Coastline Confections is a Maine company founded in 2008 with a mission to create high quality chocolates and confections, with quality ingredients, to be sold at quality prices. While I’ve seen these quality products for sale around the state, I’d never before chosen to indulge in them, because……. their packaging didn’t appeal to me.
Yes, I am a fickle chocolate eater. I prefer my chocolates to not look like they were designed for a seventh-grade business fair, despite how delicious the interior product may be. Coastline Confections, with their near-cheesy font and borderline-blurry photos, had slipped off my radar long ago. Last week, however, I decided to grow up, and try some chocolate from this local company.
At the Old Port Candy Co. in Portland, where I like to go to satisfy my cravings for Choward’s Violet Mints, I surveyed the selection of Coastline Confections products available for my enjoyment. Themes of white chocolate, peppermint, and more white chocolate assailed my hopeful eyes. I’m not a white chocolate fan. One of their bars sounded interesting, as it contained lemon and poppy seeds, but those flavors were mixed into, you guess it, a white chocolate bar. Despite these initial qualms, I chose two safe bars that would be hard to mess up: one flavored with orange, the other with sea salt.
I thought that I would recreate the rusty ironwork from the chocolate bar package above, hence the cheery image selection. Photographing rust is endlessly exciting, and look how easy it is to create not-so-blurry images!
Moving on to the chocolate itself. I wasn’t amazed by anything here, but I wasn’t disappointed either. Like I said, it’s hard to mess up orange or sea salt. The two bars that I bought were billed as Coastline Orange Dark Chocolate and River Mill Dark Chocolate with Maine Sea Salt. Given that another of their dark chocolate bars (the Lobsterman) is distinctly labeled 70%, and described as:
Dark Chocolate. Bitter. Rich. Belgian.
For the true lover of fine dark chocolate, the Lobsterman is the only chocolate bar that you will ever need [Really??? But I hope for so… much… more…].
I’m guessing that these bars may be less than 70% dark. That’s fine with me, I like to mix it up now and then, as long as the mixing of “it” doesn’t involve any sort of white chocolate.
The Coastline Orange Dark Chocolate bar is smooth and mellow. A faint to moderate orange aura hovers above the chocolate itself, which snaps crisply (almost too crisply) when broken into segments. The taste is mostly the same as the scent. Nothing too exciting for those who like orange, and nothing heartwrenching for those who don’t. When tasting this bar, I didn’t rush to eat many squares, but that was probably because I had already been chowing down on some Easter candy. Oops, this was on Saturday – it wasn’t Easter yet!
I enjoyed the River Mill Dark Chocolate with Maine Sea Salt more than the orange bar. It had a hint of texture on the underside of the bar (sea salt, I hope), and again, was not overly flavored. But aside from featuring salt rather than orange, I couldn’t discern any differences between the two bars. I’m guessing they were made from the same couverture. Callebaut, since the Lobsterman was labeled as Belgian? Perhaps.
For only $3.00 each, these were worthwhile purchases. Grocery store selections nearly match this in price, although their unit price is probably less (am I the only person my age who loves to shop based on unit price??). Still, I would buy these again. I suppose I feel positively about supporting Maine’s economy, although I usually leave such issues to the rascally and rapscalliony Paul LePages of the world, and go for exciting worldly chocolate.
I’m also glad that I finally tried these bars, given my unfounded concerns over their packaging. However, I’d like to see more flavor, and more wow, out of a product that – despite claiming to be interested in quality – does relatively little to alter its couverture. As Coastline Confections was founded in 2008, perhaps they will continue to refine and improve their methods, and wow me someday soon. For now, they will likely be satisfied with being a touristy Maine product for people from away to pick up for their loved ones back home.
Peruse your way through…
7 Corey Rd
Cumberland Center, ME 04021
For more on where you can find their products, refer here.
And when in Portland, you too can get your fix of delightful Choward’s Violet Mints by visiting the:
Old Port Candy Co.
422 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101