Until now I have only fallen in love with unflavored dark bars (including some select milk bars as well) and was relatively intractable by the flavored variations thereof. However, I recently got my hands on an Amedei I Frutti bar, particularly the white chocolate version studded with chopped pistachios (Toscano White with Pistachios), and after finishing the bar in one day I must admit that I have a new love in my life.
The bar is distinctly attractive upon unwrapping, bearing an alabaster-ivory color and green specks–small and large–of pistachios all over the surface. The aroma merely presages the flavor to come, and by that I mean sweet and savory, sugar and salt, smooth and crunchy, all in torrents and all without reservation.
The flavor is simply monumental, arguably the best white chocolate bar I have ever tried, aside from El Rey’s Icoa of course. The pistachios add so much dimension to the chocolate, first a subtle saltiness and strong nuttiness, then a lemony explosion, and finally lingering in the back of the mouth are the pepper highlights, all of which are contrasted yet complemented by the sweet white chocolate.
I also noticed that the flavor is uniquely fresh, courtesy of the pistachios and their inherent greenness in flavor. Any other nut, and this would not be possible. Amedei says these are Bronte pistachios; although I’m unaware what this specifically entails (but I do have speculations), I can certainly say they taste fabulous in this bar. No doubt, this is a high caliber white chocolate bar, and Amedei definitely has the edge here since the competition for flavored white bars is fairly low especially in this range of quality.
Amedei is a respected name in the chocolate community, and when I discovered they amended their regular line with flavored bars, I simply regarded these new products as nothing more than a marketing gimmick to attract new customers.
In some ways, though, I still hold this conviction because the other flavored bars seem like nothing extraordinarily groundbreaking: Toscano Red (70% with bits of strawberries, raspberries, and cherries), Toscano Blond (63% with peaches and apricots), and then two others, a milk bar with hazelnuts and a 63% with almonds. Granted, truly awesome ingredients can make a world of difference in the flavor, but when considering the complexities of pistachios and the contrasting properties of white chocolate, the combination of these two ingredients seems, at least to me, significantly more exciting than an inherently “red” chocolate combined with red fruits.
All of this isn’t to say I won’t ever try these bars if the opportunity arises. I will, in fact, and I will probably enjoy them because Amedei, it is known, produces high quality products, all of which I have enjoyed thus far. What remains questionable is the degree to which I will enjoy them. I doubt it’ll ever be anywhere near the level of Toscano White with Pistachios, but hey you never know.