Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Savor Chocolate, Save our Planet: Endangered Species Chocolates*

 Once I started considering vegetarianism, I began looking for ethical alternatives to the foods I love. I've already found the perfect veggie buffalo tenders-- I used to adore these even when I wasn't trying to go vegetarian, and that says something-- so the next thing on my list is dark chocolate. All chocolate is technically vegetarian, but not vegan, so I headed to the internet to find some recommended vegan chocolates.

Found 'em.

I came across Endangered Species Chocolates sometime last year and included them in an edition of Results May Vary because of their wonderful mission: to help animals and the environment through awareness and donations. How do they do this? 10% of their net profits go to organizations working to help animals, habitats, and humanity. The bars themselves are packaged in paper that has facts about the rainforest or whatever endangered species graces the cover. And did I mention the chocolates are all natural and ethically-traded?

the mint bar is open-- i got a little too enthusiastic

 see the certified vegan symbol?


 I figured that since the company seemed so great as a whole, I'd have to sample some of their vegan chocolates. I ordered three dark chocolate vegan bars: cranberry and almond, deep forest mint, and raspberry. I also ordered the dark chocolate hazlenut toffee bar because I couldn't resist giving it a try.

I ordered on Saturday and received the chocolates on the following Thursday. Considering the chocolates had to also go through processing for a college mailroom, I can't believe how fast they arrived. They stressed in their ordering policies that they stick to a strict schedule so that the bars don't have to spend too much time in transit, and they definitely kept their word.

But you just care about how they tasted, right?

Oh. My. God.

As soon as I opened the package, I could smell the Dark Chocolate with Deep Forest Mint bar, so I went for that first. The chocolate is very smooth and has a great bitterness to it-- after all, it's 72% dark chocolate-- but not so much that it would be inedible to most chocolate-lovers. The mint flavor was light though very present. This is probably the best mint chocolate I've ever had, hands down.

Next on my list was Dark Chocolate with Cranberries & Almonds. I'm obsessed with cranberries lately, so I couldn't resist trying it, even though I normally don't go for fruit/nut bars. Again, exquisite chocolate, and the cranberries were nice and soft while the almonds gave it a great bite. The cranberry flavor gets more present as you dig in.

Dark Chocolate with Raspberries was really interesting: the raspberries are dried, so the texture is really neat. I actually found this one a little sweeter than the rest-- surprising since raspberries can be pretty sour. This may also be because this was the third chunk I tried.

I decided to save the bar I was most excited about for last: Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee. The site lists this one as all-natural, but it's not vegan. To describe this one: crunchy, buttery, sweet. "Absolutely delicious" would be a pretty good way to describe it, too.

I'm so torn over which of these I like most. I'd say my least favorite was the cranberries and almonds, but I expected that since it's not normally a kind of chocolate bar I gravitate to. By no means was it bad-- quite the contrary. I don't think any of these babies are going to last too long.

Each bar will run you a mere $2.79. The shipping costs were pretty reasonable for me, but I've also seen some of these in health food sections of the supermarket. Even if you're not looking for a vegan chocolate and are just a chocolate lover, you should give these a try. There are several options in milk chocolate as well, but I wouldn't be able to tell you about 'em, seeing as I don't care for milk chocolate at all.

Have you ever tried Endangered Species Chocolates? Think you will now?

*I was not paid for this review; I bought the chocolates with my own money. I was also not asked to do this review. I informed Endangered Species Chocolates that I would be doing a review of the product, but did not request-- or receive-- compensation in return.


Kelly said...

I think I bought a few once. To be honest I don't really remember, but I remember seeing them on mega sale at Whole Foods one day and I don't think I could have possibly passed that up because I like to have all kinds of chocolates in my baking drawer! I actually didn't realize that they are vegan, I just liked a) that they were on sale b) that they donated proceeds to help animals. I probably made cookies with them or something which may explain why I can't remember whether I enjoyed it - the taste was diluted with all the cookiness in between!

Greta said...

Oh my god. I'd love to try these out, as I'm also going vegetarian/vegan right now, but I'm afraid Sweden is too far away to order. Such a shame! They sound delicious, all of them. Great review, I'd love to read more of your vegetarian adventures!

Allison said...

I *love* giving these as gifts! As an environmental studies major and avid fan of chocolate, I feel zero guilt about noshing down on these.

Bec said...

Theseand Green and Blacks are the worlds best chocolates.

Miss Peregrin said...

These sound pretty awesome! I am not vegan/vegetarian myself, but I do try to do my bit for the environment. And, what better way to do it than with chocolate?

Monica Eve said...

Thanks for shining a spotlight on our chocolate, Vanessa! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that splays chocolate bars across ones laptop keyboard. :)

I'm off to read your September post, "A Shy Girl's Guide to Parties."

Sweet Regards,

Monica Erskine, Senior Customer Service Rep for Endangered Species Chocolate

Vanessa said...

Thanks everyone for commenting, and thanks to Monica from Endangered Species Chocolates for dropping by to say hello!

Anonymous said...

Mmm dark chocolate. I've been seeing those more and more often in regular grocery stores, which is pretty cool.


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