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That's Nuts: Nutty New Chocolates with a Southern Twist

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[Photograph: Andrea Hernandez]

Who doesn't love a good nut-filled chocolate bar? The rich, toasty crunch of nuts paired with smooth, sweet creamy chocolate is, to many candy eaters, a match made in heaven. Now the Colorado-based company Chocolove is embracing the always-delectable marriage of nuts and chocolate with two new flavors: Salted Peanut in Milk Chocolate and Peach & Pecan in Milk Chocolate.

With these new products, Chocolove seems to be giving a nod to the three famous Georgia state P's: pecans, peaches and peanuts. The warm climate and rich soil in Georgia are ideal for growing all three of the P's, which bolster both commerce and industry in the state. Georgia is the number-one producer of pecans and peanuts in the U.S., and while it trails California and South Carolina in peach production, it's still officially nicknamed the Peach State.

These three quintessentially Georgian flavors have something else in common: they all go well with chocolate. And what really makes the two new Chocolove flavors great is that they don't skimp on the nuts. Both the peanut and pecan bars are generously packed with nuts, ensuring every bite is balanced. And the big chunks of nuts add an extra crunchy texture to each bar.

The Peach and Pecan bar has a mild fruity flavor, with some floral notes. It has a little extra chew from the freeze-dried peaches and the pecan pieces. Salted Peanut also has a satisfyingly crunchy texture and evenly distributed nuts, though the saltiness wasn't quite as sharp as other salted chocolate bars I've tried (like from Salazon). That said, these bars really satisfy. Chocolove uses Belgian chocolate to craft their sweets, and the quality really comes through.

While plenty of commercial candies have hit on milk chocolate and peanuts as a dynamite chocolate bar duo (think Mr. Goodbar, Baby Ruth, Goldenberg's Peanut Chews, and Take Five), it's generally a lot harder to find chocolate bars that incorporate the other two Georgia P's. Chocolate lovers may well find that pecan is a refreshing and fun new type of nut to try in a chocolate bar context.

What type of nut do you think goes best with chocolate?

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co. which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying, or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.

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