When I read “As Chocolate as Humanly Possible” on Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate’s website, I KNEW it would be the sweetest of relationships. If there’s one thing I can truly, truly appreciate it’s getting the most out of Chocolate!
You know the episode of Andy Griffith where the cute little boy, Leon, part of a peanut butter sandwich in his hand and the rest on his face? He holds up the sandwich to Barney, offering him a sample of the good stuff?
That’s so me right now. And you? Well, your Barney for the moment. The only difference is, it’s not peanut butter sandwich on my face, in my hand, or on my mind – it’s some of the creamiest, most delicious chocolate I’ve ever tasted! Oh, and, hopefully you don’t have a bullet in your pocket.
In 1991, Green & Black’s co-founder Craig Sams (founder of the UK’s pioneering organic food company, Whole Earth) was sent a sample of dark 70 percent chocolate made from organic cocoa beans. His wife and co-founder Jo Fairley (an environmental columnist for The London Times), a self-proclaimed chocoholic ….a kindred spirit…. found it on his desk. Like any self-respecting chocoholic, she tasted it.
She realized that it was unlike anything she’d ever tasted and was overwhelmed by the intense flavor. She convinced Sams that they owed it to the world to create the world’s first organic chocolate.
The world was, and is, grateful!
Sams and Fairley name their new company Green & Black’s to symbolize their new product – green for organic and black for the rich, intense, dark brown (almost black) color of the chocolate.
* Green & Black’s Fair Trade Policy: In 1994, Green & Black’s launched Maya Gold, the first UK product to be awarded the Fair Trade Mark by the UK Fair Trade Foundation. The first batch of Maya Gold chocolate, and every batch since, has been made with cocoa sourced directly from Mayan farmers, giving them a fair price for their crop. Green & Black has a long-term contract with these farmers, guaranteeing to buy all the cocoa they can produce.
This has, of course, helped the farmers improve the quality of their lives as well as those in their community.
* Green & Black’s cocoa powder also proudly carries the fair trade mark.
* Chocolate is a source of antioxidants. So, our addiction is actually good for us. Of course, I would have eaten it anyway, but that’s good to know.
Rants and Raves and More Raves:
I’m not one to half-do anything, especially if that “anything” involves chocolate or coffee, so I took it upon myself to try each and every bar Green & Black’s makes. I know, I know – it was a gnarly job, but someone had to do it.
The White Chocolate: I have a weakness for white chocolate, so this was the first bar I opened. That brings me to something about the packaging – as soon as you have one of these big fat bars in your hand, you know you’re in for something special. The packaging is very classy and elegant-looking. I love the gold foil that the bars are wrapped in – printed with Green & Black’s logo. I don’t know why, but I’m ALL ABOUT little details like this. They show that someone cares greatly about what they’re doing and want every step of the way to be something special.
You’re struck, first of all, by the gorgeous packaging. Then, when you open the gold foil, the aroma sends you to chocolate heaven! It’s as though your eyes, nose and brain are running naked through a beautiful field of flowers calling for your taste buds to join them…
….and then they do just that. Oh. My. Goodness. These bars are amazing! The white chocolate was so creamy and rich – the flavor was absolutely flawless.
Some people will pass up a gourmet candy bar because they typically run between 2 and 4 dollars. They’ll grab one by the cashier’s register instead, for anywhere between 50 cents and a dollar. The error of their decision is this: For one thing, grabbing one of those bars instead of a gourmet one is like having instant coffee instead of a full-bodied, bold cup that has just gone from beans to grinds to cup. There’s just no comparison.
PLUS, a fast and nearly free candy bar is gone inside of 10 minutes – usually 5! Whereas a gourmet candy bar (weighing around 3.5 oz) can be enjoyed for hours. The intensity and goodness of the flavor begs to be savored – so you’ll find yourself tearing off a little square here….then a little square there…. piece by glorious piece.
The Mint Chocolate: Another of my favorites is the Mint Chocolate. I absolutely love the combination of mint and chocolate – the mint chocolate cookies that the Girl Scouts sell are one of my favorite things on earth. So, I was overjoyed to discover that Green & Black’s Mint Chocolate Candy Bar tasted dead on like the Girl Scout cookies I adore so much but can only get once a year. I can get Green & Black’s heavenly Mint Chocolate anytime I want. And, I will surely do just that! I love the Mint Chocolate as much as the White Chocolate bar.
The Almond Chocolate, Caramel Chocolate, and Cherry Chocolate: I honestly can’t remember which order I tasted these in. One of my daughters opened the Caramel Chocolate one and offered me a bite before she and said bar disappeared to the living room. (It was amazing!!!) Another daughter opened the Almond Chocolate bar – to be honest, she didn’t offer a bite, I had to chase her down. But I’m good at what I do, so I caught her, grabbed a nibble and floated on air. Delicious!
I was anxious to taste the Cherry Chocolate one because I was intrigued by it. The very second I opened it, the aroma took me to one of my favorite places: Christmas! The smell is reminiscent of high quality chocolate covered cherries that you make (and/or buy) at Christmas. The taste, however, is even more agreeable to a chocoholic, though, because the emphasis is much more geared toward the chocolate than it is the cherry flavor. You can taste the cherry flavor, of course, and it’s amazing – but it doesn’t overwhelm the star of the show!
Like all of the “flavors” used with these chocolate bars, they know they are a co-star and they fill their role beautifully. They compliment the chocolate but never, ever make the cardinal sin of upstaging it. Unforgivable, that.
The Espresso Chocolate: Are you kidding me? A combination of coffee flavor and chocolate – I’m SO THERE! This bar is very intense – deliciously so. I actually ate half of the bar (over the course of two days!) and then waxed brilliant with the rest. I filled up a few waffle cone bowls with Vanilla Breyer’s Ice Cream, shaved the Espresso Chocolate on top, dolloped a little homemade whipped topping on top…shaved some more Espresso Chocolate on that – and we had a happy, happy little party gathered around the kitchen bar!
The Hazelnut & Currant was amazingly good, too. I love hazelnuts, and this bar didn’t disappoint me one bit! The intense chocolate flavor of these bars just keeps blowing me away.
They’re available online at Greens & Black’s Organic Chocolate, at health food stores, and at most Target and Kroger stores (two of my homes away from home). On their website, they have a search function where you can enter your zip code or state and they’ll tell you where you can find their products nearby.
Look in your local Target, Whole Foods, or Kroger (or whatever store you shop in!) – if they have this line of candies, grab a couple of bars and try them for yourself.
Something I just saw on the website which has my mouth watering is the image above. They make Ice Cream! On today’s trip to Kroger and Target, I’m checking the frozen foods aisle for these babies. The mind shakes in anticipating wonder at what will happen when Green and Black’s get their chocolate hands on ice cream!
That’s it, I’m going to the store right now. After I grab another chunk of Mint Chocolate.