January 28, 2015
You all know that bloggers are offered lots of products and books to review. I think I ignore about 85 percent of the offers that come my way, for one reason or another, selecting only the ones I find most interesting, or I think would be interesting to readers. I don't get paid to do them, and they take a fair bit of time to do them well. I was about to turn down a recent offer when I stopped to think about it. It was chocolate — organic, gluten-free, vegan chocolate from Sweet Designs Chocolatier. And, I wasn't even asked to write a review — just to try the chocolate. What would you do?
I received three samples — a 17-piece dark chocolate assortment, and two four ounce containers of 70% dark chocolate bark. The assortment contained chocolate truffles, coconut truffles, coconut clusters, date power squares, molded almonds and more. A gift box like this would make a great impression on your favorite vegan, and, you know, Valentine's Day is fast approaching. I was quite taken aback by the variety and beauty of the pieces, and the creamy smoothness of the fillings.
I've very much enjoyed sampling the delicious chocolates in the assortment, especially the chocolate truffles, but my favorite sample is definitely the puffed quinoa bark. Woof!
To be perfectly honest, while I love to gaze upon such a beautiful assortment, I prefer my dark chocolate relatively unadorned. The puffed quinoa adds the perfect amount of crunch to the 70% dark chocolate. It complements without competing, and the rich, smooth, dark chocolate flavor is the star. I could easily become addicted to it. I think I will share all of the varieties but this one. It's mine.
I also received a packet of 70% dark chocolate trail mix bark. The trail mix contains zante currants, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs. For me, the sweet taste of the currants interferes with the bitter taste of the chocolate, though I suspect most people would disagree with me, and find it complementary.
Sweet Designs Chocolatier, from Lakewood Ohio, is not an all-vegan company, but their 70% organic dark chocolate varieties are vegan. The soy lecithin used in the chocolates is non-GMO. I don't know if their chocolate is fair trade. Have you ever tried Sweet Designs chocolates?
Disclaimer: I received the chocolates for free. I wasn't asked to review them. All opinions are my own.