Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Off the Map: Everything's Better Than That Thing

Coconut Gold Bar -- Fran's Chocolates, Seattle, WA
Fran's Chocolates

It is a well-established fact on this blog that we are not fond of coconut.  

Guess What? It's Back
Unfortunately for us, the folks at Food Network seem to believe it is one of the seven wonders of the world.  At least, this is what we assume when, out of all of the delicacies from Fran's Chocolates that Bobby Flay could have chosen to feature on the SEASON'S EATING episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate, he picked the coconut gold bars.

Really, Bobby?

All of This And You Pick... Coconut?!
In fact, it appears as though Bobby Flay has already gained some sort of reputation among the gourmands (or not) of Seattle, as the moment Vodka tells her friend, Chianti, that Bobby is the reason we are meandering around the pristine glass-enclosed chocolates of Fran's, she responds, "Oh, he's a goof."
Of Course, This Is Coming from the Girl Who Thinks There's Pork in Sorbet, So Rank Her Opinion Appropriately
Within seconds of walking into Fran's, whose interior is a cross between a jewelry store and a coffee shop, we are offered a free milk chocolate square, which we are instantly in love with (and not only because it is free).
Could We Have a Dozen More Free Samples Please? We're Just Performing Some Quality Control
We are almost tempted to say that Fran's has some of the best chocolate we have ever tasted -- smooth and full-flavored and just sweet enough, it is downright perfect.

And then we come to the coconut gold bar.
Cue the Ominous Music
Now, Vodka might not be a big fan of coconut, but Chianti has no such reservations about the stuff, so she should make for a more impartial judge, right?
A State of Being From Which Vodka Is Not Suffering
Unfurling the (gold, naturally) wrapper, we find a high-end version of an Almond Joy -- a thick layer of creamy coconut topped by three almonds and dipped in a thin layer of dark chocolate.
Almond Joys Have Nuts, Mounds Don't, High Roller Edition
Taking our first bites, we find it... fine.  It's fine.  The bar is not overly coconut-y, which is a plus, but it is also not overly... much of anything.  The almonds don't manage to add much to the proceedings, and the dark chocolate, while tasty, is almost a moot point.
We Meet Again, Our Nemesis
Never a Good Sign When An Item Would Taste Better Without Its Namesake Ingredient
In contrast, the other delicacies that we taste at Fran's are downright delectable, including the hazelnut diamond and (especially) the salted caramels.
This Only Cost, Oh, $77 (Apprximate)
Hazelnut Latte, Chocolate Version
The salted caramels are so delicious, in fact, that Vodka buys a box to take home to her parents (who polish the thing off in less than a day -- really, they're THAT good).
It's Also a Long-Established Fact That Salt Makes Everything Better
In any case, Fran's Chocolates is indeed an amazing find, and it even features one of the best things we have ever eaten.  But in what is becoming a running theme, said "thing" is NOT made with coconut.

Fran's Chocolates's Coconut Gold Bar: 3 stars

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