I seem to have reached the point where friends and colleagues have started to recommend chocolate to me.
Take this bar, for example. I have a friend who has been trying to follow a healthier diet, and so he’s been a frequent visitor to his local health food shop. A while ago he told me about this bar of chocolate he’d tried which used raw foods.
“You ought to try it.” says he.
“Fine,” I reply “get me one and I will.”
Well sure enough he came through last week (cheers Rob) and I received this in the post.
Now the first thing I noticed was that all the ingredients were listed as RAW. Cacao butter, cacao powder, agave nectar, wild carob, coconut butter, spices and Himalayan salt. Some interesting items in that list, particularly the carob which I have always associated with ‘pretend’ chocolate. The wrapper also told me that for nutritional analysis I ought to check out the website – www.consciouschocolate.co.uk – so that’s what I did.
The history of the company is pretty interesting – founded by a Yoga teaching raw food lover whose friends were bringing her delicacies back from all over the world, a desire to produce a healthy product, testing out new recipes on festival goers and so on. The packaging is recycled, naturally, and the site makes very interesting reading if you want to know more about the ingredients and their properties.
So what about the product?
Well, I was advised that the bars tend to melt rather quickly, so it was popped in the fridge for the afternoon prior to tasting. Once opened, I didn’t have to get too close to the bar to be able to smell it. This stuff advertises it’s presence! The bar is very dark, obviously handmade, and smells of rich, dark cocoa with a hint of sweetness. It lacks any of the shiny, glossy looks that one generally associates with high cocoa content chocolate, and I assume that this is because it hasn’t been heated during the manufacturing process. It’s almost matt black, and when broken it reveals a dark brown interior.
Once you pop a piece of this stuff in your mouth, you really get to find out just how different it is to ‘normal’ chocolate. It melts incredibly quickly, flooding your tongue with dark, subtle flavours of cocoa and cocoa butter, and with a surprising kick of salt following alongside to temper the sweetness. It’s very rich and smooth, with a slight grainy/fibrous texture on the tongue (presumably the carob).
I can safely say that this is quite unlike any other chocolate bar I have ever tasted, and the best news of all is that it is but one of ten bars that Emma the chocolatier has produced. Eating this stuff is unlike any chocolate experience I’ve had before, and I can only put this down to the unique ingredients and methods of production. The bars are made at quite low temperatures so as to preserve the essential qualities of the ingredients, and as they’re all handmade, you know you’re getting premium quality stuff here.
The bad news is that this stuff is possibly the most expensive bar I have ever eaten, and as you know, I’ve been through some posh chocolate in my time!
I’m looking forward to sampling more of Conscious Chocolate’s wares, so look out for more reviews very soon.
I’d like to finish with a small quote from CC’s website – something all chocoholics will take heart from.
“Conscious Chocolate is made from the best, most pure ingredients and acts as a superfood – feeding the body with essentials fats, vitamins and minerals. What joy: chocolate that is good for you, that can be eaten any time of the day – yes, even breakfast! – to help get through a heavy work or training schedule, or even just for fun, and keep you smiling throughout.”
Worth the price of admission alone!