Green & Black’s Organic Chocolates
Chocolate makes a great gift, especially during the holiday season when we’re giving little gifts to the many people who touch our lives. Teachers, bosses, friends – who doesn’t love a chocolatey treat? Green & Black’s Organic Chocolates are high quality, vegetarian friendly, ethically sourced and fair trade. This means they satisfy our sweet tooth AND our conscience.
Green & Black’s started in London, UK. In 1991, Criag Sams and Josephine Fairley founded the chocolate company on sustainable and ethical cocoa sourcing principles. They were convinced that great taste comes from quality ingredients. They were right, of course. Each bar is made with the finest ingredients, and it shows. Sams and Fairley have since sold the company to Cadbury – and is now part of the Kraft Foods brand – though they remain involved with the company.
Even the name holds significance for their mission. “Green” represents their commitment to ethical, fair trade and, now, organic practices. “Black” stands for the quality and intensity of their chocolates. Green & Black’s chocolates are crafted with hand-selected, ethically-sourced cocoa beans to create a distinctively smooth and rich experience.
Green & Black’s Organic Chocolates is one of their more popular lines. Organic Chocolates come in different flavours. Certified organic by Canada Organic, these chocolates come in 100 gram packages. We decided to give them a try, to see if we can tell the difference in quality. We tested their Toffee, Almond, Ginger, White, Milk, Butterscotch, Sea Salt, Dark (85%) and Dark (70%).
Overall, the quality is decidedly there. Each bar offered up a different flavour profile, with the same melt-in-your-mouth sensation that makes a great chocolate, well, great. Here are our thoughts on the specific flavours. Give them a read. Hopefully these will help you find the perfect chocolate bar for your gift recipients.
Green & Black’s Organic Toffee
This bar is made with organic 60 percent dark chocolate punctuated by crunchy toffee pieces. Breaking off a piece didn’t give that satisfying “snap” that you expect from a solid chocolate bar. Toffee pieces give a sweet crunch. Dark chocolate floods in on the mid-palate, overwhelming any sweet toffee flavour you may have experienced. Bitter dark chocolate lingers in the mouth, making this a good chocolate bar to have with sweetened tea or specialty lattes.
Green & Black’s Organic Almond
As you might expect, this is your standard almond and milk chocolate combination. The almonds are roasted and chopped; the milk chocolate 37 percent cocoa. The bar gives you a satisfying firm snap when you break off a piece. The chunky almond adds a much-needed texture contrast to the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A nice balance of chocolate and almond flavours – neither flavour overpowers the other. This is a higher quality version of the fundraiser chocolates your kids sell each year for school. Enjoy with a light-bodied red wine.
Green & Black’s Organic Ginger
This dark chocolate and crystallized ginger piece combination is unique, to say the least. The 60 percent cocoa loses the aroma and flavour battle to ginger. Ginger stings the nose, then moves in to take over the palate. If you love ginger, this is the chocolate bar for you. For the rest of us, the drier, chunkier chocolate and ginger crunch is great for baking – add a kick to your next chocolate cake! – but not so much for munching on.
Green & Black’s Organic White Chocolate
This isn’t like your typical white chocolate bar. Green & Black’s combine 30 percent cocoa and Madagascan vanilla to give this bar a lovely, smooth flavour profile. Stiff with a nice snap, it has very subtle vanilla notes on the nose. It melts in slowly in the mouth and has a slightly gritty texture. On the palate, the vanilla comes on strong, then slides back on the mid-palate to let the white chocolate take the spotlight. It had the same flavour profile as a scoop of hand-made, fresh vanilla ice cream. If you’re a white chocolate lover, this may disappoint you as the white chocolate is so subtle, it’s practically non-existent.
Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate
This milk chocolate bar boasts 37 percent cocoa and tastes exactly how you expect milk chocolate to taste. The nice, firm snap is satisfying. At first, there’s more bitterness than you’d want, but as the chocolate melts, the soft, milky chocolate takes over and leaves you with a lingering sweet chocolate finish.
Green & Black’s Organic Butterscotch
Where toffee, in the toffee bar, disappeared into the background behind the dark chocolate, the butterscotch flavours in this bar meld perfectly with the milk chocolate. Rich and creamy with the right amount of sweetness, we could eat a whole bar by ourselves in one sitting (though, it is worth savouring it longer). The butterscotch pieces add a nice crunch contrast to the smooth 37 percent cocoa milk chocolate.
Green & Black’s Organic Sea Salt
This combination of milk chocolate and Anglesey sea salt smells very much like the mass-produced Easter chocolates you buy on impulse at the cash register every April. The taste, however, is far superior. The sea salt supports and elevates the sweetness of the chocolate. It is buttery, creamy and reminiscent of good, Canadian-made chocolate ice cream. A touch of salt flares up at the end, leaving you without that overly sweet finish common with most ice creams.
Green & Black’s Organic Dark 70%
This Dark 70% recipe was the very first chocolate bar made by Green & Black’s founders. And it stands the test of time. If really, really dark chocolate isn’t your thing, but you still like dark chocolate, then grab the 70 percent bar. The rich chocolate nose has odd cherry undertones – a nice complement to the bitter cocoa, though a bit out of place. In the mouth, it takes a beat for the chocolate flavour to come through; once it does, it’s a nice, slightly sweet chocolate with a soft, subtle, lingering finish. This isn’t as buttery/creamy as some of the other bars, but it does offer an experience worth enjoying on its own.
Green & Black’s Organic Dark 85%
The darkest chocolate in their Organic Chocolate line, this is, well, very dark. It has that nice deep chocolate smell you expect from an overabundance of cocoa, as well as a nice, very satisfying crack when you break off a piece. The deep chocolate has a subtle sweet note to cut through the bitterness. It melts in your mouth and sits nicely on the palate. Enjoy with a full-bodied, deep red wine.