Yesterday, I wasted half a block of chocolate on the train from Munich to Berlin because I absolutely could not stand going another day without chocolate. I ate a fair bit despite the fact that I couldn’t taste anything, so ended up rather cranky. At this cold and at myself, but not at the German countryside, which gifted me with images of tall dark trees, snow, flowing rivers, and then the brown-green colours that remind me of home. So thank you German nature.
Time for some chocolate from ye olde archives, then.
sweetriot unBar 65% and 70%
I did not want to like these chocolates. I have so many issues with sweetriot’s marketing, such as the ridiculousness of calling cacao nibs “peaces”, the repetition of this wordplay when each quarter of the chocolate is called a “mega ‘peace’”, and the pretence that anyone would eat only a fourth of this snack-sized chocolate (“48 calories per mega ‘peace’”? Yeah, sure).
And then my post-thesis mind went to work on the blurb on the back.
This is precisely the kind of marketing that I highlighted in my thesis as exemplifying the cooptation of ethical ideals for the purposes of increasing companies’, or more broadly capitalism’s, profits, rather than effecting any real change. By stating that this product is in some way ethical and/or socially beneficial without giving any explanation as to how such is the case, sweetriot seems grounded in the notion that “ethical” consumers are simply dupes who will happily take a side of non-analytical carthasis with their consumption.
How does buying this chocolate “fix the world”? Who are “our loving amigos”, and doesn’t that ring of paternalism? (And one-sidedness? They “love” us?”)
But the thing that makes this (metaphorically, as my nose is still in lock-down) stinky, is that I really enjoyed this chocolate. [End griping.] I also enjoyed its sibling, the 70% with cacao nibs and raisins, despite the fact that I’m not enamoured with squidgy raisins.
Each “unBar” has wonderfully strong earthy and coffee flavours in its chocolate as well as in the crunchy and woodsy nibs. The 65% is surprisingly punchy for a cacao percentage that is more often sweet than bitter, and the 70% is similarly earthy and lovely.
After a few bites the coffee strength fades and the chocolate moves to a mellower taste, akin to chocolate coated coffee beans mixed with chocolate coated nibs (and I actually checked the packaging to make sure there was no coffee in these). The 65% chocolate provided some toasted walnut and hazelnut notes along with molasses, while the 70% added to this with a wine-like raisin flavour.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of raisins, but their tangy fruitiness was here tempered by the tobacco notes of the chocolate and nibs. Also, there weren’t too many raisins, which made it all the better.
If I were not currently in Germany with no access to sweetriot chocolate, I would very likely be stocking up on the 65% right now .
You know, because I’m all about saving the world and my loving amigos and, why not, solving global poverty and ending the recession while also cooking an organic dinner from my own kitchen garden with its soil blessed by laughing fairies and so on and so forth.