    7.5 
Dagoba New Moon from USA The New Moon is the perfect bar to bring me back into the Dagoba fold. It's not a gimmick bar.  Really, it just a dark chocolate bar, made with organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, and organic cacao butter.  Dagoba calls itself temple of the gods. Even if that temple is the Hollywood crafted variety you see for amusement park attractions at Universal Studios, you can still admire the craftsmanship.   
Avg price/gram: USD 0.045   Cocoa %: 74  Size: 56g   
       


It's been a long, long time since Dagoba showed its chocolatey face at the Chocolate Republic.  Four years almost to the day.  I have my reasons.   The original Dagoba bars reviewed here weren't as splendiferous as the hype led on.  And a lot more importantly, I couldn't get my hands on Dagoba bars even if I wanted to.          

Well, a new moon has risen here at the Chocolate Republic  Or should I say, Optojay just happened to have brought along a Dagoba bar during his ten-day September vacation to Thailand.  I can count my lucky stars and satellites.   The Dagoba New Moon bar he brought was not one I'd previously reviewed.   

To refresh your memory if you read any of my prior Dagoba reviews or to educate you if you haven't, the Dagoba operation was set up by Frederick Schilling in 2001.  In retrospect, Schilling showed up with Dagoba at precisely the right time.  Consumers had started exposing their taste buds to better chocolate, but there was not yet a plethora of higher end chocolate operators meeting the demand.  Dagoba's then unusual flavor combinations got it much needed press, and newly minted chocophiles started pronouncing it some of the best chocolate on the planet.  This was all around 2003.    

Did Dagoba deserve its reputation?  Probably.  Remember, there were much fewer organic chocolate makers dedicated to the craft of really fine chocolate in the early 2000's.  It was easier to stand out if you were good.   In 2006, Hershey bought out Dagoba and folded it into its Artisan Confections Company where it's been ever since.        

Four years on since my original Dagoba reviews, I'd have to conclude that Schilling made the right decision to offload his company. I'm sure he had his misgivings that Hershey would cut corners on the brand he handcrafted.  What lone entrepreneur wouldn't when staring in the face of a megaconglomerate?  However, by the time 2006 rolled around, Schilling must have seen the voracious competition that was sprouting up all over the terroir like finely shaded cacao plants, many from brands that were birthed at around the same time as his own but just starting to get major press.  It's got to be a whole lot harder to get your organic chocolate bars placed in an American Whole Foods today than it was back in the early 2000's, and if your brand is starting to pull the stores less money than other upstarts like Chuao, Whole Foods has no qualms ousting you for whatever is current. With Hershey's huge financial backing, Dagoba wouldn't have to suffer that fate.  Hershey could get the bars placed in a lot more stores than Whole Foods.  Schilling took his chances.  He sold his brand before it became tremendously big to minimize the risks of it becoming completely irrelevant.        

The New Moon is the perfect bar to bring me back into the Dagoba fold.  It's not a gimmick bar akin to many of Dagoba's more popular offerings or many of the ones Chuao is famous for hawking.  Really, it just a dark chocolate bar, made with organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, and organic cacao butter.  The beans and the cacao butter are also certified as being from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.         

For a 74% bar, the taste isn't extremely bitter.  Could that be due to the tenth of a percent of milk Dagoba adds, a very strange addition for a bar clearly in dark chocolate territory.  I guess with organic and Rainforest Alliance labels on it, there was no need to go for the vegan label, too.  This was a smooth dark chocolate bar those new to dark chocolate taste experiences could rally behind.  I found it more palatable than Green & Black's 70% bar, a bar I previously praised here.        

I'm still keen to someday sample Dagoba's more famous blends.  I assume their signature Xocolatl bar uses the same dark chocolate base as the New Moon -- both are 74%'s -- but with chilies and other spices added.  If the New Moon on its own could perform this well, then the Xocolatl would likely rank even higher and is probably a better gauge at assessing what all the fuss was ever about with Dagoba.      

Dagoba calls itself temple of the gods. Even if that temple is the Hollywood crafted variety you see for amusement park attractions at Universal Studios, you can still admire the craftsmanship.

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Coles Belgian Fruit and Nut from Australia -- 26% cocoa solids
 Godiva Dark Chocolate with Raspberry from Belgium -- 72% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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