Sunday, December 11, 2005

December - Vegan Chocolate

This chocolate review is on Vegan Freak radio podcast #20. Go listen, click here. The podcast has a great interview with Isa from Post Punk Kitchen.

I am a new vegan and thought a great way to get my family and friends educated about my new choices would be to throw a party. So I will throw them a party, I will serve them vegan munchies, I will make them vegan cocktails and I will make them test a bunch of the product of the month. All they have to do is fill out a review form telling me what they like and dislike. This month they were forced to eat chocolate.

About 12 people were interested in attending but there was snow, there were colds and there were kids activities, only 3 of my friends were able to make it. Hopefully next month more people will be able to attend.


Here are the judges!
Kim & Niki











Wendy & Nell












Here are the chocolates!
I picked up most of the chocolate from Vegan Essentials. When they heard why I was purchasing 10 candy bars they were so great and sent a few extras for us. Thank you so much!

The remaining pieces I picked up from my local Health Food Store.



Best Overall Brand - TIE
Denman Island (Rating 7.4)
Endangered Species (Rating 7.4)

Best Bar
Newman's Own Sweet Dark Orange Chocolate (Rating 8.2)

Best Price (excluding baby bar)
Newman's Own Sweet Dark Orange Chocolate ($2.29)


Conscious Creations
Hempenberry
Cost: $2.49
Rating: 5.7

W - This is what I imagined Vegan Chocolate tasted like.
N1 - Interesting after taste.
K - Poor packaging, didn't identify various nuts used.



Dagoba
Organic Chocolate Mint
Cost: $2.89
Rating: 5.2

N1 - Too bitter for mint.
N2 - Too faint mint flavoring.




Dagoba
Organic chocolate Mona Cherri
Cost: $2.89
Rating: 5.3

N1 - Being a cherry lover I was a bit disappointed with the bitterness of the chocolate and tart cherries.




Denman Island
Espresso Chunk Chocolate
(Picture is not of proper variety - I goofed I forgot to take Espresso photo)
Cost: $2.95
Rating: 7.8

N1 - More beans than chocolate, very good.
K - Loved it! Great mix.




Denman Island
Razzle Dazzle Chocolate
Cost: $2.95
Rating: 7.3

N1 - Tart & Sweet.
K - Great hint of raspberries that leaves a tartness that makes your mouth water.



Denman Island
Zesty Orange Chocolate
Cost: $2.95
Rating: 7.2

N1 - It is not zesty, but it has a nice balance.
K - Not as good as Newmans Orange, you have to search for the orange flavor.



Endangered Species
Dark Chocolate with Blueberries
Cost: $2.89
Rating: 7.8

W - Yee haw.
K - Very creamy. I wouldn't have thought to mix blueberries with chocolate, but its great.



Endangered Species
Dark Chocolate with Raspberries
Cost: $2.49
Rating: 7.7

N1 - Raspberries are too tart.
K - Another winner. Smooth Chocolate with a nice blend of raspberries.



Endangered Species
Dark Chocolate with Tangerine Essence
Cost: $1.99 (baby bar)
Rating: 6.8

N1 - Very creamy.
K - The smooth chocolate makes this one a palate pleaser.




Newmans Own
Sweet Dark Orange Dark Chocolate
Cost: $2.29
Rating: 8.2

K - Absolutely delicious.
N2 - My favorite! Very strong orange flavor.
N1 - Too strong of an orange flavor.



Plamil Organics
Organic Cayenne Chocolate
Cost: $3.59
Rating: 7.9

W - It burns!
K - The cayenne opens your taste buds
N2 - Glad I tried it once.



Tropical Source
Raspberry Dark Chocolate
Cost: $2.79
Rating: 7.6

N1 - Just a hint of raspberry.
K - The dehydration of the raspberries keeps the seeds from getting caught in your teeth.



Tropical Source
Hazelnut Dark Chocolate
Cost: $2.59
Rating: 6.1

K - Tastes more like milk chocolate.
N1 - Not overpowering, good.




Tropical Source
Mint Crunch Dark Chocolate
Cost: $2.79
Rating: 7.5

W - Lovely.
N2 - Heaven!
K - Absolutely fabulous!



Tropical Source
Toasted Almond Dark Chocolate
Cost: $2.59
Rating: 6.3

K - Right blend of chocolate and almonds!





Vivani
Dark Chocolate with Orange Flavour
Cost: $2.99
Rating: 7.1

N1 - Slightly bitter
N2 - Good hint of orange after taste.








The judges have requested the next review product to be Vegan Veggie Burgers, please give me a few suggestions on your favorite brand.

24 Comments:

Blogger The Melan'jack said...

What up, Nelly. Were MY reviews too colorful?

December 12, 2005 8:45 AM  
Anonymous pleather said...

Looks great and thanks everyone for the comments!

December 12, 2005 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nell,

blue78 here...I did not know that Endangered Species had vegan varieties, thank you for that. Nothing like a little chocolate and a cause. My mom is a huge chocaholic and she is considering becoming vegan, so this is a major bonus!!!

I look forward to more reviews...you should do vegan breads next!

December 14, 2005 3:46 AM  
Anonymous nauthiz said...

Thanks for the reviews! I'll have to check out Newman's Own sometime. I had always ignored their chocolate for some unknown reason.

December 14, 2005 3:28 PM  
Blogger Wiebke said...

denman's and tropical source mint - my favorites...i drove past denman's island on vancouver island around christmas last year and loved to see the chocolate bars in every store along the way...so good!!!
anyways, my fave vegan burger is boca. and i think yves has a good one as well. but i'm not sure...

December 15, 2005 2:45 AM  
Blogger veganfreak said...

wow, awesome page with the pics and all. thanks nell, this is an excellent idea!

December 15, 2005 9:27 PM  
Blogger Five said...

Oooh, I got two.

Swiss Delice's Noir Aéré (its bubbly chocolate, like an Aero bar) which you should be able to find.

Then there's Whittaker's Chocolate - Dark Orange Block, but you can only get that in New Zealand, as far as I know. It has pieces of orange in it.

I've had every single chocolate bar you tested too! I mostly agree, except about Tropical Source. unless they changed their recipies recently...

December 16, 2005 4:16 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 16, 2005 10:49 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

The only vegan veggie burger that I even know of is Boca, (but of course living in OK you are kind of limited to your vegan frozen grub). I'm interested to see what else is out there!

December 16, 2005 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

LOVE this idea! LOVE this site!

My favorite vegan chocolate bars are by Chocolove. (http://www.chocolove.com/home.htm)
I'm going to marry the Dark Chocolate with Cherries and Almonds bar as soon as it's legal in my state.

A word of warning...these chocolate bars may have traces of milk in them from shared processing vats, so these chocolates may not be for all vegans!

Keep up the great work on this site!

December 16, 2005 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great chocolate review!

My favorite veggie burger is the Gardenburger Flame Grilled.

December 16, 2005 12:13 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I'm shocked -- just shocked! -- that you would stoop to"animal" testing in order to launch your career in blogging... :D

December 16, 2005 2:43 PM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

What a fabulous and thorough review. I'm starved. Is it ok to have chocolate for dinner?

December 16, 2005 8:39 PM  
Blogger Nell said...

Thank you everyone for the feedback and support.

I do not have the wrappers anymore but there were 2 brands I remember having warnings about traces of milk from shared equipment, I know Vivani is a definite but I'm not sure about the others. I will keep this in mind and mention it in the future reviews.

Thank you for helping me start my list of burgers to try out in the January review. I have only tried a few so I can't wait for the next review.

December 16, 2005 8:45 PM  
Blogger Birch said...

Hi Nell! Great job! I'm so impressed.

If you have a whole foods close to you, they also have a vegan veggie burger. You have to be careful because most veggie burgers use egg whites as binders. I've found that with veggie burgers, unless it's clearly marked as vegan, it ain't.

December 19, 2005 9:46 AM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

OH, please look into Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers--I love them.

December 20, 2005 4:42 PM  
Anonymous K Murphy said...

That's a lot of chocolate. If you guys ever need someone to test run some vegan chorizo burritos, let me know. I think I can help out.

December 27, 2005 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy's veggie burgers are the best! We eat the California "burgers". Can be found in most ordinary grocery stores too, which is nice.

December 27, 2005 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely try the larger Boca burgers, the little ones just don't taste as good.

December 28, 2005 5:15 PM  
Blogger mipmup said...

vegan boca burgers.

January 01, 2006 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Amey said...

wooo hooo! Chocolate!! As a long time vegan, and serious chocolate freak - allow me to share my two favorites:
Divine Dark Chocolate (available online: http://store.gxonlinestore.org/divine.html) (Fair trade & vegan... truly cruelty free!!)
&
The Endangered Species Rainforest Bar (mint chocolate) - so smooth and creamy and minty... it's perfection!

Also, regarding veggie burgers - my friend and I sponsored a huge barbecue on Labor Day with 18 kinds of Vegan Burgers - we even got some donations from the companies. You can read more about it on my website: http://www.yogawithamey.com/barbecue2.html
I can't wait to see the results of your testing!

January 02, 2006 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Amey said...

Oh! This picture shows all 18 flavors/brands that we tested and how many votes they got: http://www.yogawithamey.com/bbqpics/pages/the_results.html Everyone who attended got 1 burger sticker to vote with... it was a lot of fun!

In case you can't read all the names, here are the kinds we tried:
Wildwood Original
Wildwood Southwest
Wildwood Mexican
Tofurky SuperBurger Smoked
Tofurky SuperBurger Original
Tofurky SuperBurger Tex Mex
Sunshine Southwest
Sunshine Original
Sunshine Barbeque
Morningstar Farms
Gardenburger Veggie Medley
Gardenburger Flame Grilled
Amy's All-American
Amy's Texas Burger
Amy's California Burger
Cosco/Don Lee Farms
Boca Original
Dr. Praeger's California Burger
Dr. Praeger's Tex Mex Burger

Amy's Brand was a clear favorite in our testing... and is available in the frozen sections. Good luck!

January 02, 2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

I like Boca much better than garden burgers. It would be interesting to try your own recipes with different things (portabella mushrooms, rice, soy, nuts variations). Really great idea to do the judging parties. I like the Dagoba lavender bar, but not so much the chili own. I'll try the Newman's now.

January 07, 2006 8:38 PM  
Anonymous buggy said...

I love how Denman Island chocolate is sold on the ferries!! YUMMMMmm

January 11, 2006 10:05 PM  

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