GREEN AND BLACK'S COMPANY
Green and Black's was founded in London, in 1991, by Craig Sams and Josephine Fairley; they were sent a sample of organic cocoa beans and had a sample bar of 70% chocolate made up for testing. Craig sampled the bar and left half of the rich, tempting bar on his desk, where chocoholic, Jo, tested the bar for herself and thought many other chocolate lovers would enjoy it also.
The name Green and Blacks was inspired by their childhood confectionary loves such as 'Callard and Browser' and 'Barker and Dobson.' There was room on the market for a 'Green and Blacks' as no other company shared this name, Green symbolising there strict organic principles and Black presenting the intensity of their chocolate.
Green and Black's products have always been organic, as they believe that the farmers are more interested in making great tasting and superb quality produce, which intern makes great tasting and great quality products.
They also try to use as much Fairtrade ingredients as possible, with around 92% of their ingredients being Fairtrade.
Green and Black's have a wide variety of chocolate to offer, from dark to white, with beautiful different collections and the option to create your own gift box selections and wedding favours.
I will be reviewing - Green and Black's organic, classic collection, 12 miniature bars of dark and milk chocolate, having received these a few years running as Christmas presents, from the in-laws.
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
This stunning box measuring 9 inches by 3.5 inches containing, 180g of miniature chocolates should contain twelve of their 15g miniature chocolate bars, two of each flavour; Milk, Dark 70%, Almond, Butterscotch, Ginger and Cherry. They are displayed in a double layer, professional, dark brown box with a clear window on the front showing you their sweet little bars, each individually paper wrapped, with each flavour being a different colour.
All ingredients for each flavour is listed individually on the reverse of the box along with the necessary nutritional value and contact information, also including the barcode, best before date and recycling information, all in a beautiful golden text.
If there is a certain flavour that they are unable to provide at the time of production, they have produced the appropriate coloured sticker, which fits perfectly over the ingredients and information for that particular flavour.
Example: Due to an organic cherry shortage at the time of packing, the cherry bars in this collection have been replaced with dark 70% bars white we await the new harvest. We apologise to all cherry lovers.
Each individual, paper wrapped bar, is designed as a miniature chocolate bar, with 12 tiny chocolate pieces, with a small leaf imprinted logo on each segment of each bar.
Green and Black's signature dark chocolate is highly indulgent, rich, dark and chocolaty containing a minimum of 70% organic dark chocolate, beautiful deep chocolate aroma upon unwrapping.
Ingredients: Organic cocoa mass, organic raw cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), organic vanilla extract.
Green and Black's milk chocolate bar, is a creamy, milky bar, containing a minimum of 34% cocoa solids and a minimum of 25% milk solids, similar taste and aroma to other branded milk chocolate with a slightly more distinctive chocolaty taste.
Ingredients: Organic cocoa mass, organic raw cane sugar, organic whole milk powder, organic cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), organic vanilla extract.
Green and Black's almond bar is a creamy milk chocolate bar, crammed full of crunchy almonds, beautifully crushed up and perfectly proportioned, the milk chocolate compliments the almonds stunningly, with a great texture, without it being bitty, similar aroma to the milk chocolate.
My personal favourite, if you love whole nut chocolate from other branded products than you will be sure to love this.
Ingredients: Organic cocoa mass, organic raw cane sugar, organic whole milk powder, organic almonds (23%), organic cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), organic vanilla extract.
Green and Black's butterscotch milk chocolate bar, is similar both visually and aroma to the milk chocolate bar, with the same creamy milk chocolate but with a gorgeous buttery, fudge chunks with a crunchy texture, lovely butterscotch hidden within.
Ingredients: Organic cocoa mass, organic raw cane sugar, organic milk powder, organic cocoa butter, organic butterscotch (10%) (organic cane sugar, organic glucose syrup, organic butter, organic palm fat, organic molasses, natural flavouring), emulsifier (soya lecithin), organic vanilla extract.
Green and Black's dark chocolate, ginger bar aroma is similar to the ordinary deep dark chocolaty smell, once bitten has a slight ginger smell, those who aren't keen on ginger, the dark chocolate perfectly complements it and without hiding the ginger taste, works amazingly with it, a slight crunch with the smooth chocolate around it.
Ingredients: Organic cocoa mass, organic raw cane sugar, organic crystallised ginger (20%) (organic stem ginger, organic sugar), organic cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin) organic vanilla extract.
Green and Black's dark chocolate cherry bar, has a slight hint of cherry aroma, along with the dark chocolate smell, the bar contains tiny pieces of strong organic cherry, with the sweetness of the cherries complements the bitterness of the dark chocolate.
Ingredients: Organic cocoa mass, organic raw cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic whole milk powder, organic cherries (17%) (Organic dried cherries, Organic sunflower oil), emulsifier (soya lecithin), organic vanilla extract.
NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 100g)
2325 Energy KJ, 560 Calories, 9.3g Protein, 43.7g Carbohydrates, 37.2g Sugar, 35.3g Fat, 19.4g Saturated Fat, 6.9g Fibre, 0.4g Sodium and 1.0g Salt Equivalent.
May contain milk, nuts and cereals.
All packaging is 100% recyclable and they encourage you to recycle where possible.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
This box of chocolates are available for purchase in many supermarkets and online food stores, you can purchase them for around £5-£6, and this particular box is usually highly available around Christmas time, but can be bought all year round.
I would recommend Green and Black's organic, classic collection of 12 miniature bars of dark and milk chocolate, as a gift for a family, friend or even if you have someone for secret Santa. This is a great all round gift, perfect for chocolate lovers and rich taste buds, they seem quite costly, but you are buying quality, with organic and strong, rich tasting products, at around 50p a chocolate I would say it was rather reasonable as you get a good selection and you don't need to indulge on too many at once, one is just enough.
Unfortunately I rarely receive a box with the cherry chocolate in, but love the touch of the explanation on the back of the pack to explain why.
If I were purchasing it for myself I would invest in a larger bar of my favourites, instead of these miniatures and they are great to cook and bake with, they include a great selection of recipes on their website to choose from, including biscuits and cakes.
So, yes, I highly recommend as a gift but not as a treat for myself personally.
Being a huge fan of Green and Black's chocolate, I was very excited when I spied this Miniature Bar Collection on special offer in WH Smith - normally priced at £6.99, it was now half price and only £3.49, so I simply had to get one!
Green and Black's are known for producing good quality organic, fair trade chocolate. This particular pack is made up of 12 bars of milk and dark chocolate, totalling 180g. There are two bars each of the following flavours: Milk, Butterscotch, Almond (all milk chocolate), Dark, Ginger and Cherry (all dark chocolate).
The milk chocolate is 34% cocoa and the dark is 70%. The milk flavours are ideal for those who like their chocolate creamy and sweet while the dark flavours are perfect for those who prefer bitter chocolate with an edge.
Milk Chocolate - this is lovely and creamy but still has a cocoa hit. It has a very unique Green and Black's taste.
Butterscotch - this is milk chocolate with little pieces of crunchy butterscotch mixed in, lovely, sweet and delicious.
Almond - the little fragments of almond contrast really well with the sweetness of the milk chocolate.
Dark - this has a lovely bitter cocoa and vanilla taste, one of my favourite dark chocolates.
Ginger - this isn't my favourite to be honest, the pieces of ginger aren't gingery enough and are too sweet even contrasted with the dark chocolate. However check the reviews on Dooyoo, many people disagree with me.
Cherry - Possibly my joint favourite bar alongside butterscotch. The fruity and sweet cherries make a lovely contrast with the dark chocolate.
The variety in this set is great - there's certain to be something for everyone here. The box is beautifully packaged. It would make an ideal gift. At normal price it is slightly expensive, but at half price it's a bargain!
This chocolate contains on average nearly 600 calories per 100g, so like all chocolate it's not good for your health, but so long as you don't have it too often it's definitely good for your mood!
The bars contain milk and soya ingredients and some may contain traces of nuts and cereal, however they are suitable for vegetarians.
Green and Black's Organic chocolate bars are what I call the chocolate experts chocolate bars. The variety pack of six is great for a change but I must admit that I associate Green and Black with dark chocolate, but that is probably because it is my favourite.
In one of these fancy packs you get six chocolate bars in three different flavours. There are three milk chocolate ones and three dark. Each bar is wrapper separately and divided into twelve small squares.
The milk ones (34% cocoa) are butterscotch, almond and plain milk flavours. I quite liked the almond one because you can actually taste the nuts, but the butterscotch variety is a bit too sweet and sickly for me. To be honest it reminded me of Caramac bars when I first tasted it. The milk chocolate one is just creamy light coloured chocolate which is perfectly edible but nothing amazing.
The dark chocolate ones are all 70% cocoa solids and have a strong smell and a slightly bitter cocoa taste to them. The cherry one was delicious but I could not eat more than a couple of squares at a time. Ginger and dark chocolate is one of my favourites so I really enjoyed that, but the plain bitter and dark taste of the plain one is still my favourite.
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids contains chemicals that can lift depression in some people. (Sitting on the sofa eating bars of it because you are depressed is not guaranteed to help the problem though!) I keep 70% cocoa solids Green and Black's chocolate in my fridge and find that a couple of squares can help to lift depression on dark days. It isn't a cure but I suffer from SAD and find that it does help.
Buying these in a mixed pack works out at about a fiver for two hundred grams of chocolate. So, it is a very expensive way of doing it. I would not buy these again as it is better value buying single bars and I can live without the milk chocolate ones. Now, a mixed pack of dark chocolate might be a different matter.
I received these as a present a christmas and my first impression was of a very well pakcaged set of posh chocolate.
Inisde there are 6 different types of bar, 2 of each.
Almond, butterscotch and milk are all milk chocolate
Cherry, ginger, dark are all 70% cocoa dark chocolate.
I like dark chocolate but prefer milk chocolate and I'm also not very keen on ginger and cherries, so for me the milk chocolate bars were much nicer. Anyway with the cherry, ginger, almond and butterscotch bars they consist of roughly 80% chocolate and 20% of the other flavour if you like.
With the almond and the butterscotch there are little pieces throughout the bar suspended inside the chocolate. This makes a good combination as you can easily taste the rich flavour of the chocolate whilst getting the taste or texture of the other flavour that's in there as well.
I would not buy these as a present myself as it costs about £5 for less than 200g chocolate. I would just buy a few ordinary bars and wrap them myslef for a present.
The other I would say is it would be nice if there were white chocloate minatures in the set as surely this is the 3rd standard after dark and milk and would make a great contrast to what is provided in the set.
Anyway, each bar is individually wrapped and despite being so small each one is nicely split into 12 pieces. This means that it is easy to have one and put the rest aside.
The milk chocolate is 34% cocoa, 25% milk
The dark chocolate is 70%+ cocoa
Not suitable if you have milk, nut or grain allergies.
Overall, it is well presented but just too expensive and I'd like to see them redesign with more contrasting options in the set as if you look on their website there are loads of ones they could have chosen from.
All the chocolate in the set is organic as with all Green and Blacks.
Lets just hope the organic status sticks and the quality of the chocolate lasts much longer.
**** Green & Black's****
Wow - talk about chocolate heaven! In my opinion this is probably one of the best Chocolate Christmas gift I've received.
12 miniature bars of G & B's finest in one box - what more could a chocolate lover ask for?
~~~ Who are Green & Black? ~~~
Before I tell you about the actually gift set I've been lucky enough to receive I would like to give you a quick introduction to the company. I believe this will tell you about the quality of the chocolate within the set.
Green and Black's was started in London in 1991 by Craig Sams and his wife. He was the founder of Whole Earth (the pioneering organic food company). After sampling some dark 70 % chocolate that had been made from organic cocoa beans the couple produced the world's first organic chocolate.
The couple were also awarded the UK's first Fairtrade mark for their production of the Maya Gold Brand. This product was a result of a holiday to Belize where the couple met with smallholding farmers who planted the cocoa trees but had been left high and dry by a large chocolate company who had withdrawn their market. Jo & Craig Sams started buying from the farmers at a fair price (hence the beginnings of their Fair Trade market).
The company has grown into one the largest producers of organic chocolate. There products range from Wedding favours, wine & chocolate gifts hampers to the choice of mixing and choosing your own favourites into a hamper. Oh yes they also make ice-cream and biscuits!!!!
To appreciate their vast luxurious selection you really need to check out their web-site (details at the end of this review).
I have looked at their site to find out how much the gift I received cost. Now before you start saying -'That's a bit rude - looking up the price of a gift!' I did it in order to share with you the cost just in-case you felt that this product would make a great gift for some-one.
~~~~The Miniature Bar Collection set~~~
Price - £5.20 - from the web-site.
** Packaging **
This set comes in a sliding, rectangular, light brown box measuring 9x3.5 inches. The outer section has a transparent front that clearly displays the 6 different flavoured miniature bars within. The Green & Black's name is embossed in gold onto a darker brown panel at the lower, middle section of the transparent window.
On the reverse of the sliding, sleeve the information about the chocolates and nutrition info are very detailed and clearly set out (although you will need your glasses to read this if your eye sight not so good!!)
All the chocolates are suitable for vegetarians and contain milk & soya.
There are warnings that the product may contain traces of nuts & cereal.
Hmm - think the word Almond may have given that away for must of us.
The section of packaging that actually hold the chocolate is made from the same recyclable card and is sectioned into 6 small compartments to hold 2 bars of each variety.
**** Nutrition information****
Per 100g (the whole box is 180g)
Energy 2324kj/557Kcal - Hey its christmas - worry about these next yr.
**** The chocolate Bars in my gift set ****
Here's the yummy bit - the 6 bars I received in my set were:
Almond, Butterscotch, Milk, Cherry, Ginger & 70% Dark.
The 1st 3 are milk chocolate and the last 3 dark.
I have always preferred dark chocolate so did reached for the Dark 79% little number first.
Here's the bars individually and what I thought -
~~~ Dark 70%~~~
Ingredients - Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier, Soya Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Whole Milk Powder.
The little bar is divided into 12 smaller pieces. Its dark colour is pretty much the same as the shade of the wrapper it's covered in. It is very smooth in appearance with the G & B's single leaf symbol stamped into each smaller segment.
The strong aroma of this dark beauty reminds me of Bourneville chocolate (which is another of my fav's) and really throws the bitter sweet cocoa powder smell directly into your nostrils.
Taste- if you are a dark chocolate fan you will leave the taste sensation that hits your tongue as this melts across it. The strong, bitter cocoa flavour mixes so well with the smooth cocoa butter to create an amazing culinary delight dancing on your tongue.
~~~ Ginger ~~~
Ingredients - Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier, Soya Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Whole Milk Powder, Organic Crystallised Ginger(20%) (Organic Stem Ginger, Water, Organic Sugar)
Hmm - I was a little dubious of this one as I'm not a huge fan of ginger.
As with the other bar this one is divided into 12 smaller pieces with the leaf symbol on it. It is also dark in shade but has flecks of orange near the surface.
The aroma is very similar to the Dark but contains a very slight hint of the ginger. This isn't overpowering so I wasn't put off trying it.
Taste- hmm not bad at all! The bar has tiny chunks of crystallized ginger running through it that doesn't over-power the dark sensation of the chocolate. The ginger does have a very slight chewy texture but because the pieces are so small it isn't an unpleasant taste or texture.
~~~ Cherry ~~~
Ingredients - Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier, Soya Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Whole Milk Powder, Organic Cherries (17%) (Organic dried cherries, Organic sunflower oil)
As with the other bars this one is divided into 12 smaller pieces with the leaf symbol on it. It is also dark in shade but has chunks of dark cherry pieces tempting you from just under the surface. When breaking the bar these little pieces have a deep shiny red appearance.
The smell is just as wonderful as the previous to bars, however there is a slight hint of the rich cherries that seems to tease your sense of smell with 'am I really there or not'.
The taste is divine for you cherry lovers. I am a fan of cherries and this combination is fantastic. The bitterness of the dark cocoa and sharp tang of the cherries is wonderful. This flavour is one of my favorites (so far- do like the look of the butterscotch).
Ok so that was my 3 dark little numbers - now onto the milk chocolates.
As I said earlier I am a bit of a dark fan so will these milk chocolates change my mind? Let's see...
~~~ Almond ~~~
Ingredients - Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier, Soya Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Whole Milk Powder (19.1%), Organic Almonds (22%)
Appearance - style as before the smaller sections & symbols - lighter in shade, as one would expect from a milk chocolate but hmm what's this ?? The back of the bar is stacked full of bumpy bits of almonds sneaking out to entice you to try.
Aroma - a light creamy smell with the subtle hint of nuts - yes defiantly a Christmas smell about this one.
Taste - wow the size of the almond pieces was a bit of a surpise. Because the other bars had only had very tiny pieces of ginger & cherry I was expecting the same here. However, the fair size chunks of almonds was fabulous. It gave a really good texture and full flavour to the milk chocolate. I really enjoyed the combination of almonds with this lighter chocolate - very similar to a topic bar but without the soft caramel.
~~~ Butterscotch ~~~
Ingredients - Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier, Soya Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Whole Milk Powder, Organic Butterscotch (10%)(organic cane sugar, organic butter, organic palm fat, organic molasses, natural flavouring)
Appearance - style as before the smaller sections & symbols - lighter in shade, same as the almond, and although smooth compared to the almond bar has a slight speckled look about it - the butterscotch.
The smell doesn't reveal the variety at all - it is a rather ordinary milk chocolate smell similar to any other milk choc bar.
Taste - well this makes up for the lack of aroma - when biting into the bar you are immediately hit with the smooth buttery taste of the chunks of butterscotch within. What a fantastic taste sensation to crunch around your mouth - on well done Green & Black's this is good.
And finally ...
Ingredients - Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier, Soya Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Whole Milk Powder(27%).
Appearance - style as before the smaller sections & symbols - lighter in shade and smoother in appearance from all the other bars in this set.
Aromas - as with the butterscotch - it is a rather ordinary milk chocolate smell similar to any other milk choc. There is a slight hint of the cocoa and I believe this to be because it has 34% cocoa solids which give it a bit more body.
Taste - for a milk chocolate it has the normal creamy, milky taste you would expect but there is a slightly stronger taste to it compared to, say a bar of galaxy or milktray. It is almost as if it's saying I'm the grown up version of milk chocolate.
**** Conclusion ****
Well apart from the fact that my partner and I are now a bit chocolated out - these have been unbelievably fantastic. The various flavours bring their own delight to the senses. Each combination has been really well put together and the ingredients compliment rather than over-power each other.
I would recommend these chocolates 100% - oh did I mention they are organic??
~~~ Further information about the company ~~~
Green and Black's Ltd
2 Valentine Place
Green & Black's,
25 Berkeley Square,
Telephone: 0207 633 5900
Web-site - www.greenandblacks.com
Customers based in the UK can also contact them by writing to 'FREEPOST, GREEN & BLACK'S CUSTOMER CARE'
Freephone 0800 8401000.
Email address (UK and ROI) : firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
X hev (also on ciao)