Review by Jennifer Stevenson: Nordi Smooth & Rich Original Dark Chocolate bar:This basic 70% bar is up against a lot of challengers, but it measures nicely. The mouthfeel is smooth and cool. The flavor didn’t knock my socks off – you don’t expect that with a 70% cacao bar – but it was sufficiently chocolately that I was satisfied.
I don’t say I would pay $6.50 USD for it, but I’m a notorious bulk chocolate buyer. (My stashes of Lindt 85% bars are always maintained at survivalist levels.)
The bar has all the politically correct markers and pedigrees, which is nice: verified non-GMO, responsible sustainable cocoa (this is a thing), yadda. You pay for that.
Let’s take a look at the other Nordi bar I sampled: the Raspberry & Tangy Licorice Naturally Flavored Dark Chocolate bar.
This was very interesting in a freak-flavors way. The chocolate was again just right, smooth, cool, deeply chocolatey at 70% cacao, with no goofiness. There were Licorice Pearls in theory, but I missed the licorice flavor. However, I definitely noticed and enjoyed the Raspberry Pearls (Finnish for “crunchy raspberry bits”). I sensed the tangy, all right, but I ascribed it to the raspberry. (I can picture master chocolatiers at Nordi rolling their eyes at my lame, uneducated palate.)
On sale at FinnStyle, an online store that retails Finnish products in the US, you can currently get the Raspberry & Tangy Licorice Naturally Flavored Dark Chocolate bar at $4.85 USD, so that’s more within range of a premium bar price for this cheapskate.
That said, be aware that I don’t normally go for freak chocolate bars. Chicago is home to Vosges, which retails at a legendarily expensive $8 per bar. They lead the field in what-the-actual-? flavors priced for the gourmand. I sprang for a couple; then my curiosity met my wallet and gave up. I usually red-line at a toffee-bits or a caramel sea-salt bar. Your mileage may vary. Browsing Fazer’s page for Nordi bars, I find they also make a Sea Buckthorn and Salty Caramel Dark Chocolate bar, which has me scratching my head, as the only buckthorn I’ve heard of is an invasive species of prickly shrub that’s the curse of the Cook County Forest Preserve District. Still, Nordi caught my eye with “sea-salt caramel.” A more conventional flavor is their Hazelnut & Campsite Coffee Dark Chocolate bar.
Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash Sex Magic was shortlisted for the Locus First Fantasy Novel Award and longlisted for the Nebula two years running. Try her fantasy series Hinky Chicago, which is up to five novels, her paranormal romances Slacker Demons, which are about retired deities who find work as incubi, or her women’s fiction fantasy series Coed Demon Sluts, about women solving life’s ordinary problems by becoming succubi. She has published more than 20 short stories.