Astisan du Chocolat are never a brand afraid to try something a little different and the products I'm featuring from them today would certainly reaffirm that statement. Although we have recently seen some of the mass market chocolate producers try their hand at chocolate coated popcorn (See Cadbury Popcorn HERE), Artisan du Chocolat are the first higher-end brand that I can recall making gourmet chocolate coated popcorn. This step into the unknown was exactly the reason why I was so excited about trying these new Artisan du Chocolat Chocolate Coated Salted Caramel Popcorn flavours. If they were going to be the same sort of quality as some of the rest of their range, I knew I was going to be in for a treat.
The three different flavour variants that got sent to me to try came in 100.0g plastic jars. I loved the look of the presentation with the containers giving a retro, old sweet shop type of feel to the range. The flavours on offer, Poping Candy Salted Caramel, Rocky Road Salted Caramel and Milk & Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel all sounded like interesting variants; the first two in particular were not varieties of chocolate coated popcorn I had ever seen produced before. Below are my thoughts on each flavour:
Artisan du Chocolat Popping Candy Salted Caramel Popcorn
Lets be honest - we all know that I really don't like popping candy so to say this was the flavour I was most looking forward to trying would be an outright lie. Despite my initial concerns I was delighted to find that the popping candy element was really not that significant and aside from a small, interesting touch of mouth fizz as the chocolate melted, it wasn't something that was all that obvious. The popping candy in no way hampered my enjoyment of the delicious dark chocolate which coated the corn - let me go in to more detail on that below ;-)
8.2 out of 10
The next variant I tried were these Rocky Road milk chocolate coated popcorn. I have to admit that at first I was a little disappointed to read that there was no cherry or other read fruit involvement like with most Rocky Road products. This initial disappoint fizzled away as fast as the corn melted on my tongue as I was soon treated to a luxurious taste packed full of creamy cocoa, sweet toffee, woody hazelnut, salt and corn cereal. This five pronged deluge of flavours was just sensational and I found it hard placing the lid back on every time I reached inside.
8.4 out of 10
Artisan du Chocolat Milk & Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Popcorn
Now if you thought I enjoyed the Rocky Road flavour then you should really take note of how much I loved this Milk & Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel variant. This ladies and gentlemen was gourmet chocolate coated popcorn in the most grandioso sense. This combination of two chocolates types mixed 35.0% milk chocolate with 70.0% dark chocolate - both were of a phenomenal quality. The milk chocolate coated corn were obviously the sweeter of the two and they brought a lovely contrast to the plainer, richer, earthier cocoa flavours being offered by the dark chocolate pieces. Both chocolate types matched the buttery, salty flavours of the inner corn superbly. These I'm afraid did not last me longer than the one sitting - I just couldn't help myself.
8.9 out of 10
Overall it has to be regarded as an incredible feat by Artisan du Chocolat to be able to take an everyday snack like popcorn and make it seem as special as they have done with these products here. All three flavours were fantastic and I wouldn't have any qualms whatsoever recommending a purchase of any of them. With that said If you want my advice on which to go for you only need look at my scores, which should lead you in the direction of the Milk & Dark Chocolate variant. For me that was the one that stood out from the collection. Please let me (@Chocmission) and Artisan du Chocolat (@ArtisanduChocolat) know on Twitter which you fancy trying the most.