Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Endangered Species Chocolate

There are a lot of good things about chocolate. It tastes good and in moderation it could actually be a good addition to a normal diet. But one of the suprising things is that chocolate may actually be good for tropical economies and ecosystems as well. See more here.

There are quite a few free trade/organic chocolate companies now, but one that’s making the best inroads with consumers, including kids, is Endangered Species Chocolate Company. (I have no data to back this up, just my awareness of people’s affection for it and that I see it in far more stores than other bars of the same type.) They have a huge selection of bars and chocolate formats, good packaging and a pretty good distribution network. Oh, and they taste good, too!

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Because Endangered Species has such a large selection of bars, I thought I’d start small. I saw these little impulsive tasting squares called Bug Bites that came in both dark and milk chocolate. They’re obviously a little bit of chocolate for the kids, but I’m a kid at heart and I love bugs.

The little .35 ounce squares are Fair Trade certified, organic and Kosher. The little nibble has a butterfly on it and though the package says something about a bug trading card, I didn’t get any in either of my packages. The milk chocolate is very sweet and in the style of the European dairy milk chocolate bars. It has a good milky, woodsy smell, but is probably too sweet for me. It’s exceptionally smooth and I’m sure will please children quite readily.

The dark square was exceptional. Very fruity, with some apricot and cherry notes it also had some woodsy balsam qualities. It was buttery and had a slightly bitter finish that wasn’t too dry.

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Though not all the bars are completely Fair Trade or completely organic Endangered Species Chocolate Company donates 10% of profits to protect wildlife (including those animals featured on the bars). Inside the wrapper is a profile of the animal on the package, in this case it is the bat and notes that of the 45 species in the United States alone, 7 of them are endangered.

I was specifically looking for this “Bat Bar” which is 75% cocoa content and cocoa nibs. I hadn’t seen it at Whole Foods, where I’ve been picking up my other organic bars. Whereas the other nibby products I’ve tried like the Michel Cluizel Noir au Grue de Cacao and Max Brenner Dark Chicao have large nib pieces in them, this bar had kind of crushed bits in it. This has its advantages, but it also creates a different sort of bar.

First, this is a very dark bar. At 75% cocoa, it’s already pretty dense. Because the nibs are crushed smaller they impart a bit of a grain to the chocolate that I didn’t detect at all in the Bug Bites, so I’ll credit that to the nibs. The nibs add a wonderful variation in texture though, with a good fruity burst in spots and sometimes and unpleasant astringency. Nibs are pretty high in fiber too, so eating a serving gives you 3 grams of fiber! I wish the entire bar wasn’t quite so sweet though.

I think if I’m going for a nibby fix I’m going to stick with the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs ... but the wide availability and decent price of the Engangered Species bar would make it a close second.

Name: The Bat Bar & Bug Bites: Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Endangered Species Chocolate Company
Place Purchased: Mother's Market (Laguna Woods)
Price: $2.39 for the bar / $.69 each for Bug Bites
Size: 3 ounce bar / .35 ounce squares
Calories per ounce: 167
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Fair Trade, Organic, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:01 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. YAY! I am glad you finally reviwed this chocolate. You should reaaaaaaally try the panther bar.  88% cocoa content, eating six pieces nearly killed me but it is so worth it and trust me, it isn’t too sweet by any means.

    Comment by Kristen on 1/18/06 at 4:58 pm #
  2. My favorite are the Tiger Bars - Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans.  Yum!

    Comment by Jess on 1/19/06 at 6:16 am #
  3. If you like organic dark chocolate and nibs, I highly suggest trying the Dagoba Xocolatl bar: http://www.mercola.com/forms/dagoba_xocolatl.htm 

    It has little nib bits and also bits of chiles, which sounds a little strange, but it is very very good.

    All of the Dagoba bars that I have tried are pretty good, actually, but this is my favorite.  I’ll try the Bat Bar, and you can try one of these! 
    smile

    Comment by Kynthia on 1/19/06 at 9:27 am #
  4. Oh!  I just looked a little harder at the sidebar and I see that you’ve already tried it! 

    Sorry! 

    But I’m glad you liked it! smile

    Comment by Kynthia on 1/19/06 at 9:29 am #
  5. Cybele's avatar

    Kynthia - it reminds me that there are a few other Dagoba bars that I want to try though!

    Kristen & Jess - don’t worry, I have more of the Endangered Species bars on my list, but at 3 ounces a bar, it takes me a while to get through one.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/19/06 at 9:44 am #
  6. Good to see you had a chance to try these.  I haven’t seen the bug bites at my local place yet but they look real cute.

    Comment by Porgy on 1/20/06 at 4:04 pm #
  7. Is your list of brands intended to be comprehensive? I didn’t find Endangered Species over there, but was able to locate this entry by selecting the “fair trade” category. (I noticed that Green & Black isn’t there either.) Or maybe you need two or mroe entries before adding it to the brands list?

    Comment by Tricia on 6/30/06 at 6:21 pm #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    Tricia - yeah, it takes more than one entry for me to create a category for a brand (usually).

    Green & Blacks is there, but for some strange reason that I can’t figure out at the moment, it’s not in alphabetical order.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/30/06 at 7:36 pm #
  9. So glad Cybele you have tasted the dark chocolates from this brand.  Not just you have tasted one of the best dark chocolates, also portion of your purchase would be donated to help the endangered species.  The deli market across from my office carries this brand and they have other flavors as well, they carry the most flavors of this brand compared to the other markets.  Both 75% and 88% dark are my favorites.  When I got very tired from working, I would walk across the street to get one of those 88% bars, truely refreshing.

    Comment by Meow Meow on 9/06/06 at 12:04 pm #
  10. Cybele's avatar

    Meow Meow - Endangered Species contacted me and offered me some new bars for review, including the dar bar so I’m hoping to have some of those up soon.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/06/06 at 12:11 pm #
  11. We also eat bug bites and the 3oz choco dark bars. Helpful tip: on the inside of 3oz dark choco bar, on the first wrapper is trivia, tidbit info on eco things and most importantly: a coupon! Being an organic shopper these r hard to find and other organic manufacturers r putting coupons inside packaging as well. Hope this info helps. Be well all. peace.

    Comment by choco lover on 3/09/07 at 10:52 am #
  12. i live for the bat bars. sadly, whole foods always seems like they’re out of them. every. single. time.

    Comment by sher on 5/04/07 at 3:57 pm #
  13. I love Endangered Species chocolate! smile It’s great stuff. I bug my mom to get it whenever we see it (no pun intended). The dark chocolate mint is wonderful! Oh, I just love those bars.

    Comment by Melody on 5/24/08 at 6:03 am #
  14. The chocolate is excellent-but the bars advertised with blueberries hadn’t a hint of blueberry. I was sorely disappointed in the sea-turtle bars and would not purchase again till I get what I am paying for.

    Comment by Kathy on 10/17/09 at 4:03 am #
  15. I LOVE CHOCOLATE NECCO WAFFERS.  THEY ARE MY FAVORITE. I LIKE THE KIND WITH FOUR FLAVORS TO A PACK.  MJLK, DARK, WHITEM AND MOCHA.  ANN

    Comment by ANN REYNOLDS on 8/30/10 at 2:39 am #

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