With an increasingly crowded marketplace, there are many companies who feel the need to have some kind of angle to accompany their chocolate. And in the case of Vancouver’s Zazubean, they have created what they call functional chocolate with all kinds of health benefits via some added ingredients. Not a completely unique gimmick, but still one that could bring in a few more sales.
The newest addition to their line-up has the rather cute name of Cheeky which doesn’t tell you much about what to expect although the picture of the monkey is a little more informative. And the bar is actually a nice dark 70% with banana, salted toffee and some maca thrown in for good measure. Maca? I had no idea but the Zazubean website tells me that it is a Peruvian root vegetable which is good for alleviating stress, fatigue and depression. Fair enough.
The chocolate itself is actually made in Switzerland from Fair Trade Organic Beans and has a lovely robust flavour. In fact, is almost a little too full-bodied for the other flavours in that it immediately dominates and doesn’t really give the banana or toffee much room to manoeuvre. But slowly the subtle banana begins to reveal itself and then lurks in the background without ever getting close to overwhelming.
And even the addition of some pieces of banana chips doesn’t ramp up the banananess of it all to that potentially dangerous level – they provide more texture than flavour. The many little chunks of toffee, on the other hand, give bursts of flavour and plenty of crunch too. I didn’t really sense much of the salt that was supposedly through the toffee and that’s a pity because when it was there, the salt really did add another dimension.
So I liked this quite a bit, despite the subtleness of the flavours. Or more likely because of the subtleness of the flavours. I’m not sure that I really got any of the stress relief it promised and it didn’t wake me up more than any caffeine-laden chocolate did but I would never buy a bar of chocolate for those reasons. As a simple bar of chocolate, its unique flavour combination delivered for me and that is all that matters to me.