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Divine 70% dark chocolate with raspberries in is a pleasant subtly flavoured fair trade non-dairy chocolate. I encountered it for the first time recently as a new addition to the chocolate range in my wholefood co-operative; I've not actually seen this in a supermarket. It was a bit pricier than the other chocolate bars of a similar quality - £1.99 for 100g, but about 50p less than the vegan alternatives to milk and white chocolate (as well as probably much nicer!) so it seemed like the best bet out of the non-dairy options available. ===The product=== Since it's a 70% chocolate and has lots of sugar in, it isn't too bitter, and the texture remains smooth and creamy. For comparison, I avoid chocolate bars at 80% or over, because they are brittle, taste waxy and generally aren't very pleasant. The raspberry pieces are freeze-dried and are blended into the chocolate in pieces about 2-3 mm in size, sitting mainly at the bottom of the bar. As a consequence, it has a bit of a crunchy texture, and the raspberry flavour isn't infused into the rest of the chocolate - it comes as a separate hit when you start crunching. It's not too overpowering - the dominant flavour comes from the chocolate, with a later raspberry hit. I have found that I end up with a few bits stuck in my teeth though, which was the main negative feature that I found with this chocolate bar. Being dark chocolate, it wasn't very sickly, and I'd find it all too easy to eat the whole bar. Overall, I found it particularly nice and worth its price tag as an occasional luxury. Like most other chocolate bars, it melts if you let it get too hot and doesn't taste very nice after it has reset. ===The packaging=== This lesser spotted beastie may be found hiding in unlikely places such as wholefood and health food stores and can be hard to locate. You will recognise it from its dark background, with gold and red designs on it. The brand name "Divine" is written in a flourishingly squiggly font in large gold letters on the front. Once spotted, place in your shopping basket and camouflage it carefully with healthier items. ===Nutritional information=== From the allergy information, it contains soya and may contain traces of milk, nuts and gluten. The ingredients are cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, freeze dried raspberry granules, soya lecithin, raspberry flavour and vanilla. It seems like it may well be vegan, but it doesn't state this on the packaging. It has much the number of calories as you would expect - per 100g, it has 586kcal, with 6.7g protein, 27.6g carbohydrates, 26.2g sugar, 45g fat, 28.3g saturated fat, 11.6g fibre, 0.006g sodium. But then again, I don't imagine you were expecting that a bar of chocolate was a health food now were you? On the plus side, that makes it excellent hiking food. ===Conclusion=== I found this quite a pleasant chocolate. At £1.99 for a 100g bar, it's a bit pricier than I'd normally buy, but not so expensive that I'm put off. Plus as it's fair trade it has a high potential smugness for helping people : effort that you have to put in ratio.
I'm sure like many of us I like the odd sweet treat and feel the occasional pang of guilt when ignoring the Fairtrade options for cheaper bars of chocolate. I spotted this attatched to the front of a magazine recently and decided to treat myself, magazines are a rare luxury and I had gone out looking for chocolate.... So what is Divine. Divine is a Fairtrade brand, meaning all the cocoabeans used in the manufacture of their chocolate are bought at a fair price from local growers - in fact Divine is 45% owned by the farmers who grow the cocoa. The paper wrapper is rather unusual looking, with patterns and symbols in red and gold on a dark brown back ground, opening up the wrapper displays some printing on the underside which explains that all the symbols are Adinkra and hold meaning. So about this bar. I tend not to be a fan of dark chocolate finding it too bitter for my tastes so often choose dark chocolate which is flavoured to give it a little more sweetness, and lately have found a taste for raspberry (sadly mostly in vodka but hey ho its one of my 5 a day right?). Opening the paper wrapper there is an inner gold foil wrapper, inside this is the chocolate itself, breaking the foil there is a fairly strong smell of dark chocolate with little evidence of the raspberry flavouring. Breaking off a block the chocolate seems to have quite a rough surface texture and inside can be seen some very vivid red bits around the size of small 'millions' sweets. Again at this point there is little scent of the raspberry. So putting that first small piece in to my mouth I first notice the strong bitter taste of the dark chocolate, as that first taste dies away the first hint of raspberry comes through. This taste is very strong and somewhat artificial tasting, despite the wrapper claiming natural raspberry and raspberry flavour - certiainly tastes little like the raspberry's I picked from the bush in my mums garden. There is a quite pleasant after taste of the bitterness of the chocolate and some of the sweetness of the raspberry. Overall it is rather moreish but it is a very much let down by the freeze dried texture of the raspberry pieces and strong artificial taste. Each bar is 100g of chocolate and costs around £1.50, it is available from Co-Op and Booths supermarkets nationally. There are a large number of other varieties available and in future I would be more tempted by some of the other flavours, they also make drinking chocolate as well as hampers of related products, and even a cook book.