Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Bars
Page 3: Varieties Of Green & Black’s Chocolate Bars
Most of Green & Black’s bars are flavored, with four notable exceptions: two darks, a milk and a white (for our editor’s favorite white chocolate bar—see our best white chocolate article). What we like most about G&B’s bars is that the flavors are never coy on the palate; they’re strong and forthright, demanding your attention with every bite. This style contrasts sharply with American organic powerhouse, Dagoba, which prefers lower volumes and, at times, subtler and softer flavors such as lavender or blueberry. Dagoba’s choice of base couverture chocolate, which is also fairly quiet, contributes to the overall gentle nature of the bars. Green & Black’s opts for a darker, more robust base, similar to Terra Nostra, an organic and Fair Trade line of chocolate. The nice thing is, if you’re committed to organic chocolate, you’ve got some great choices—and don’t forget Theo and the others we’ve covered in our best organic chocolate article).
If you’ve been on a Dagoba spree and would like to try something with more intensity, Green & Black’s is the way to go. You’ll probably have an easier time detecting the flavor profiles as well, and you won’t find any grain to the texture, which you sometimes encounter in a Dagoba bar. Green & Black’s is more traditional (and affordable) than Theo, which has Chai, Nib and Coffee bars plus more fanciful (but wondrous) flavors such as Coconut Curry and Fig, Fennel & Almond—favorites of our editor, along with the Bread & Chocolate Dark Chocolate Bar that actually has buttery breadcrumbs in the bar—a chocolate bar lover’s pain au chocolat.
Almond (37% Milk Chocolate). Green & Black’s really knows how to please us. They’ve added whole almonds—not halves, slivers, or pieces—but whole almonds to this bar, and in plentiful doses, too. The end result is more akin to eating chocolate covered almonds than a chocolate bar studded with almonds. But if it’s a great almond chocolate bar you want, you won’t be disappointed!
Not your childhood milk chocolate and almond bar: 37% dark milk chocolate and lots and lots of crunchy whole almonds.
Cherry (60% Dark Chocolate). Most cherry flavored bars that we’ve come across have delivered inaudible whispers of cherry flavor, usually because the presence of dried cherries was on the conservative side. Green & Black’s, however, goes for the gusto with large, succulent, dried cherries that add explosive blasts of tartness to complement the strong chocolate. Chew, chew, chew your way through the army of cherries, but don’t forget to let the chocolate melt on your tongue, so you can savor the wonderful combination.
Dark 70%. Despite having an 85% cacao bar in its roster, the most intense bar in the Green & Black’s lineup is this 70%. It has great complexity and strength in flavor, delivering dried fruits and molasses that add up for an overall “black” profile. It was probably roasted a bit longer to help accent that flavor, but the real reason for the intense flavor is probably the pervasive bitterness and mild tannins that permeate at every turn. Here, bitterness is not a bad thing: It adds a depth of flavor and a reminder of the beans’ natural characteristics. If this is your thing, you’ll love this bar.
Dark 85%. Although boasting a hefty 85% in cacao solids, the bar is comprised of about 59% cocoa butter, which leaves room for roughly 26% in cocoa particles (minus the 15% sugar). With such a formula, the chocolate is mild but not sweet. It delivers refreshing cranberry notes and darker coffee elements, but like its 70% cousin, the bar is dark and stout in demeanor. For an 85%, it’s approachable. We highly recommend it for palates curious about an 85% cacao bar but wary that it might be too intense. (General note: Some manufacturers of very high percentage cacao round off the intensity with cocoa butter, which provides a richer mouthfeel and rounds off any harshness of the cacao. You can study the nutrition label to see what percentage of the bar is cocoa butter.)
If you’ve always wanted to try a high percentage cacao bar but have been a bit intimidated, Green & Black’s 85% bar is approachable—even gentle! Shown with the bar are roasted cacao beans and curls of the final product: delicious chocolate. To learn how chocolate is made, see our article, From Pod To Palate.
Espresso (67% Dark Chocolate). The flavor of a fresh-roasted coffee bean explodes onto the tongue, guided by an equally intense chocolatiness that never relents. The natural fruitiness of the chocolate can be tasted as well—an awesome, powerful dimension. A slight bitterness from the coffee lingers in the back of the throat, as though you’ve just eaten that roasted coffee bean. Like creamy peanut butter, if you prefer the flavor without the crunch, opt for this bar.
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