New Tree Chocolates Part 2: Can These Little Delights Affect Your Mood?

We now conclude our taste test of New Tree Chocolates

Chocolates, gourmet chocolate bars named for how they might change your personality, or at least affect your mood, with a simple bite.

Keep in mind that chocolate alone -- even without New Tree’s holistic infusion of natural extracts and chic flavors -- contains phenylethylamine, which secretes so-called “happiness hormones” into the chocolate-lover’s unsuspecting body and psyche. These hormones -- serotonin, endorphins and dopamine -- can improve your overall well-being.

Besides, chocolate tastes good, which makes me very happy.

Blush

It was definitely the Blush bar’s combination of cherry and chocolate that quickly changed my mood from generous to stingy. I stowed my remaining samples of Blush in the freezer, where no one in my family would find them.

According to New Tree, Blush is dark chocolate “kissed by sumptuous cherries, a taste so sinful it will make you BLUSH.” I didn’t blush, but I did hoard. The thin chocolate bar (all New Tree Chocolates are wafer-thin and have a nice snap to them) also contains grape extract, which is rich in antioxidants. In fact, one 2.8-ounce bar of Blush provides you with more antioxidants than two glasses of red wine.

Sexy

My next romp through chocolate heaven took me directly to Sexy, the bar that New Tree Chocolates calls “chocolate in stilettos.” Now I’m blushing. This dark chocolate bar has been infused with ginger, giving it a slightly spicy taste and explaining my sudden urge to wear sensible clogs. Once again, New Tree has added guarana extract for an adrenaline kick.

I truly enjoyed this chocolate bar, because of its spicy notes, reminiscent of the holidays. But sexy? That’s a stretch.

Rejoice

Eating this much chocolate for a living was reason to rejoice, so next, I tried New Tree Chocolate’s bar with the same name. Rejoice can only be described as a gourmand’s version of the Nestle Crunch Bar. One of the New Tree line’s three milk chocolate offerings, Rejoice contains crisped rice, an infusion of bitter orange, and lime blossom extract, which helps you to relax.

This bar was a nice change from the routine, though a bit too sweet for me. I liked the tiny pieces of crispy rice -- a nice surprise for a gourmand like myself.

Pleasure

It was only fitting that I should save Pleasure for last, which I believe was an unconscious act because the packaging promised me nothing but chocolate. That’s right. Pleasure was the one bar in my package of New Tree Chocolates that included no added “mood” enhancers, no extracts from plants grown in the Amazon. Just lots and lots of cocoa.

It gave me great pleasure to try this bar, and I could feel the happiness hormones doing their work. While chocolate this pure and dark is not for everyone -- there is only a smidge of sweetness to it -- I happen to be crazy about the darkest chocolate you can find.

New Tree Chocolates are available at most gourmet grocery stores and chocolate shops, including Whole Foods. New Tree Chocolates, which manufactures its chocolate in Belgium, also has a website, www.newtree.com, where you can purchase their products directly.

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