REVIEW: Alter Eco 85% Cocoa Deep Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate

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Ingredients: *Organic cacao beans, *organic cocoa butter, *organic raw cane sugar, *organic vanilla beans (*Fair Trade Certified™ by Fair Trade USA, total 100% Fair Trade ingredients)

I’ve had Alter Eco’s Brown Butter 70% Chocolate bar before and recall that as a PHENOMENAL experience. Wanted to see if the “plain” version could hold up to that same experience.

Each bar has ten sections with a height of about two millimeters. It takes some strength with your hands or teeth to break, which generates a loud and satisfying snap. The texture is incredibly creamy with a smooth melt that feels like a medium length of time to melt down–not too long, but not immediate either. The mouthfeel is velvety.

Flavor-wise, it’s balanced and tastes of vanilla that finishes as a tangy, fruity note. The 85% is sweet enough to compliment the cacao profile without tasting of sugar. The combination of size, texture, and taste make this bar quite satiating after only a few pieces.

Minor complaint, but the opening of the paper package feels like a rich experience, only to reveal a tightly clung thin foil wrapper that’s reminiscent to chocolate candy bars. It was a bit cumbersome to peel off without creating a foil shard dump. Minor, but it’s the only component that feels cheap about this bar!

Personally enjoyed this chocolate base more than comparable brands. It’s great quality chocolate for your buck and I’d recommend Alter Eco in general, especially that Brown Butter bar!!! Their Coconut Clusters are delicious too. I’ll be looking out for the 90% cocoa bar to try.

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REVIEW: Endangered Species Chocolate Panther 88% Cocoa

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Ingredients: Bittersweet Chocolate (Chocolate Liquor, Cane Sugar, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla).

I’m running out of common chocolate brands to try, so finally giving Endangered Species Chocolate a chance.

This heavy chocolate bar is roughly three millimeters in height and sectioned off into 15 pieces. It makes a loud snap and takes a little arm work to break. The chocolate takes some time to begin melting in your mouth, but becomes relatively creamy once doing so. Because it takes a while to break down, there’s almost a chewy or gumminess to it? It’s a minor observation, but it’s not an immediate melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, unless you’re patient enough to allow that.

The 88% cocoa flavor has two phases: The beginning tastes lightly sweet and a tinge fruity, then it finishes as a mildly bitter vanilla. My first thought was that it’s like a more sophisticated and higher quality Dove Chocolate (my favorite chocolate candy growing up). My other thought was that it reminds me of a brownie. For 88% cocoa content, this tasted sweeter compared to other brands. I like to think I’m accustomed to much darker chocolates and didn’t find this too intense, bitter, or bold to eat, whatsoever. Certainly had no problem eating half of it in a sitting!

For a lower price tier chocolate, it was honestly better than I expected. I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to buy it again, but I personally preferred it over brands like Theo (meh flavor) and Taza (stoneground gritty chocolate ain’t my style). More importantly, hopefully your chocolate habits are helping out these animals somehow.

Purchased mine at Key Foods on sale for $3 (my Key Foods is very overpriced lol) and these chocolate bars tend to be $2.50 – $3.50 MP. At this price point, it tastes pretty solid and I’d think many folks would enjoy the Endangered Species Chocolate line. The animal themes are fun too!

REVIEW: Alter Eco Organic Dark Chocolate Seeds & Salt Coconut Clusters

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Ingredients: *Organic dried coconut flakes, organic 70% dark chocolate (*cacao beans, *raw cane sugar, *cocoa butter), organic tapioca syrup, organic tapioca flour, *organic coconut oil, water, *organic coconut sugar, French sea salt, natural flavors, vitamin E (for freshness), monk fruit extract. (*Fair Trade Certified™ by Fair Trade USA, total 87.4% Fair Trade ingredients)

Coconut and chocolate seems generally hard to mess up, but these are even better than expected.

My bag has about 40% intact chunks and the rest is crumbles–the unfortunate reality of bark-like snacks. The “clusters” naming makes me think they’d be random, misconfigured ball shapes, but they’re just really thick bark pieces. They’re about four millimeters high and aren’t as fragile as they appear since they break off in pretty clean, dense chunks. It’s a hard, but manageable, crunchy texture that becomes pleasantly chewy when the coconut breaks down.

There’s about 70% coconut to 30% chocolate, so the flavor is mostly of pleasing, lightly toasted coconut. The 70% dark chocolate tastes good, isn’t overly sweet at all, and compliments the coconut divinely without stealing the show. Any seed flavor is mild since there’s few pumpkin and sunflower seeds sprinkled throughout. They take up roughly a quarter of the bark if I’m being generous. There’s a delectable caramel-like undertone throughout. Lastly, this has the perfect amount of salt to achieve an excellent salty and sweet balance.

With some imagination, they’re kind of like healthier Girl Scout Samoas. It takes no effort to eat the whole bag in one sitting, and I’d definitely recommend these any macaroon/bark/coconut/chocolate aficionados. I’m sure the other flavors are equally as delicious since they’re not too varied in ingredients. Purchased these for $4.79 at Westerly Market, which seems to be the average MP.

REVIEW: Simple Mills Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients: Nut and Seed Flour Blend (almonds, coconuts, flax seeds, tigernuts), Tapioca Starch, Chocolate Chips (cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter), Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Coconut Oil, Arrowroot Flour, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Rosemary Extract (for freshness), Cream of Tartar

If you grew up loving packaged American chocolate chip cookies, but now possibly eat healthier, then these are EXCELLENT. They might be one of the few “healthy” items on the market that don’t taste healthy (bad), whatsover. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s diet is, these taste delicious.

Packaging-wise, Simple Mills tends to put food in foil bags that shift around in 30% larger boxes. It can be a gamble how intact one’s snacks will be upon opening. I am quite lucky only one of my cookies broke, but they should rework their packaging generally.

Each cookie is about 1.75″ in diameter with a height of two to three millimeters. They’re dense and a little dry, but it’s accurately acceptable in this particular cookie category. “Crunchy” seems a touch extreme because they’re more of a hard, crumbly texture with mild moisture–but that description probably wouldn’t sell well.

As for taste, there’s some vanilla, occasional crunchy salt granules, satisfactory amounts of chocolate chip goodness, and a faint hint of coconut. The coconut flavor is roughly 8% of the cookie, so even if you despise coconut, it shouldn’t deter you.

They are easily addictive, and incredibly satisfactory. I admit after eating over half the box that my heart was pumping a bit, but they did not taste overly sweet at all. These are an absolute knockout from Simple Mills and probably will be the best-tasting “healthy” chocolate chip cookies you’ll find in the grocery store.

REVIEW: Theo Black Rice Quinoa Crunch 85% Dark Chocolate

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Ingredients: Cocoa beans*+, cane sugar*+, puffed black rice*, puffed quinoa*+, cocoa butter*+, ground vanilla bean*+. (*organic, +fair trade)

This chocolate bar is a thick, heavy mass with crunchy, audible puffed grains layered throughout the entire bar. It’s certainly the sophisticated adult-version of Crunch candy bars, but could also bring similar feelings of eating covered wafer snacks.

The chocolate itself is silky smooth, and each black rice or quinoa piece catches your attention because they’re incredibly satisfying to bite into. The best part about this chocolate bar is that EVERY bite has this delectable texture contrast.

The bar flavor evolves about halfway, starting with an subtle sweetness which eventually mellows out. Predominantly in the first half, there’s a unique, malted, cereal-like, nutty flavor throughout. The 85% chocolate doesn’t have much of a distinguishable flavor, but tastes generically dark without unappealing bitterness. Any vanilla is incredibly subtle towards the end.

Overall, I enjoyed this bar and would recommend it to any dark chocolate fans who enjoy crunch, and/or enjoy cereal-like flavors.

Personally, I might pass on other Theo Chocolate bars because the chocolate itself was just alright for me, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most folks. Based off the thoughtfulness of this bar, I’d bet Theo Chocolate is probably one of the better brands existing, relative to competitors. Purchased this on sale at Whole Foods for $3, but it is generally sold for $4 MP.

REVIEW: Taza Chocolate 95% Wicked Dark with Toasted Coconut Organic Dark Chocolate

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Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic coconut, organic cane sugar.

This is a thick, hard chocolate bar with an audible snap, which takes some strength to break. The bar is maybe more than three millimeters high and the texture is a bit airy from tiny bubbles created from the specks of coconut throughout. It’s generally gritty from both the coconut granules and the chocolate itself.

The chocolate flavor is very mild, bitter, and has a smidge of fruitiness. I expected intensity at 95% cacao, but it comes off as barely passable baking chocolate. I think there are better-tasting 90-100% chocolates on the market. Also, the coconut is too mild to deem as a flavor, let alone tasting anything reminiscent of toasted coconut.

I wouldn’t recommend this bar to anyone, and question other Taza chocolate products because of the somewhat dry, chalky chocolate base. Purchased this on sale for $3 at Whole Foods, but it’s normally sold for $5 MP.

REVIEW: Raaka Unroasted Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao & Coconut Swirl, Oat Milk, Earl Grey & Yacón Root)

Became a fan of Raaka Chocolate after trying two bars. Went down a spiral and purchased four more bars, including some from the limited Cane Sugar Free Collection and First Nibs.


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70% Cacao & Coconut Swirl (Limited Cane Sugar Free Collection)
Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic cacao butter, organic coconut sugar, organic toasted coconut, organic sunflower lecithin, sea salt, organic vanilla

This is a bit more malleable and delicate compared to their other flavors. When dissecting the bar, there’s hardly a noise. It’s smooth and rich when it melting in your mouth, but holds structure. The flavor is slightly fruity with raspberry-like notes (presumably from the 70% cacao side), but mixed with faint caramel-like coconut. I normally dislike any white chocolate, but this is comparatively less sweet (and tastier) by miles. After a while, this bar was smudging on my fingers (particularly the coconut swirl), started tasting more uniform, and got a bit too milky for my preference. However, it was still very delicious, and not overly sweet at all considering a 54% cacao bar.


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Oat Milk (Limited Cane Sugar Free Collection)
Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic maple sugar, organic oat flour, organic coconut, organic cacao butter, organic vanilla bean

This is a touch more soft compared to their other flavors. When dissecting the bar, the noise is mildly softened. It’s very smooth when melting in your mouth, but holds shape. Wow–fruity! The flavor unapologetically unravels. There’s initially a suggestion of oat, and then it develops into Raaka’s signature bold chocolate. Not sure I’d be able to guess this was an oat flavor honestly, but I was personally surprised to enjoy such gallant chocolate. Milkier than I’m used to, but really didn’t mind the 58% cacao. Excellent bar.


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Earl Grey (Limited First Nibs)
Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, organic earl grey tea, organic orange peel, organic vanilla, blue cornflowers

This cacao percentage is more along their usual suspects which has an audible breakage, and feels solid. The texture is decadently smooth and again, has the signature fruity Raaka flavor (particularly bars with cacao origins form CAC Pangoa, Peru). The berry-like flavor develops into a tangy citrus from the orange peel. It really does taste exactly as you’d hope an earl grey chocolate bar would. It’s a limited bar, but hopefully they run this again.


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Yacón Root
Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic yacón root, organic cacao butter, organic vanilla bean

Lastly, their bold 79% bar that’s only sweetened with a root vegetable. This one is part of their line-up and can be found (slightly) easier. It’s solid, but velvety with body. There’s bitterness with tame tang, which develops into a burnt-like flavor somewhere in the middle. It finishes off with a bright and tangy ever-so-slightly sweet note. I have no reference to what a yacón root tastes like, but safely would think this bar is NOT for the average consumer. It’s demanding and one must sit down to appreciate it’s unique beauty. Because of it’s intensity, I personally enjoy this in small portions while closing my eyes to experience each layer.


They’re normally marked at $6 per bar, although you can save a dollar each if you buy them in packs online through their website or Amazon. This chocolate ain’t cheap, but neither is the quality. Each bar really has a distinct character that goes beyond differentiating toppings. The only downside is after eating so much Raaka Chocolate, I’ve felt like a snob to other chocolate products 😦