* Prices may differ from that shown
My review is for Plamil's 'Free From Luxury Chocolate' which I recently purchased from the brand's website. I have always had a sweet tooth and eat an awful lot of chocolate every day. I can seriously get through more than 100g of the stuff daily. I recently decided I'd like to cut down on dairy and tend towards a more vegan lifestyle. Swapping from chocolate made with cows milk to dairy free chocolate seemed like an obvious step. I had tried carob bars previously but hadn't really liked them so I researched dairy free chocolate and found this brand Plamil. They have a website and shop where you can read about their products and purchase them.
Plamil make lots of different kinds of dairy free chocolates and chocolate products including dairy free milk chocolate, exotic flavoured chocolate, a no added sugar range, an organic range, a luxury 70% cocoa range, carob bars and dairy free chocolate spreads.
I purchased the Luxury 70% Cocoa chocolate bar. You can get these in different sizes such as the 45g snack bar and the 100g sharing bar. I purchased several of the 45g bars as they were on a BOGOF offer.
The snack sized 45g chocolate bar comes in a transparent wrapper and has two labels on the front and back which tell you all about the product.
This chocolate is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and contain absolutely no egg or dairy ingredients. They are also free from wheat, gluten and starch. They are made in a factory that does not handle nuts so it is also suitable for those with nut allergies. The brand also point out that they do not use genetically modified ingredients and are against this practice.
The ingredients are fairly basic: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier - sunflower lecithin. The chocolate may contain a source of soya though. Ingredients are from "organic agriculture".
The chocolate bar is quite thick but the shape is not even - instead it is like thick on one side and slightly thinner on the other and this pattern is chequered across the eight squares of 1 X 1 inch pieces. The bar is printed with a lovely flower and leaf pattern.
The chocolate is dark and tastes very strongly of cocoa. To be absolutely honest it is very much like a high quality dark chocolate (such as Green and Blacks) and I would never be able to tell the difference between this and a chocolate bar containing dairy. It has a bitter sweet flavour and is sweet enough to satisfy me. The chocolate is quite dense in consistency and is quite waxy and sticky when I'm chewing. When the chocolate begins to melt it feels ultra smooth.
I was really suprised by the quality of this chocolate and by the fact that it tastes like an authentic chocolate bar rather than a fake which deviates from how chocolate is supposed to taste!
I will probably purchase this again but it is slightly more expensive than dairy milk chocolate and my 45g bars cost just over one pound each. I've therefore had to limit myself to a couple of squares a day which has been a real challenge! I am certainly inspired to try more of the dairy free chocolate from Plamil's range though as this one is so good. As well as buying online I've noticed you can get selected bars in Holland and Barratt healthfood stores.
So this is my review for a chocolate with a bit of a twist! This chocolate is like no other that I have tasted and I say that in a 'good' way. It is a 'dairy free' alternative for folk who would still like to enjoy a piece (or four or five or maybe six) of chocolate but who need to avoid dairy ingredients. I eventually discovered this chocolate during my investigative research for a yummy bar that was suitable for vegans.
~~Lets get to know the guys at PLAMIL then~~
Well these guys are big on 'high quality' and that is certainly of interest to me when deciding on a purchase. The manufacture of this product is within a dedicated factory owned and soley used by Plamil - that is very good news isn't it, no cross contamination issues here then. The plamil company have their heart set on only using the best ingredients for their products and of course that is something that I like to hear and certainly has my interest now. So I shall pry further as I am nosy and I do like to get to know a company and what they are all about.
Starting off in the 1960's this company was originally known as Plant Milk and produced dairy free alternatives, with a passion for nutrition, ethics and the environment - I am happy to discover that those concepts are still at the heart of this company today and this does impress me.
Plamil are an award winning company! Wow, this stuff must be pretty good then. Their products are suitable for people with allergies and for us guys who are vegetarian/vegan - well that ticks the box for me.
I am happy to discover that many of the ingredients that go into the products made by Plamil are organic and Fairtrade, this is a company I a growing to like more and more.
Plamil do not use any GM or nano technologies - good news there then as I avoid GM ingredients as best I can.
~~So tell us what is the range of products like~~
Pretty impressive in my opinion, these guys have been busy, just take a look on the website for much more detail at www.plamilfood.co.uk
Here I will list some examples to wet your appetite:
Egg free mayo
Catering packs available on request!
~~Tell us about the Plamil Dairy Free Chocolate now~~
I first notice the weight of this bar, it seems heavier than other similar sized bars. The packaging is very good quality and keeps the bar safe, clean and fresh. The design is aesthetically pleasing whilst keeping information concise and clear - I find out all I need to know quickly and easily by briefly scanning the wrapper. The font is large and bold. The smell coming from the bar is different but intriguing enough to tempt me as I understand this will be a whole new experience of chocolate consumption. On unwrapping the bar the chocolate is exposed and is produced so that you can break off small pieces. The chocolate looks a high quality product and it smells good. The pieces are easy to break off and the final test of tasting is initially 'oh what is this' and then as I allow the flavour to rest on my tongue I find out that this is a really nice texture and taste. Very palatable and indeed moreish. The packaging is easily folded back into place to store securely and keep fresh - that is unless you have been extremely naughty and eaten the whole bar in one sitting and then of course you don't need the wrapper. I have two pieces a day - yes I do honest - and that is a real treat.
This dairy free chocolate is the dark version they also do a milk version. So in line with dark chocolate and my personal preference this chocolate is bitter in taste and you can identify the cocoa which is rich in flavour. There is an aftertaste which I find lasts for a while and I like it.
~~How much can I expect to pay?~~
Well I have found that prices vary from store to store but on average it will cost approximately £1.80 - £2.19
I have bought it from larger stores of Holland and Barrett, local health food store and Nutricentre which is online and within larger Tesco's. Of course you can purchase from Plamil website too.
~~A Final Word~~
This bar is expensive and I consider it a luxury purchase when I do buy it. I limit myself with a strict discipline to only 2 pieces per day so that it lasts a good time. I feel happy to purchase as this is a company with very high standards and there is no risk of cross contamination during the production process and the chocolate bars are high quality, made with good stuff and where possible using Fairtrade and organic ingredients. All of this along with being mindful of environmental issues and suitable for vegans make this bar a good purchase for me. The bar is tasty, creamy texture and a treat which I enjoy. I would recommend to others - as a luxury treat!
Thank you for reading.