It came to my attention that Tuesday 7th July is World Chocolate Day – what a fantastic, perfect time, especially during lockdown and worldwide restrictions – to taste some new brands you may not have tried before.
Chocolate has been commodified over the years and our tastebuds have become accustomed to what chocolatiers call ‘candy’ chocolate. Low cocoa, high sugar and lots of other ingredients that, when broken down, don’t really need to be anywhere near your treats.
At Easter – I took it upon myself to try all new chocolates – mainly Australian brands. However, I am always up for giving any business a try that has a vegan option, or is indeed an entirely vegan chocolate brand.
My recommended brands this World Chocolate Day are:
From left to right: Treat Dreams, Ratio Cocoa (a vegan iced chocolate), Divine Light Veganics, Federation Chocolate, Only Mine and Planet Cocoa*
- Ratio Chocolate (Melbourne) – Very, very dark chocolate, intense, rich cocoa flavour. Satisfies an intense dark chocolate craving. The head of this brand is cacao obsessed – she KNOWS her stuff. We attended a tasting, and she described in detail the difference between locally made and sourced chocolate to ‘candy’ or ‘junk’ chocolate, I never saw the big brands in the supermarkets the same way again. I highly recommend also, if you visit their cafe in Brunswick, to try their vegan iced chocolate, ice cream and other vegan chocolate treats, they’re very, very good.
- My recommendation: 63% Dark Melbourne Bar
- Only Mine (Melbourne) – A medium-dark, but perfectly sweet and satisfying chocolate. Absolutely melts in your mouth, extremely good on porridge or with your morning coffee. They also have delicious fillings like caramel, coconut caramel or fudge – always a sweet surprise, take your time with these beauties as they deserve your full attention.
- My recommendation: Dark Chocolate Presents
- Federation Chocolate (Tasmania) – This chocolate is insanely good (I exclaimed “WOW!” when eating this for the first time – it’s really, really delicious). Darker than Only Mine but lighter than Ratio, Federation is a beautifully smooth, satisfying bite that isn’t too sweet, but not bitter at all – their hollow Easter eggs went down very well in our house (so thick!). Do not miss their Easter range next year but until then – grab one of their tasting boxes!
- My recommendation: Vegan Selection Box
- Planet Cocoa (Melbourne) – a brand new company – impressively targeted me on Instagram with shrewd ads (it works if your targeting is tight, people), with amazing coffee-filled and mint flavoured chocolates. Dark, smooth and with a really distinct, deep flavour, Planet Cocoa is guaranteed to go from strength to strength with their artisinal, small production chocolate.
- My recommendation: 64% dark espresso bar
- Loving Earth (Melbourne) – You’ve probably seen this very popular vegan company at the supermarket and available at your local bulk foods. This is more of a ‘natural’ raw cacao flavour, but perfect if you need that hit of chocolate without it being too sweet. I also really like Loving Earth because it’s such a clean flavour – making it really satisfying even when just enjoying a small amount. The caramel boobok eggs that come out at Easter are also insanely good – don’t miss them as they sell out quick!
- Treat Dreams (Sydney) – Oh.my.gosh. This decadent, creamy chocolate brand is 100% vegan and 100% delicious. Their dream eggs taste better than any creme egg I have ever had. They have a wide range of vegan bars (such as peanut butter bars) and one-off treats (such as the gorgeous fruity bears range – I loved the Peppermint bear!). This is the brand to give to your non-vegan friends, they will not be able to tell the difference.
- My recommendation: Classic Dream Eggs
- Divine Light Veganics (Illinois, USA) – Okay, this is not a ‘local’ brand for me but the quality of this raw, vegan, high-vibe chocolate is absolutely insane. The shipping costs are worth it as one bite into a bar of this is felt throughout your entire body. The love, care and good vibrations put into the creation of this chocolate is felt in every bite. They also ship microgreens if you live locally, and have beautifully made pendants and charms to help you live a hi-vibe life.
- My recommendation: Nurturing Nirvana 24k Gold Chocolate Bar
This World Chocolate Day – find some of your local brands in your immediate area and support local business! You never know what kind of amazing quality you might find so close to you.
Also – if you have any recommendations of incredible vegan, small business chocolate that you think I would love – drop me a line at @acaibowlsaustralia on Instagram!
*Photos by me. I also am only reviewing the vegan products within the overall range.