Ethel M Chocolates Tasting Experience
Vanilla Truffle, Cocoa Powder
Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate
Pecan Caramel Rapture Milk Chocolate
Lemon Satin Crème Dark Chocolate
Prickly Pear Satin Crème Dark Chocolate
White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice
Pecan Toffee Crisp Milk Chocolate
Milk Chocolate Almond Butter Crisp
Chewy Caramel Dark Chocolate
Mars Bar by Ethel M Chocolates
Known best locally for their three acre cactus garden and seasonal lights it was instead for Ethel M’s famous Chocolates that a visit was made on Saturday, the recently launched $15 “Chocolate Tasting Experience” a fun for all ages affair with a bit of history, some education and – of course – some of the factory’s signature confections.
Offered at $15 per person with pre-arranged booking, though on less busy days guests may be able to schedule on-site depending on staffing, it is seated with four pieces of Candy tempting that the story of Mr. Mars and him mother Ethel is told, a man’s passion for Chocolate even past retirement explaining why Henderson is now home to the all-natural Chocolate Factory which is no longer associated with the international Mars brand.
Moving past history and into tasting, Ingredient sourcing and facts about Cocoa Beans discussed at length, it is from White to Dark that guests are treated to four Ethel M top-sellers, the Pecan Caramel Rapture taking Turtles to a new level thanks to Caramel that is smooth instead of sticky while the “Satin Crème” a rare feat by pairing Citrus to Dark Chocolate without either taste overwhelming the other.
No doubt driving sales, a 20% off coupon presented as a diploma, it is from the tasting room that pupils exit through the gift shop, a whole lot more sweetness to be found there including Bars, Bon Bons, T-Shirts and Truffles with the later starting at $25 for twelve pieces but a far better bargain when increasing to forty-eight for $50.
Certainly not “cheap,” but at the same time a better bargain than any edible souvenir one might find on The Strip, it was from a dozen that tastes were taken of five, seasonal “Pumpkin Spice” by far the worst and actually unpleasant in its overwhelming aromatics while the wrapped “Milk Chocolate Almond Butter Crisp” performed beautifully in terms of taste and texture as did a $3 square of buttery Brittle and an all-natural tribute to Mars’ eponymous, but discontinued, Candy Bar.
FOUR STARS: Lasting about thirty minutes the Tasting Experience is a worthwhile addition to Ethel M and for those planning to make a purchase anyhow the cost is basically absorbed by the discount plus Chocolates and bottled Water plus a souvenir pen.
RECOMMENDED: Pecan Caramel Rapture Milk Chocolate, Pecan Brittle, Milk Chocolate Almond Butter Crisp, Chewy Caramel Dark Chocolate, Mars Bar by Ethel M Chocolates.
AVOID: White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice.
TIP: Tickets to the Tasting Experience can be purchased via Yelp! or GroupOn for $10, and occasionally $8 through the latter.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.