“ Brand: Co-Op / Type: Dark „
In my opinion the Co-op own brand dark chocolate is one of the best and most delicious dark chocolates available. And I've tasted a lot of dark chocolate.
Their range includes a few varieties. There's 70% cocoa solids, and 86%. There's also one with little pieces of hazelnut and one with orange oil in.
The 70% is delicious and my husband's all time favourite chocolate.
The 86% is good but I'll take the slightly sweeter 70% over it on most days. When the 70% is sold out I'll definitely buy and enjoy this though.
They nutty one is my favourite, I love the texture and extra crunch.
The orange wild card option is lovely too.
Their packaging is nice and simple in dark elegant colours and design. It has a cardboard outer sleeve with a foil inner sheet for freshness.
The chocolate is flavoursome and creamy. All the above chocolates are suitable for vegans which is good news for me. I like my chocolate to be cruelty-free.
They come in 150g bars and I've seen the orange one in a smaller size too. It has nice large squares to break off that are fairly thin.
The price is around £1.50 which is on a par with Tesco own brand and I would definitely prefer to eat this chocolate over the Tesco Finest range. It has lots more flavour and seems of superior quality.
The Co-op varies in what they stock from store to store so it's good to stock up on these if you're lucky enough to see them for sale.
* ~ * THE BAR * ~ *
I purchased this bar from my local Co-Op which cost me approximately 60pThe bar comes in a dark brown paper wrapper which is quite thick. On the front in a silver box it states the item is part of the Truly Irresistible range. It also states that the chocolate is fair-trade and is 85% Cocoa. This is a small bar and contains 40g of Ghanaian dark chocolate. On the back on the wrapper you can find nutritional information, ingredients, advice, contact information and how to dispose of the wrapper. When wrapped the chocolate measures 11cm long and is 5cm wide, so although this is a small bar there's plenty of chocolate there, especially as dark chocolate can be very sickly. I opened one of the flaps of paper wrapper on the bottom of the bar and this opened easily to reveal a silver embossed type foil, which was also wrapped round the chocolate. The foil was embossed with lines and made the chocolate look quite expensive than it would if they have used thin, plain foil.
The following is per bar which is 40g:
* Calories - 235
* Fat - 20.3g (23% GDA)
* Saturates - 12.8g (64% GDA)
* Sugars - 5.5g (7% GDA)
* Salt - Trace (<1% GDA)
Product may contain nuts, gluten and wheat.
Not suitable for milk allergy sufferers because it may contain milk
* ~ * TASTE TEST * ~ *
As soon as I opened the paper and foil wrapper, I could smell the chocolate. The smell of the chocolate was quite strong and a little sickly; how-ever this didn't put me off. The chocolate is split into 10 small squares, each embossed with lines going different ways. The chocolate is about 0.6cm thick and breaks easily using the grooved lines which separate each chunk of chocolate. I put the first piece of chocolate into my mouth and this soon started to melt against my tongue. The taste of the chocolate was quite bitter to start off with. The chocolate melted slowly in my mouth against my tongue and the chocolate felt smooth in my mouth. As the chocolate melted, the bitter taste started to disappear and I could taste the chocolate more. Although the chocolate tasted bitter at first I enjoyed the overall taste of the chocolate as it did taste quite sweet as well. I only ate 4 chunks of the bar as it does contain a lot of fat, so I decided I would eat the other chunks next week. After eating the chocolate there was a bitter after taste in my mouth and I felt very thirsty. How-ever after drinking a glass of water the bitter taste soon disappeared.
* ~ * OVERALL OPINION * ~ *
I'm a fan of dark chocolate anyway, so I knew this wasn't going to be too bitter for me and I knew that I would like the taste of the chocolate. For other's who are used to milk chocolate, I think they would find this very bitter, especially if you have never tried dark chocolate before. I tend to have dark chocolate as it cures my sugar cravings for longer, without me having to snack on about 3 different chocolate bars a week. For the price I don't think the chocolate bad is too pricey, as I would probably pay at least 50-60p for a standard chocolate bar anyway. The good thing about the chocolate is because it's a little sickly and so sweet, there's no way you could eat the whole bar in one day, as you would feel too bloated and a little sick. Therefore the bar is good for keeping and eating over a few weeks. I wrapped my bar back in the foil and paper wrapper and store it in the fridge and it tastes just as good as when I first purchased it. If you like dark chocolate, give this bar a go.
(review may also appear on ciao)
Following on from a generally successful experience with the Co-op's "Co-operative" Fairtrade milk chocolate, I'm now looking at the dark variety in the same range. This comes in the same compact, chunky type of wrapper that the milk chocolate does, the bar I tried costing 48p and weighing in at 45 grams. (There are also larger 150g bars for around £1.40, but I haven't yet tried those.) I would hope that it's obvious that this particular bar is only available at Co-op stores!
The packet is dark brown and red - not, I think, an entirely successful marriage of colours - and reasonably enough makes much of its Fairtrade certification. 93% of the ingredients are Fairtrade, which covers the cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar; the other ingredients presumably come from the developed world and so are not eligible for Fairtrade status anyway. (The bar itself is made in Germany, a piece of information which surprised me a little bit when I first read it.)
One bar of this chocolate will cost you 230 kcal, which equates to a reasonably average figure of 515 kcal per 100g. As you would expect from chocolate, it's also high in sugars (18.3g per bar) and fat (16.4g per bar), though the Co-op gets a mark for placing these highlights (or lowlights!) prominently on the *front* of the pack, something almost no other chocolate maker is prepared to do. The bar is vegetarian, but I'm afraid that the presence of butter oil prevents it from being vegan.
Inside, you get six very chunky-looking pieces, each decorated with a simple pattern of scored lines. The smell is surprisingly cocoa-ish for a bar with such a relatively modest cocoa content, and makes it feel a bit more of an upmarket product than it actually is. It also requires quite a bit of force to break off each chunk, and when you do there's a satisfying (if not terribly loud) snap to it. 45g may not sound much, but you don't feel short-changed here.
The taste is good, with the chocolate melting slowly but surely in your mouth and then slipping down your throat in an appropriately smooth way. It's quite mild for dark chocolate, and I could imagine at least older children being happy to eat this bar, which isn't always the case for those with higher cocoa levels. I don't think it's quite up to the standard of the milk chocolate bar, however, as it does rather lack sparkle: it's a good bar, but little more.
There isn't a lot more to say about this bar, and I'm not going to ramble on for another thousand words in the pretence that there is. It's nice without being exceptional, and you'll get a warm feeling inside from supporting Fairtrade products, but on strict taste grounds I don't think it's the best dark chocolate around. 51% cocoa is a little bit low, too: Bournville apart, I prefer a higher cocoa content. That said, this is very cheap for a Fairtrade dark chocolate bar, so it gets a cautious recommendation.
Not sure what to write a review on whilst relaxing at my stepdads I fancied some dark chocolate. I then decided I could write a review on the yummy dark chocolate that he buys. So here we go!
**The look and ingredients of the chocolate**
The chocolate comes in a 150g bar which is 8 x 4 inch sized squares, the chocolate is easily broke apart and has decoration of little lines on it. I would describe the colour of the chocolate as lighter than Bournville but quite a bit darker than milk chocolate. Ingredients: Fairtrade Cocoa Mass, Fairtrade Sugar, Butter Oil, Fairtrade Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier (Letchins (Soya)). The Dark chocolate contains cocoa solids 51% minium. 93% Fairtrade ingredients certified to international Fairtraide standards. The Allergy advice is: Contains milk and soya and may contain traces of nutsm gluten and wheat.
Energy 2140 kj/515 kcal
Of which sugars 40.7g (which is classed as high)
Fat: 36.4g (which is classed as high)
Of which saturates: 22.9g (which is classed as high)
The chocolate is wrapped in gold paper, it the has a paper wrapper round it. The wrapper has the fairtrade logo on which say 'Guarantees a better deal for Third World Producers'. The description is 'The co-operative Fairtrade dark chocolate' At the top of the front is a photo of a cocoa farmer and the bottom there is a photo of pieces of the dark chocolate. Between the photos is a red banner which says 'Celebrating the first 5 years of our Fairtrade partnership with the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana. The packaging is very obviously aimed at adults and the wrapper makes the chocolate look luxurious and the Fairtrade appeals to your conscience.
On the reverse of the pack is the Nutrition information, the ingredients, the origin (the chocolate is actually made in Germany), the packaging contents, a contact us section and advice about brushing your teeth regularly (maybe this is due to the high sugar content!) And the Best Before End date, the chocolate normally has around 11 months shelf life.
Dark chocolate is my favourite type of chocolate and I'm quite particuar about it! I prefer dark chocolate which has a cocoa content of 70% or above. This chocolate has a cocoa content of at least 53% so lower than I usually eat. This, I was really impressed with the chocolate, it does taste slightly milky like lower cocoa content dark chocolate does. There is still a rich chocolatey taste which you get with high quality chocolate and if I'm honest, without looking I would have thought the chocolate content was nearer to 70%
I asked my stepdad how much this chocolate cost to which I got "Why do you want to know that?" To which I said "Oh I'm reviewing it!" I was given a very puzzled look and the response "About a £1 I think." So I think this chocolate cost a £1 if I'm in the Co-op anytime soon I will verify this.
This chocolate has impressed me, bearing in mind that it has a relatively low cocoa content for dark chocolate, it still tastes of a high quality and rich it just has a slight milkiness to it which wouldn't be a bad thing for some as certain people find dark chocolate quite bitter! If your after a treat and haven't tried this I recommend you do, plus the chocolate being Fairtrade means you'd be doing your little bit for the world.
While waiting for several of my suggestions to be processed, I find myself at a bit of a loose end review wise. Fancying some chocolate at lunch yesterday, I bought some dark chocolate from the Co-Op near where I work. The following is a relatively brief review, and perhaps an experiment to see if the chocolate can actually pay for itself via the medium of these words!
Please note that I'm reviewing the 85% cocoa version. This category seems a bit generic and so I wanted to clarify this.
A QUICK WORD ABOUT FAIRTRADE
The fairtrade mark on this bar denotes that international fairtrade standards have been met, meaning that opportunities have been created for producers and workers in the developing world. As I intepret this, it means that the producers have been paid a fair price for the goods and the workers a fair wage for their labour. So a noble cause, with any luck. This product is made with 99% fairtrade goods, from the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana.
Apparently the Cop-op sell more fairtrade chocolate that all the other supermarkeys put together, a credible claim judging by what I see stocked on their shelves.
The chocolate comes in a sturdy cardboard carton which encloses a foil covered paper wrapper, so it's quite easy to keep the bar fresh after opening. 10 large chunks of chocolate are enclosed, each divided diagonally by a line where one diagonal is smooth and the other slighly textured which is quite pleasing to the eye. Each chunk can be snapped easily in half, and there is a real snap to this, showing it's a nice, solid bar.
PACKAGING & RECYCLING
The carton is cardboard and so can easily be recycled. The wrapper is composite material. In my opinion they've copped out a bit here, as they don't explicitly say what can be recycled and what can't, but give a web address to find you local recycling centre (www.wasteconnect.co.uk) so I suppose that's something. The inside carton details the story of the co-operative in Ghana that produces this, which is quite interesting.
The smell is actually quite mild, though pleasantly of cocoa, unsuprisingly. The texture is pleasantly smooth as you chew and the solid form melts into a gooey concoction in your mouth. The taste is actually quite bitter; at 85% cocoa solids, this shouldn't be so much of a surprise, but I found myself being quite suprised by this. I had to have some tea with it to neutralise the taste and I actually found having bit of banana between each chunk balanced the bitterness out with some sweetness. There is an element of bitter aftertaste too, opinions of which may vary according to taste. For me it wasn't the best sensation.
I'll stick to what your really need to know. Per 100g, there are 56- kcal. The fat content is per 50.8g per 100g, 32.0g of which is saturates.
I guess this depends on how bitter you like your chocolate. I thought I actually did but it turns out this is too hardcore for me. I think it's nice if you balance out its flavour with something sweet though. Perhaps it would be a good ingredient for some kind of dessert.
The Co-operative Group
Website : http://www.co-operative.coop/
Freephone : 0800 0686 727
150g. Rich and smooth plain chocolate.