July 16th: Artisan du Chocolat Space Dust UFOs

I'm never one to turn chocolate down but when Artisan du Chocolat first approached me about reviewing these Space Dust UFOs I politely declined. Anyone who has read this site for any time at all will be all to aware that I despise popping candy - I need only point you in the direction of some of my previous reviews and their scores to prove this point (See HERE). I thought that this would be the end of it, however my contact at Artisan respond saying that they were fully aware of my popping candy fears and wanted to send me a product that would change my mind. Impossible I thought! I'm admittedly a very stubborn person, and once I have an opinion on something I tend to stick by it! Credit to them though, Artisan stuck to their guns and sent me these Space Dust UFOs - take a look below to see what I thought.

These Artisan du Chocolat Space Dust UFOs came in a 150.0g packet that contained around 20 shaped chocolates. The packaging and presentation of the product was a lot simpler than some of the previous Artisan products I've reviewed over the last few months but it was still obvious that these were made by a company who were a cut above your average market offering. The cellophane plastic packet was basic, but the UFO chocolate shapes looked awfully fun and looked very fresh in their pristine, unblemished condition. Unsealing the packet a nice array of cocoa scents wafted from the packet and started to lay to rest some of my preconceived fears.

The name Space Dust UFOs would suggest that these were a product made for kids but in regards to the quality of the chocolate, from what I tasted I know a lot of adults who would have loved these. The packet didn't display the amount of cocoa in the chocolate but I would suggest a recipe closer to the 40% rather than the standard mass market 20%. The chocolate was fantastic quality and had a kind tasting rich, creamy cocoa flavour base that left a crisp, well rounded dairy vanilla after taste in the mouth long after. The popping candy, or sherbet as described on the back of the packaging, was ... well ... I will go as far as saying it was better popping candy than I've had before. For starters it didn't in any way hamper the flavour development of the chocolate and simply just added it's name sake sensation. Secondly I found it better because the popping sensation happened on my tongue and not the back of my throat. Shared among a few people we managed to make our way through the packet in just a single night - they were good snacking sustenance :-D

Overall if you look at the score I'm sure I've given the guys at Artisan the chance to look smug and say 'I told you so' but I could still argue and say that I would have preferred these without the popping candy. As I mentioned above the chocolate quality was absolutely terrific and if my recommendation was based solely on that I would tell you to get involved with these right away. That my friends is not the case though and I have to take in to consideration the popping candy which is fundamentally the point of the Space Dust UFOs in the first place. Whilst I would say the popping candy influence here was ten times better than any I have tried previous, it was still an element that I wouldn't choose to incorporate into my chocolate and would have just preferred the chocolate plain by itself. Obviously that is just my opinion, if you happen to like popping candy, or don't have a strong opinion on it then all likely hood is your are going to love these Space Dust UFOs. On that basis I would certainly recommend them.

8.2 out of 10