Sunday, December 5, 2010

Seeds of Change 61% Cacao Dark Chocolate With Coconut

2.99oz (84.8g) in three 1oz bars
Ingredients: Organic chocolate, o. cane sugar, o. cocoa butter, o. milkfat, o. soy lecithin, o. vanilla, o. coconut, natural flavor
8g sugar/28g serving (28.6% by wt.)

I bought Seeds of Change's coconut bar for several reasons. 1. I'd seen the brand in the grocery store many times but somehow hadn't tried it yet. 2. I finally caught some of it on sale. 3. I was curious whether someone could combine flavorful dark chocolate and mild coconut in a balanced, worthwhile way.

While this is a common tall, 3oz brick, it's not a single bar but rather a card-stock envelope containing three individually wrapped 1oz bars. The copy's a little silly (“The Seeds of Change mandala is an ancient symbol of abundance and vitality...”), but the bars are pleasantly stubby and scored into the usual rectangles with a nice little imprint on top. The chocolate isn't especially light or dark and is just barely glossy, and it smells rich and coconutty, vividly reminiscent of suntan oil, Mounds bars, and other sweet, perfumy coconut products.

That's just about how it tastes, too: Sweet, rich, only mildly chocolatey, and with a lot of coconut. Compared to Theo Seeds of Change actually uses less sugar per serving, but this chocolate tastes sweeter. That's probably in part because it has a significantly lower cacao content, which means less intense chocolate to compete with the coconut. Lower sugar, lower cacao...what makes up the difference? Milkfat, and possibly a greater percent of added cocoa butter. Fat can mellow sharp flavors—strong spices plus coconut milk create curry that is complex but not overwhelming; parmesan or blue cheese tempered with cream makes a mild sauce. I also wonder if the “natural flavor” in the ingredients infuses the chocolate with coconut flavor, because I don't think the suntan oil/Mounds vibe is coming from the shreds of coconut alone.

I'm not sure this is for me. The richness reminds me of the center of a Lindor Truffle, sweet and fatty, and though I used to love them my tastes have changed. But it definitely doesn't overwhelm the coconut, and if that appeals to you, by all means try this bar. The company is pretty neat too, and they have other interesting-sounding flavors (albeit in the same chocolate) that I'd be interested in trying if I found them on sale again.

Conclusion: Seeds of Change 61% Cacao Dark Chocolate With Coconut is sweet, mild, coconutty, and very rich.

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