As you can see below I was lucky enough to receive the full range of raw chocolate 44g bars from The Raw Chocolate Co. (big shout out to the lovely Kris!)
And, all in the nick of time for Chocolate Week too!
Although I have to say that I was ever so slightly worried that with all of this raw chocolate that I have been consuming that I would pack on the pounds but Kris reassured me saying “Have no fear, as our products are raw and natural it is very difficult to put on weight while eating them”. Well isn’t that just smashing!
I know! what is this obsession that I have with raw chocolate? Do you know what? I really don’t know?! Maybe it’s the little energy buzz that I get after eating it – not in the horrible I-just-had-a-coffee-way but in a clean way, one with clarity of mind. Maybe it’s even the fact that it doesn’t stick to my teeth and the roof of my mouth, it just tastes clean.
But I guess what I do know, is that the first moment I had tried raw chocolate was the moment I never turned back. In fact the first raw chocolate that I ate was from The Raw Chocolate Co.
The Raw Chocolate Co. was founded by raw foodie enthusiast Linus Gorpe. Linus became very intrigued with raw cacao and he began to experiment with raw chocolate making. After a lot of ‘lab’ experiments, trial and error and some very happy taste testers, Linus, had become an expert. The company was launched in early 2006.
The one thing that has always attracted me to The Raw Chocolate Co. is it’s values and ethics. Out of all of the raw chocolate companies I have come across this one by far is the most ethical. All of their outer packaging is made from recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks, their factory is wind and solar powered (meaning no CO2 emissions) and all of their produce is Fairtrade.
So what makes their chocolate so special? I hear you ask.
Their ingredients are either raw or cold pressed, organic (well at least all of the ingredients that can be) and they don’t treat any of their cacao produce with chemicals.
All of their bars are suitable for Vegans, and Paleos too – even the sugar-free bars are sweetened with xylitol.
Now I know what you are thinking but you are wrong my friends! The xylitol that they use is made from the fermented plant pulp of Birch Trees in Finland and no, not corn stalks. But do remember that xylitol is high in carbohydrates, in fact almost as much as regular sugar (It is also super toxic to doggies so don’t leave it within their sneaky reach!).
I heard that raw chocolate totes some awesome health benefits, is this true?
Yes. Raw chocolate does indeed boast a whole host of health benefits; it improves digestion, enhances the libido (wit woo – insert winky face here), improves cardiovascular function, is packed full of antioxidants that neutralise free radicals, and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. So, on that note…
Let the taste testing commence!
This is The Raw Chocolate Co.’s ‘white chocolate’, a vanilla-toffee like tasting chocolate. It is made from virgin cacao butter, raw lucuma, coconut palm sugar and vanilla.
This one reminded me of an incredibly sophisticated version of a ‘Caramac’. Being a dark chocolate fan I feel like I have been converted as this was just heavenly! The sweetness of the lucuma comes through strongly (almost reminiscent of medjool dates & biscuits) but with the coconut sugar it blends into a caramel taste sensation. But suddenly you are hit with the most beautiful creaminess of the cacao butter. It just melts in your mouth, it’s not powdery like a lot of raw chocolates are. This is as smooth as it gets.
With a minimum of 55% cacao solids this one to me is more a milk than a dark, but it is bordering on the dark side of milk. (I’m not even sure if that sentence made any sense but it did to me!)
Vanoffe Dark is made from virgin cacao butter, coconut palm sugar, raw cacao mass, raw lucuma & vanilla.
Wow. Just wow.
There is a distinct fruity lucuma burst at the start but it’s intensity increases and then the creaminess hits you again out of nowhere. gets more intense (lucuma).
Vanoffe Dark is Vanoffe’s darker, naughtier sister. She is milk masquerading as dark but she is neither cloying nor overbearing – she hangs on to her Vanoffe innocence. She is almost refreshing.
Did I saw wow? Oh yes I did!
Goji Berry & Orange
Oh we all know how much I love the chocolate, orange and goji combo! Yes siree!
Goji Berry & Orange is 69% cacao solids, and is studded with brightly coloured goji berries, almost like jewels! The ingredients are raw cacao mass, coconut palm sugar, virgin cacao butter, raw goji berries & orange oil.
It is slightly bitter (but not as bitter as Pitch Dark) with the mild and smooth fruitiness of orange oil. When you hit a goji berry that’s when the experience really becomes heavenly! The chewiness is beautiful! My only criticism is that I would like to have had more goji berries to sink my teeth into.
This bar won 2 gold stars at the Great Taste Awards 2013.
Pitch Dark has a minimum of 72% cacao solids. It’s not really pitch dark in my books but it’s close enough.
With just three simple ingredients; raw cacao mass, coconut palm sugar & virgin cacao butter, Pitch Dark doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. But it certainly isn’t what you would expect.
There is a floral bitterness to this bar with slight hint of fruity undertones. The darkness lingers with you for quite a while. This was fab with a cup of coffee! Again the texture on this was lovely and smooth and it ‘snapped’ just how well tempered chocolate should.
This bar won 1 gold star at the Great Taste Awards 2014.
Orange Raw Chocolate sweetened with Xylitol
This lovely little sugar free bar boasts a 70% cacao mass content. The ingredients are raw cacao mass, xylitol, virgin cacao butter & orange oil.
Xylitol is some really clever stuff. In a nut shell bacteria in your mouth likes to feed on sugar, and when it feeds on sugar it reproduces. And when it reproduces, well, that’s when tooth decay kicks in. Xylitol cannot be digested by the bacteria in your mouth. This means that the bacteria reduces it’s nasty acid production and plaque literally falls from the surface of your teeth. Xylitol also helps to strengthen the enamel in your teeth! What a bonus!
So if you’ve never had anything with xylitol in it before this will be a bit of a shock for you. It is literally like brushing your teeth with chocolate. Great hey? Yup. It is a bit weird but kind of in a good way. The chocolate crumbles into tiny fragments and almost dissolves instantly. It does not linger in your mouth like normal chocolate does so don’t expect the same sort of ‘creaminess’ as in regular chocolate.
This bar still has well tempered snap and a rich flavour however I almost feel that the xylitol downplays the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the orange isn’t as noticeable as in the Orange & Goji Berry bar.
Mint Raw Chocolate sweetened with Xylitol
This bar again sugar free and has a 70% cacao mass content. The ingredients are raw cacao mass, xylitol, virgin cacao butter & mint oil.
Wow. This one is so refreshing and so classic. It has that Christmas party feeling from when the After Eight’s get cracked out. But this is so much better. I am defintely stocking up on this one for Christmas.
It dissolves incredibly quickly and your teeth feel lovely and smooth after. I love the slight tingling sensation that the mint oil leaves behind. I definitely prefer this one from the Orange sugar free bar. In fact my son (who has a chocolate and mint obsession) stole most of this bar. And if he’s going to steal something sweet then I am happy enough for him to steal this.
This bar won 1 gold star at the Great Taste Awards 2014.
So, overall what did I think? Would I purchase one of these bars?
Yes. Without a doubt, yes I would.
My favourite bars were actually Vanoffe and Vanoffe Dark. I absolutely loved how the caramel flavour of the coconut sugar complimented the lucuma! I will definitely be purchasing this again.
All of the bars were well tempered, they weren’t even the tiniest bit powdery due to using cacao solids, and each bar had it’s own individual personality.
The packaging as you can see, is bright, modern, cute and friendly. You almost know that the brand is ethical by looking at the packaging and I really do not know why this is?! But either way I like it. Like I said before I love what The Raw Chocolate Co. stands for and their chocolate is just amazing too!
They don’t just sell chocolate bars though, they sell superfoods, chocolate mulberry snacks and raw chocolate making ingredients. What is not to love?!
So where can you buy myself some of these lovely little treats?
Well the first place you can go is directly to The Raw Chocolate Co. themselves. In fact if you live within the UK you can enter in your postcode into the map on their website and it will tell you your nearest stockist. Clever huh? Yup.
Other than that they are widely available in a lot of online and high street retailers.
The 44g bars cost £1.99 but there is a smaller 22g bar for £0.99. Both sizes are brilliant for travelling with and would easily fit in your pocket!
You can follow The Raw Chocolate Co. in these places:
Have you had any experience with The Raw Chocolate Co. products before? Please do comment below and share your experience!
Chris18th October 2014 at 8:19 am
Brilliant and entertaining review! If I didn’t already buy their products, I certainly would adter reading your enthusiastic review, my mouth is watering just from your description ☺️
greensofthestoneage18th October 2014 at 8:49 am
I feel ashamed to say that I have eaten them all (with a little help of course) so I shall have to go and but some more!
paleovirtus18th October 2014 at 8:38 am
The very thought of that After Eight-alike mint bar has certainly put a smile on my face..
Coming from York (home of Rowntrees and Terry’s) I quite literally grew up with After Eights (amongst other delicacies) by the wheelbarrow full. Everybody knew somebody who worked at Rowntrees, which meant cheap chocolate “waste” (slightly imperfect product not good enough for sale to the public) from the factory shop…
greensofthestoneage18th October 2014 at 8:51 am
Oooo i used to love After Eight mints as a kid. And Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
Fantastic to know you’re from up North. Ironically my other half owns a confectionery shop in York! I clearly balance out the healthy living 😉
paleovirtus18th October 2014 at 9:57 am
Hehe..it’s a good job we were so physically active back then – with all the access we had to cheap choccies we’d have been 20 stone by the age of 10 otherwise…
A confectionery shop in York? Cool! Whereabouts? What’s the name? 🙂
greensofthestoneage18th October 2014 at 10:10 am
Haha so very true!
It’s on Coney Street and called Candy Hero. Sells imported confectionery from around the world!