I’ll let you in on a little secret: I used to be a white chocolate fan. I know what you’re thinking. That’s not even chocolate! But at that time in my life, white chocolate was my go-to treat.
Thankfully, with the influence of my husband, Adam and my older daughter — and the fact that I now have a dairy allergy, I’ve switched to the dark chocolate side. I don’t mean Hershey’s Dark Chocolate or even Ghiradelli. I’m talking about 80% or higher cacao or cocoa with very little sugar, no milk and super clean ingredients (that means no high-fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils and no artificial flavors or preservatives).
Over the past year, Adam and I have tried dozens of dark chocolates in search of the best tasting and best textured bar that’s as good for your body as it is for your tastebuds.
And in honor of Valentine’s Day coming up next week, we went on a chocolate-tasting date at our local co-op last night. Here’s what we tried and what we thought of ’em:
The overall winner: Honey Mama’s!
If you like rich, creamy and smooth chocolate that tastes like a cross between fudge and cake, Honey Mama’s Cacao-Nectar bar is for you. This one has three bars inside and needs to be refrigerated due to the high coconut oil content. A small price to pay for such deliciousness.
1st runner up: Equal Exchange!
Smooth and buttery without any bitterness or aftertaste, this 80% dark chocolate bar from Equal Exchange was our second favorite. Totally satisfying and didn’t leave us wanting to devour the whole bar.
A close tie for third: Trader Joe’s & Endangered Species.
We’ve been eating these Trader Joe’s chocolate bars for years, so I’m happy to see they made it into the top 3. TJ’s makes a smooth, creamy bar with a more mellow, but distinctly chocolatey taste. And with only 7.5 grams of sugar for a whole bar, it’s a pretty sweet deal. Sorry, puns…
We also really enjoyed the Endangered Species Chocolate Bar. Creamy, moody and mellow, this bar was surprisingly not bitter, especially when you consider the high percentage of cocoa.
Rounding out the top five
Most of you have probably heard of Theo Chocolate. Or maybe just us here in the PNW since they’re based in Seattle. Regardless, this one had a pretty good flavor that was just a little bitter, a little creamy and a stronger taste. Not too bad for an 85% bar.
We didn’t love these, but hey, they’re still chocolate
Toward the bottom of the list were the Dark Blackout bar from Alter Ego, Cacao Crunch from Taza Chocolate and the Blanxart bar. Clearly we didn’t see the 60% cacao minimum at the bottom of the packaging of Blanxart, but tried it anyway and described it as an upscale version of Chanukah gelt. It was good, but nothing distinctive. Plus, it gave us that instant sugar high, which after reading that it had 16 grams of sugar we knew why.
The Alter Ego bar was pretty bitter, hard and had an interesting after taste. Not our favorite, but cool packaging, so we’ll give them that.
And finally, we should have guessed from the name, but the Taza Dark Stone Ground Chocolate Bar tasted like ground up beans. It does have 4 grams of protein per serving which is good, but we didn’t really like the taste, which is bad.
Have you tried any of these? Or do you have other dark chocolate bars that are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below — and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Stay tuned for more adventures
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