Dark chocolate once haunted my nightmares. I would run screaming into the night if presented with anything other than a Kit-Kat as a child. Times have changed. Thank God.
Trust me now, I don’t eat dark chocolate because I think it’s “healthier” although I do admire it’s health benefits (mineral-packed, antioxidants, improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, etc…) If you’d like to hear a similar opinion about dark chocolate, check out this enlightening video by MindOverMunch.
So why do I eat dark chocolate? I actually like it. And it’s all thanks to this company: Purdy’s Chocolatier. I love the moral stance of this company, not only do they live up to the fair-trade label, they go beyond it! They have their own program in place to make sure their cocoa is being sustainably and ethically sourced. Read about it here. After discovering the horrors of child labour, exploitation of the environment and destruction of animals that is done (in particular) by Nestle, I’m trying to be more aware of my chocolate purchases.
Here we go, a realistic review in order to convince you that dark chocolate isn’t so bad.
70 % Dark Chocolate with Quinoa and Hemp Hearts (8/10)
This bar comes in a no-nonsense package, clear plastic wrapping and a plain label. The bold quinoa letters could definitely entice health-conscious eaters, like it did for me, but that label did not encourage me to devour the whole bar. It was the amazing taste. You know those crispy chocolates, the bars with rice krispies inside? Or some other puffed rice? This bar is like an adult version of that. It’s like when you picture your future, more mature self; they would be the type to eat one of these bars while taking a bubble bath. Or at least I’d hope so. The quinoa bits are even better than rice krispies because they are crunchier, heartier, thicker. They add a more satisfying crunch and also some extra protein.
The ingredients are amazing in this bar; unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, quinoa, shelled hemp seed, soy lecithin, vanilla extract. YES! No dyes, artificial flavours or crazy preservatives. No fake sugars like high fructose corn syrup. And my favourite; no palm oil! Nestle is notorious for using palm oil in their products, which can only be extracted by burning down the rainforest and destroying the habitats of orangutans. No, thanks. You get nearly 20% of your daily dose of fibre in half a bar! It’s only 180 calories too, but who really cares? Calorie-obsession is not my forte. If you’re interested in price points, 3 bars cost $15 at Purdy’s (so this would count as 1 bar.) I believe this is super affordable, and I’d rather wonder why a six-pack of Kit-Kats is less than $5. It works out for me.
Single Origin Chocolate – Ghana (9/10)
This bar is not as new as the quinoa bar, and for good reason; it has earned it’s reputation. I’ve never tasted such creamy chocolate before, and this is not an exaggeration. I would feel justified in using this as some sort of hydrating face mask, and then I’d eat it off my face after. The packaging is a thin wrapper, with all of the cool details printed clearly on the front! How convenient is that? As you open the bar, you can feel sophisticated knowing exactly where the food came from (as well as the flavour notes, I mean, I feel like a chocolate connoisseur already!) The cocoa originated from the ashanti region of central Ghana. If you’re scared of dark chocolate, try this. It’s classified as milk chocolate of course as it is 45% cocoa, but it’s definitely better quality than your typical kinder eggs (and with a lot more benefits). It’s described as medium full roast with flavour notes of hints of caramel with a pronounced cocoa taste. Mmm, speak more chocolate to me. The conch? Medium. The bean? Forester. What do these terms mean exactly? I would have to conduct some research…and more chocolate is needed for that.
Single Origin Chocolate – Ecuador (6.5/10)
At 72% dark chocolate, I was wary of that high number (even though it was only a 2% increase from the quinoa bar). To be honest, this wasn’t hitting the mark on its own. I decided I couldn’t eat it plain so I incorporated it into a meal; to honour Purdy’s name. So I made a smoothie bowl and stuck a chunk of this in it. Within the smoothie it was really tasty, it was quite dense and needed a good bite to snap it off. Slightly on the bitter side, but I’m more open now to the taste of dark chocolate. In some weird way, I found the 2% increase made a difference though; I definitely preferred the quinoa bar to this one, taste-wise. Possibly it was just the delicious crispy quinoa in the other bar, but I would choose that one over this bar. I definitely didn’t cringe away from this chocolate though; it still had great quality; the flavour was very rich. The packaging describes it as fudgy and nutty; so it makes sense I’m not an avid fan (as I’m not obsessed with fudgy foods). But if you’re interested in tasting the flavours of the Manabí and Esmeraldas provinces of Ecuador, I suggest this chocolate to you. From now on, I’ll be using up the rest of this bar as a sort of “mix-in” with other foods. It compliments warm oatmeal, with only 11g of sugar in a whole half of the bar, it is just the right amount of sweetness for casual breakfast. I also liked chopping up pieces of this bar to add to other recipes such as granola bars or energy bites.
Single Origin Chocolate – Peru (8.5/10)
Just like the product above, this bar was 72% dark chocolate, but was surprisingly, a lot better. It really amazed me that the concentration was the exact same, yet the difference in flavours made a huge impact. I decided to have only one row of this bar when I first opened it, in order to fully savour it (let’s be honest, I just wanted to make it last longer.) About 22 hours later, I couldn’t resist and I finished off the whole bar. That sums up my review of this bar; irresistible. Not only was the taste delicious, it was unique, which make it even better. The description online calls this a “bright” chocolate bar, and I couldn’t explain it better myself. Something about the cherry notes brightens the usually bitter dark chocolate and will leave you nibbling for more. This definitely tasted like dark chocolate, there’s no doubt about it, but I wasn’t thinking about preferring milk chocolate while eating it. Plus, I got 30% of my daily Iron intake from this, this pleased my anemia.
I’m proud to say I’ve expanded my taste buds to include an appreciation for dark chocolate…and it’s all thanks to Purdy’s. Not only do I appreciate these new flavours, I appreciate Purdy’s commitment to 100% sustainable cocoa. I’ll just have to work on enjoying anything above 72%, which is a good excuse to buy more chocolate, so it’s a win/win situation.