Spanish chocolate brands: Valor and Torras
The one annoying thing about Spanish chocolates is that they tend to be sugar-free. And no, not the 100% kind, but the artificial sweetener kind. It is no wonder that they consume a lot less chocolate than the rest of Europe, given the tastes that come to the palate after the chocolate melts on the tongue.
However, back when I was interning in Shanghai, I found a Valor brand chocolate with coffee nibs at the supermarket that I really liked at the time, so I was looking forward to finding this bar on my trip to Barcelona at perhaps a Carrefour.
I found a Carrefour in Spain, but sadly, upon my arrival, out of the entire half aisle dedicated to just chocolate bars, I couldn’t find Valor’s coffee nib-laced chocolate. So I just settled for the 70% cacao bar without sugar for 1.51 euro.
I wish Valor would use some real sweetener in their chocolate. The quality was not bad at all. The cacao itself came out decently smooth, and the subdued hues of fruitiness came out nicely from its overall earthy tone. The off-putting thing was the aftertaste, when the chocolate melted all the way on the tongue, which was when the artificial sweeteners acesulfame-K and aspartame hit my taste buds like a brick and ruined the chocolate experience. After that, I did not buy any more expensive Valor chocolates in Spain.
I did, however, want to try something interesting that caught my eye at a smaller supermarket chain called Condis. White chocolate with goji berries? Now when do you ever see that combination? Although I am not a huge fan of white chocolate, which is made entirely of cocoa butter and sweetener, I wanted to give this Torras bar a shot.
Fortunately in this bar, the artificial sweetener taste was not as pronounced due to the goji berries that stay in your mouth after the cocoa melts. However, the chalky mouthfeel of the bar and overall taste experience of the cocoa did not go well with me, though I shouldn’t really have expected much from a white chocolate bar. At least I liked the goji berries.
Overall, I would say that my experience with Spanish-branded chocolates has come to an end. Too many fake sugars just ruin the tasting experience. However, if I ever come across a cheaper non-artificially sweetened chocolate by Valor, I would definitely give it another shot.