Once upon a time, Vosges Haut-Chocolat and Wild Ophelia teamed up to create Hunger Games themed chocolate and admittedly, we were kinda skeptical.
We wondered what it would actually taste like and how those tastes really connect to the districts. Then one day, a big, magical box showed up at the front door and the mystery was ready to be solved!
In a case SO PRETTY, you almost don’t want to open it!
To conquer this, I brought in the two ladies who taught me everything I know about chocolate: my mom aka Mother of Pearl and my older sister, who shall be called Drunk on Chocolate, for reasons to be seen later. Besides being fellow chocolate lovers, these two are way less picky than me, so they vouch for the things I don’t eat.
Let’s start by saying that the chocolate itself, both milk and dark, is creamy and scrumptious! Each bar is able to be broken up into three “panels”. To start, we all ate one-half panel per bar.
We started with…
DISTRICT 1 – Rare Harvest Cashews + Milk Chocolate
Cashews are not the easiest the gather up and are sometimes referred to as “the diamond of the nut industry”, which is why they work of the Luxury district. We all agreed that the cashews make for a great combo of sweet and salty, but this was pretty similar to things we’ve tasted before. Drunk on Chocolate wonders why the fancy, rare nuts aren’t in District 2, since they have “The Nut.”
DISTRICT 2 – Caramel + Pecan + Milk Chocolate
We made the assumption that this would be very sticky, hence its connection to Masonry. However, this had liquid-y delicious caramel that doesn’t stick to the roof of your mouth. Pecans give it a bit of crunch. Overall, this turtle bar masterpiece was DoC’s favorite.
DISTRICT 3 – Arabica Coffee + Crystal Salt + Dark Chocolate
Coffee is not my cup of… coffee? But Mother of Pearl and DoC both like it, so they gave their opinions. Unfortunately, though coffee and salt are both yummy to them, the combination was too bitter for their tastes.
- At this point, giggles begin. DoC points out how much chocolate we have yet to try and MoP gets excited because the next bar is from “Cutie Patootie’s” district.
DISTRICT 4 – Sea Salt + Coconut + Dark Chocolate
We worried about this one being overpowering or too salty, but in the end it was a really subtle blend. You could taste everything, but not in excess. It’s comparative to an Almond Joy, but a little more mellow.
DISTRICT 5 – Crispy Crunchy Caramel Corn + Dark Chocolate
This was my hands down favorite! It’s sweet and salty in the perfect amounts with just the right amount of caramel to satisfy. Everyone’s very pleased with the taste.
- MoP groans over the amount of chocolate we still plan to consume. I suggest we take a break, to which DoC responds with a swift and enthusiastic “Breaks are for quitters!”
- We opt for smaller pieces of chocolate instead.
Just enough to share!
DISTRICT 6 – Crunchy Runner Peanuts in Peanut Butter + Milk Chocolate
Our first question was “What’s a runner peanut?” Well, it’s a peanut, just one that usually grows in the South. Our second question was “Where’s the peanut butter?” because it seems the peanut pieces and very lightly dipped in peanut butter, thus you can’t really taste it. It was tasty, we just hoped for more peanut-buttery bliss!
DISTRICT 7 – Smoked Chipotle Chili + Milk Chocolate*
This one was the first real kicker! Upon first bite, it is VERY smoky. Campfire smoky in ways you wouldn’t expect from chocolate ever. But when you shallow, the aftertaste is legitimately spicy. Do I think I could’ve eaten to bar in one sitting? No. Was it cool to try? Definitely!
DISTRICT 8 – Caramelized Crispy Rice + Dark Chocolate
Caramelized crispy rice is light and pleasant, but it didn’t have much going on it the flavor department that made it different or particularly tasty. “The Capitol would foo-foo at this,” DoC pronounced.
DISTRICT 9 – Milled Oats + Vanilla Hemp Seeds + Dark Chocolate
We generally agree that oats and chocolate make for a good mix, but this was our unanimous least favorite. The oats and hemp seeds made for a pretty tasteless filler and a dry texture that didn’t really work. Maybe there are finer palates out there that will disagree?
- Despite her earlier claims that breaks are for quitters, DoC declares a break. We go back and forth between giggles and the beginnings of chocolate-induced comas for a while before any of us are brave enough to dive back in.
DISTRICT 10 – Beef Jerky + Smoked Mesquite + Milk Chocolate*
Vosges and Wild Ophelia are NOT screwing around when it comes to beef jerky. It’s not just smoky flavor, there’s actual pieces of beef jerky. DoC and I wish for bacon instead of beef jerky. MoP likes beef jerky, but doesn’t love it combined with chocolate.
DISTRICT 11 – Harvest Cherry + Dark Chocolate
Chewy, dried cherries that are naturally sweet and not too sugary make for happy taste testers! Chocolatey and fruity all in one bite! Who could ask for more?
DISTRICT 12 – Mined Salt + Milk Chocolate
Frankly, we can’t tell the difference between all these salts. What we CAN tell you in that this one brings us back to sweet and salty. These companies have mastered the art of adding just enough salt that you can taste the contrast without overpowering the flavors in the chocolate. Yummmm!
You can find the district chocolate bars, character-themed bars, and the tres fancy Capitol Truffle Collection up for sale here. We’ve also seen the district bars while out and about, so your local convenience store!
The Headache That Followed This Was Totally Worth It!
The Girl With The Pearl
* When it comes to the more specialized flavors from D7 and D10, we got a surprising fourth opinion. My fiance did some post-taste test sampling, declared those his favorites, and devoured them. So really, it’s all about how adventurous your tastes are!