I have been eating Green and Blacks chocolate since it was released onto the unsuspecting public back in the 90s and was a Maya Gold Addict for many many years. I only started trying out the 70% dark chocolate back in May 2010 when I was pregnant and had it as a craving and to be honest after trying many many varieties of dark chocolate this is my favourite. If I'm going to be perfectly honest the Organic/Fairtrade aspect of this product didn't factor into my decision as quality and taste was what I was after but I am quite chuffed that this product does tick those boxes.
I purchase the 100g bar and it normally retails at around £2.10 in most shops although health food stores/small family run stores may charge more around £2.30. The chocolate is wrapped in gold foil and then a dark brown with gold text recycled paper wrapper which makes the product look rather expensive. The chocolate is divided into 3 across and 10 in length and is easily broken into sections and because the pieces are quite small it makes the product last longer. I tend to eat the chocolate one piece at a time allowing it to melt in my mouth and release it's flavour on my tongue. The chocolate is quite intense initially but then mellows out with the vanilla the chocolate takes a good couple of minutes to melt completely and is like silk with no gritty bits or nasty aftertaste. The balance of the sharp bitter cocoa, sweet raw cane sugar and the soft vanilla is perfect and I really like the balance they've achieved with this chocolate.
Unfortunately for those who are in the anti large corporation catagory the bad news is that G&B were taken over by Cadburys back in 2005 and then Kraft took over Cadburys in 2010. The only other thing that really doesn't bother me but might affect some is the sugar and fat content of this chocolate but to be honest you should expect chocolate to be unhealthy and provided you can make the bar last it won't affect a diet.
**Per 100g bar**
Sugar ~ 28.9g
Fat ~ 41.6g
Calories ~ 575kcal
Overall conclusion - My favourite dark chocolate which I recommend to everyone who likes dark chocolate and provided you eat it in moderation you shouldn't have any problems with it affecting your weight.
Green and Black's are known for producing good quality organic, fair trade chocolate. I've got hold of some of their 70% dark chocolate (in the hope that I will need less to get my chocolate fix, thus consuming fewer calories!) and thought it was about time I reviewed it.
The first thing you notice about the chocolate bar is, of course, the packaging, which looks sophisticated and high-quality, and is different to the picture on Dooyoo, which I suspect is an old design. It is dark brown with an even darker brown band across the top, similar in style but unique in colour combination to other bars in the range. The 70% refers to the amount of cocoa solids in the chocolate - the higher this figure, the 'purer' the chocolate and the more bitter the bar will be.
The chocolate is, well, dark to look at - darker than milk chocolate, certainly. It breaks cleanly with a satisfying snap.
The first thing you notice when you put a square of chocolate into your mouth is that it is slightly dry and takes a long time to melt: this isn't a problem for me however, as the longer the chocolate lasts the less of it I am likely to eat! The texture is smooth and there is definitely a hint of vanilla, coupled with a slightly sharp aftertaste. I find I only need a few squares to get my chocolate hit, because of the high proportion of cocoa solids.
This isn't my favourite dark chocolate ever, but it's one I'm very happy with and it's certainly the easiest to get hold of, being available in Tesco's over the road for under £2 a bar - 2 for £3.00 when I'm lucky. A bar contains 576 calories per 100g - not low calorie by any means, but since I'm eating less chocolate anyway I don't mind.
The chocolate is suitable for vegetarians, contains milk and soya, and may contain traces of nuts and cereal.
I am a bona fide milk chocolate fan and will consume it en masse whether it is covering other ingredients or solid milk chocolate through and through. My partner on the other hand prefers dark chocolate something that I have always avoided without quite knowing why!
However, in Costas the other day, they were selling by the till 35g dinky little bars of Green & Black's organic Dark Chocolate and I thought I would give it a go with my skinny latte (my token nod to weight mangement) - well I have read that scientifc research shows that a couple of squares of dark chocolate (the higher in cocoa mass the better - this has 70%) is actually good for you and has happy enhancing matter locked within. Well, despite wondering how anyone can ever stop at two squares, I am happy to try anything that will put a smile on my face without me actually having to go to the effort of slipping into something more comfortable...
On opening this enticing little package the aroma of the cocoa hits you immediately and is completely different smell wise to milk chocolate, being much more rich and aromatic than your standard milk chocoate bar which is somehow seems more synthetic in comparison.
The immediate taste is slightly bitter but if you have the patience to let it melt in your mouth, the sweeter element of the chocolate emerges, and feels silky and sumptuous on your tongue without leaviing any unpleasant aftertaste.
I think the big plus with dark chocolate is that a small amount really is totally filling and satisfying to those with a sweet tooth. I can eat masses of milk chocolate in one sitting without feeling satisfied and the calorie count ends up being horrific so a little bit of what you fancy can be good for you if you are able to stop at a smaller amount. (The squares in this 35g bar are tiny so I did manage to eat it all (rather than two square only but honest judge, they really were miniscule) but at least I didn't feel the need to go back for seconds!
So although I suspect I won't be completely turned from milk chocolate, if I am going to turn to the dark side - Green & Black organic chocolate is the way to go in my opinion.
This chocolate is suitable for vegetarians, contains milk and soya and may, according to the packet, contain traces of nuts & cereal (although not in the bar I had).
A thumbs up from me !
Green and Blacks Organic 70% Dark Chocolate, as the name suggests is a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa mass. All the ingredients are organic including raw cane sugar which makes a change from the awful overly refined white sugar used by most manufacturers.
I personally found it quite nice, from the strong rich smell upon opening to the first bite. Bear in mind I like my chocolate chilled or frozen and I'm not sure what effect this has on the taste but I found this chocolate to have a very strong, nicely bitter flavour with a slight sweetness, the texture is very smooth and there is a slightly bitter after taste with a hint of vanilla. I also thought I was getting the merest hint of orange but maybe that's just me.
Nutritional Information is as follows for the 35g bar:
192kcal of energy, 3.3g of fat, 12.6g of carbohydrate and 14.4g of fat, the packaging does not say how much of this is saturated fat. I read somewhere that dark chocolate in small doses actually helps burn fat but I'm not sure of the ins and outs.
The organic credentials are without reproach but at the end of the day flavour is the most important thing, and to me this doesn't have the taste to warrant being twice the price of say Sainsburys Taste the Difference Belgian dark chocolate.
You tend to pay a bit of a price premium when you buy any of the Green and Black range of chocolate, partly because it is organic and also as they are targetting more the chocolate fanatic who wants to feel like they are getting something more refined and a bit extra for their money.
I must admit my chocolate tastes are a bit less refined and maybe that is why I did not enjoy this as much as I thought would as I do like dark chocolate even if I do consume a lot of milk.
This is a 70% dark chocolate so it has a higher concentration of coca beans. It certainly has a lovely rich smell when you remove the wrapper and a wonderful dark colour. Breaking off a pice there is a nice snap to the chocolate and it does not crumble like some bars do.
With reagrds to taste I found it had a hint of vanilla to it however this is soon masked and I found a rather horrible metallic after taste was left in my mouth once the chocolate had been consumed, this taste persisted with a couple of additional squares and combined with the strong chocolate flavour I found it a bit over powering and not something I could eat more than three squares at a time. Later on I dd try it again with a coffee and this sort of balanced out some of the harshness but I will not be making a repeat purchase that is for sure.
Green & Black's is probably considered to be one of the finest mass-market British chocolate makers today. Their insistence on producing both organic and fair trade products is well known. Of course, while all this all well and good, the question is, does being ethical make you a good chocolate maker?
I personally believe that the "proof of the pudding" when it comes to any chocolate maker can be found in their dark chocolate products. Since I have tried many different Green & Black's products in the past, I thought you should know what I think of their most basic dark chocolate - their 70% Organic.
When you first open this bar, you'll find that the scent here, while obviously predominantly of the cocoa, has a slightly metallic tinge to it. This could be partially due to the gold foil in the inner wrapper, but I found this to be an unfortunate opening to this product. After one gets past that, you can also detect a very pleasant vanilla smell underneath.
When you break a piece of this bar off you'll immediately find that this bar has a very crisp texture to it, which results in a sharp snapping sound when broken. You may also notice that the bar feels quite dry to your fingers. What this means to me is that the cocoa butter content in this bar is on the low side. This can be considered a good thing, especially if you're dieting and want just a small square as a treat, since you'll get less than 2gr of fat in each square (and depending on the size of your bar, only 16 to 18 calories in each square). This also means it will be less susceptible to "bloom" (which is when changing storage temperatures causes the fats to give the chocolate a white coating).
On the other hand, a dryer bar also melts less easily in your mouth, and this isn't such a good thing. When you first try some of this chocolate, you will find that you really need to chew it. If you can resist that temptation and let it sit on your tongue, you'll find that it will stay in your mouth for quite a very long time. With this, you'll find that in addition to the obvious chocolate flavour, you'll sense a touch of a coffee undertone here. As that flavour opens up in your mouth, you might also detect the vanilla in your nose as you breathe in. This is a nice touch, but the vanilla in your mouth won't actually match the vanilla you are smelling, since the taste is slightly on the sour side - much like if you had put a drop of vanilla extract on your tongue. The smell is lovely but the taste isn't equally as pleasant, and has a sharpness you'll taste at the back of your mouth, which reminds me of a strong alcoholic beverage like whiskey (but without the kick).
As the chocolate dissolves, you will feel that this chocolate is very smooth in texture. There's no grittiness or graininess here at all, which means that the chocolate mass and the sugar have been perfectly blended together. Unfortunately, this also makes for a waxy texture, as if they had covered the bar in a thin film of drippings from a melted candle. On the other hand, you also won't feel this coats your tongue or teeth at all after you've swallowed. This would have been an attribute of a higher cocoa butter content which this bar doesn't have. While this leaves your mouth feeling clean after you've eaten it, this also leaves an aftertaste which is dry, and papery, almost like dust.
In conclusion, Green & Black's 70% Organic Dark chocolate is a basic bar that also has a very basic taste to it. The chocolate has a slight coffee undertone with a vanilla aftertaste, but no other more complex flavours come through to make this a more interesting eating experience. While the bar is beautifully smooth in your mouth, it is also on the dry side, with a waxy coating that doesn't enhance the feeling on your tongue, and won't stay with you long after you've swallowed. All told, I can't really say that this is anything spectacular, but rather just plain okay. I'll still recommend it since the company has high standards, but this bar only deserves three stars from me when it comes to taste.
Davida Chazan © January 2008
For those who must know: According to http://www.greenandblacks.com/uk/index.php?flash=yes this bar contains: Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract.
The official webpage for this can be found at http://www.greenandblacks.com/UK/productdetails.php?pageid=27&cid=6&pid=8
You can buy 100gr bars of these online through this website at a rate of 4 bars for £8, for 8 bars for £16 or 12 bars for £24.
I am addicted to chocolate. Galaxy bars, Mars Bars, Rolos, Twix, Maltesers ? they all rock my boat! I could eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But my dentist does not seem to agree. 4 fillings and a great deal of pain later, I resolved to cut down on my choccie intake (for a chocoholic like myself, giving up completely was impossible). But how? I am still eating chocolate, but in smaller, more concentrated quantities. In other words, I try to go for quality over quantity. The king of all quality chocolates is Green & Blacks. Made with more cocoa solids than most chocolate brands and using cocoa butter rather than vegetable fat, Green & Blacks tastes divine. ** PACKAGING ** As you might expect from a luxury chocolate brand, the packaging screams indulgence. All of the bars are dark chocolate brown coloured with gold writing on. To distinguish the different bars, the top inch is a different colour (e.g. mint chocolate is green). Inside the outer wrapping is gold packaging protecting the chocolate itself. Very simple, very stylish. ** THE TASTE ** There are eight different types: Dark; Milk; Maya Gold; White; Almond; Caramel; Hazelnut and Currant; and lastly, Mint. My personal favourite is the Mint. The combination of refreshing mint fondant filling with the intense, bittersweet, dark chocolate shell is so perfect. If you like After Eights, you will LOVE this. My only complaint is that the mint chocolate bars are not always available in all shops that stock Green & Blacks (which is by the way, Waitrose, Tesco and all good health food stores). ** GUILT FREE TOO ** The chocolate is totally guilt-free: good to the environment (organic) and good for people (fair-trade). Good for the environment: The cocoa beans are purchased from small-scale farmers, who do not use chemicals or genetically modified ingredients. Amongst the cocoa trees, the farmers plant a variety of trees in order t
o create a biodiverse environment. All Green & Black chocolates carry the symbol of the Soil Association, meaning that they meet the necessary standards for organic food and farming. Good for people: Green & Blacks were the first chocolate company to carry the Fairtrade mark (on the Maya Gold bars). They prefer to use family growers and try to pay a higher (fair) price to the growers for the beans. Contrast this with other chocolate companies, such as Nestle who are well-known to be positively harmful in their practices (e.g. promotion of baby-milk powder in areas where the water is not clean/safe, leading to diarrhoea, loss of natural immunity and even deaths). ** NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100g) ** (Based on the Dark Chocolate bar) Energy 2400kJ/576kcal Protein 7.5g Carbohydrate 45.5g Fat 40.5g Green & Blacks is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. According to the packaging, it may contain traces of nuts (I am allergic to nuts, and I have never had any form of reaction, although I obviously do not eat the Almond or the Hazelnut & Currant bars). ** VALUE FOR MONEY ** But at £1.35 a bar (100g), it is also not cheap. But because it is so rich, you cannot eat more than a few chunks at one time. Therefore the 100g bar lasts me a whole week, which is fantastic value for money in my book! And what about the dentist? He is pleased too, because apparently the environment in my mouth has improved. At my last check-up, I was filling-free. So for everyone who wants to cut down on their chocolate intake but not cut it out completely (be it for diet reasons or for teeth reasons), I would recommend you try Green and Black chocolate. Yum, yum, yummy!
A dark chocolate, with 70% cocoa solids. Organic ingredients and only a minimal amount of sugar are used to allow the full cocoa flavour to unfold.