I like my chocolate like I like my beer: Dark. Really dark. So imagine my excitement when a surprise package arrived in the mail from Sweetriot, a New York-based chocolate maker that specializes in organic, fair-trade dark chocolate.
They sent me six of their new riotBars! Two each of their 60% Dark Chocolate with Crunchy Cacao Nibs, their 70% Dark Chocolate, and their 85% Dark Chocolate:
The first thing I noticed about these bars is the little "21 calories per square" printed on each label. As a calorie counter, I usually have to count the squares in each bar and do math to figure out how many calories are in a tiny square. And as much as I love calorie counting, I sorta hate doing math. Sweetriot did the work for me! At 21 calories, I can indulge in several squares with no guilt. Plus, dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, so I like to think of it as medicine.
I opened one of each bar, and after sampling a few squares for myself, I shared the rest with my co-workers. The office fave was probably the 60% Dark with Nibs. Some of my co-workers weren't fans of the dark, dark stuff, but this had enough sweetness to please most all palettes. Plus, the crunchy nibs were fun. I always love chocolate bars with chunks of stuff in them, and these satisfied that desire.
The second office fave was the 70% Dark. I really loved this one too. It still has enough sweetness to please omni milk chocolate eaters, but it has that slight bitter edge that comes with quality dark chocolate.
The few dark chocolate connoisseurs in the office (I consider myself among that group) really loved the 85% Dark too. I love slightly bitter, earthy flavors, like those in spicy red wines, stout beers, and dark roasted coffee. This chocolate tastes like pure cacao. One co-worker who said he wasn't typically fond of the very dark chocolate said this one was much more smooth than he expected. A few were put off by the bitter edge, but super dark chocolate isn't for everyone.
These bars would make an excellent Xmas gift if you're still trying to figure out what to buy your friends. Whole Foods carries these, as well as many indie health food shops. Or you can order here. You can be sure your money is going to a good place because this small company uses recyclable packaging decorated with artwork by emerging artists. Plus, they're the first and only chocolate company to offset all of its carbon emissions.
In another news, our blogger friend Aimee of the Global Vegan is trying to win a yoga teaching scholarship. But she needs your vote! Click here to read about Aimee's journey with yoga and to learn how to vote.