When I first observed sweetriot about three years ago, their only products were the tins of chocolate-covered cacao nibs; I enjoyed these for their uniqueness and quality. Now sweetriot has introduced, in three flavors, what they call the riotBar. Anyone who has ever come across sweetriot before will recall their particular brand of marketing, which aims to convey world awareness, peace, healthfulness, etc. So the set of bars sweetriot sent me are all Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic, wrapped up in art by Lindy Gruger Hanson in a similar way to the style of the tins. They tag in at around $4 each, which is pretty average for bars of this size that are both organic and Fair Trade.
The first of the three is a 60% with cacao nibs, giving it some semblance to the original chocolate nibs. The bars all break into thirty small pieces of what I find to be the ideal bite size for chocolate; the idea here is supposed to be portion control, with each piece being either 20 or 21 calories depending on the bar. With all of its cacao nibs, the 60% is much like the experience of eating nibs, only with more chocolate to bate it all out. That blueberry taste nibs have is all over this one.
With the 70% came a strong reminder of Ghirardelli; the two have a similar levelheadedness of tone. I do believe they must be siblings. There are warm undertones to the chocolate, though probably they’re a little more developed than Ghirardelli’s. The problem that I have is that all of these bars are a little hard, melting very slowly like chocolate that’s starting to get old. I hope and expect that this isn’t usual.
When people ask what percent chocolate I like best, I usually respond with the 80′s; though higher cacao percentages can be amazing, they’re also more difficult to get right. Consequently, sweetriot’s 85% bar was bound to befriend me. It gives bitter and dusty hints before mellowing out, making it almost like a combination of the previous two bars. It’s entirely like a flourless chocolate cake with its flavorful weightiness. At the very last portion, the strong chocolate notes really start to get into your bones.
These are quality bars, and I appreciate sweetriot’s ethics. The last bar obviously pleased me, but I feel like I want something more from the first two. Don’t get me wrong; they’re nice. It’s just that the look of sweetriot is bright, half-crazed, and shouting with a voice to be heard. The 60% and 70% don’t seem to quite reach that kind of expression; when I’m promised much, I want much.