I found this in the health food section of my local Woolworths store. It was right next to the “healthy” yoghurt-covered nut-and-muesli bars that have more saturated fat in them than a Mars Bar or Snickers Bar. And that’s probably all I need to say about that.
… Well, Naturally Goji AntiOx™ Dark Chocolate
I think this is one of those chocolate suffering from an identity crisis. You know the ones I mean, right? The ones that have jumped so far onto the “Chocolate Is Healthful Enough To Turn Your Spinal Fluid Into Liquid Gold” bandwagon that their packaging forgets to mention the main point of chocolate: that it is tasty.
I mean, look at the package above. Who thinks “AntiOx™” is truly an enticing name for a chocolate? And I don’t know about you, but I’m usually happy if my chocolate is “high in antioxidants”. Going for “very high in antioxidants” seems like looking a gift horse in the mouth. And then the back of the packaging tells me that this 80g bar is equivalent to 12 cups of green tea, and that it has an ORAC value of “26,000 per Block!” (Emphasis and incorrect capitalisation in original.)
Look, …Well, Naturally. If I wanted green tea, I’d drink green tea. And if I wanted ORAC, I’d look up what ORAC was, then I’d … do whatever it is one does to get ORAC into their life.
So just leave me to eat this (vegan) chocolate in peace, okay? Thanks.
Aesthetically-speaking, this bar is quite dark and glossy and has a crisp snap indicating good tempering. The aroma hints at coconut, earthiness, and, um, well, erm, I seem to have written “tomato”. I was watching Heston’s Feasts while I was eating this, though, so perhaps I was distracted by his edible nipples*.
To cut to the chase about this chocolate, I must admit that I really liked it. Every time I’ve eaten it (and I have, in fact, had this many times, albeit mostly pre-blog and pre-taking chocolate seriously), I’ve been surprised by how much it reminds me of a Cherry Ripe. I honestly don’t know if anyone else would make this connection; it’s not at all as sweet, nor is it aggressively cherry-and-coconut flavoured. But I can’t deny that I always think “Cherry Ripe” when I bite into this.
There’s a faint burst of coconut flavour in this chocolate, and a cooling sensation that I assume comes from the use of fake sugar. I don’t know where the coconut comes from, but it must have something to do with the vaguely-savoury-yet-fruity flavour of the goji berries. This bar isn’t too sweet but also isn’t bitter, instead balancing itself at a wonderful crossroads which, to me, is signposted as molasses, cream, burnt toast, and raspberry jam.
Over the past three years or so, I’ve probably had this chocolate at least six times. Which means I’ve had the equivalent of 72 cups of green tea and 156000 ORACs. And yes, my spinal fluid is made of liquid gold.
* The ones he created out of edible foodstuffs, I mean. I don’t think Heston’s own nipples are edible.