Friday, August 15, 2008

Regal Dynasty European Dark Chocolate

Regal DynastyOn my continuing quest to try off brands of confections to see if saving a little money means sacrificing taste, I came upon this bar at the Walgreen’s, mixed in with the other upscale chocolate bars: Regal Dynasty European Chocolate. This bar was called simply Dark Chocolate. For $1.29 and clocking in at 6.3 ounces, I was more than curious how well it could compare.

The packaging is less than exciting, in fact it looks dated, like some sort packet of cheap stationery from the Office Max circa 1993. The paper is rather flimsy and the foil wrapper inside is similarly thin, though both seem to do their job of protecting the bar well enough. So I can look past that (especially since I’ve had some very expensive bars that I don’t think have very attractive or useful packaging).

The ingredients however are a big old red flag: sugar, cocoa mass, vegetable fat, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, flavor. It states that the cocoa solids are a minimum of 45%. But it never says what those vegetable fats are or if that flavor is natural.

Regal Dynasty

The bar is lovely. It’s well molded and has a crisp snap.

It has a sweet and slightly cinnamon & cereal smell to it. It has a difficult melt though, but as it does soften, it is very sweet but at least not chalky or gritty. But it’s cool on the tongue, which usually means substitute fats or substitute sugars and always makes me a bit uneasy.

The chocolate notes aren’t deep or complex or satisfying. I would probably find this passable in a chocolate croissant, but standing alone as a piece of confection, it tastes watery and empty of nuance.

The simple fact is that it’s not chocolate. I’d hazard that since the vegetable fats come before the cocoa butter on the ingredients list that it wouldn’t even qualify under the laxer rules in Europe that allow veggie fats up to 5%. No, this is a plain old false label. It’s not chocolate. Not even close. But in an odd twist, it doesn’t have any dairy fats so can be considered vegan!

Even though I liked it a bit more than the Carlos V Chocolate Style Bar and it was cheaper, I can’t get past the fact that its downright false label.

Hopefully it will make passable brownies (which is what happens to many of the bars that I can’t bring myself to eat). Oddly enough, I can see myself buying this again though if I need a really nice looking, generic chocolate bar for a photo shoot. But if you’re looking for something you can actually eat that doesn’t cost too much, wait for a sale on something you know you like or just settle for a smaller package.

UPDATE November 3, 2009: Walgreen’s is discontinuing this bar. In it’s place you can buy an even more dreadful bar from R.M. Palmer called 2 Buck Choc, which has awful and unappealing graphics on the wrapper and of course doesn’t taste nearly as good as this (which I didn’t like but at least give it credit).

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Name: Dark Chocolate
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Regal Dynasty (East West Distributing Co.)
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.29
Size: 6.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Mockolate, Poland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:50 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Wow.  Chocolate is taking hits this week.  Two bars with expensive looks and chocolate-ish flavor…I’m glad I read it here to not be tempted later!

    Comment by Dave on 8/16/08 at 5:06 am #
  2. I’m eating some right now, aha! It’s delicious and I’m vegan.

    Comment by Tori on 10/15/08 at 11:27 am #
  3. Good analysis.  Probably better to spend a little more and get one of the pretty good bars from Trader Joe’s.

    Comment by James Sweeney on 10/20/08 at 4:56 pm #
  4. What I like about Regal Dynasty ‘Milk’ chocolate bars is the sweet chocolate taste, smooth and creamy texture and when I finish eating eating it I’m not left with a caffeine buzz. smile However the dark chocolate bar gives you a nice caffeine hit.

    (I’m also enjoying some today)

    Comment by Aaron Michael on 5/21/09 at 12:56 pm #
  5. I am a chocolate lover.These may have been a little cheater. Which shows. The taste is bland not rich and lusious like chocolate should be.The nuts do not even have a fresh taste either.  I am having problems even considering it chocolate. This product really needs some improvement for me to purchase again.

    Comment by Angela Eldridge on 5/26/09 at 6:35 am #
  6. Walgreens has quit selling the Dark Regal Dynasty bar in my area. Is it available on line?

    Comment by J. Robeson on 6/11/09 at 10:51 am #
  7. can you please tell where in houston or katy texas i can purchase this candy.

    Comment by judy neely on 6/25/09 at 8:30 am #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    Judy - it’s only available via Walgreen’s.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/25/09 at 8:35 am #
  9. As of the week of Sept 6 2009, Walgreen’s (in Florida at least) put Regal Dynasty bars on sale for 37 cents, with a “last chance” sticker.  Looks like it’s gone for good—?

    Comment by Bill on 9/11/09 at 4:14 pm #
  10. its also being sold out/discontinued at the Walgreen’s here in San Francisco. all of them.
    Does anyone know where else its available?

    Yes, its not top-shelf and exciting but its less than half the price of all other dark chocolate (unless you count the execrable Hershey’s attempts, which I don’t) and I’ve developed a little habit that my budget won’t support if I’m forced to go upmarket (ack! I ate the gateway chocolate!)


    Comment by Pastor Fussycat on 9/14/09 at 6:09 pm #
  11. This appears to have disappeared from the Denver area as well. A real bummer for us vegans. It worked great as chocolate chunks in homemade cookies

    Comment by Sean on 9/17/09 at 7:44 pm #
  12. Do not look for Regal Dynasty Chocolate at Walgreen’s any longer.  Their buyer had a bad idea and doesn’t buy it for Walgreens any more, to my disappointment.  I thought it was one of the best dark chocolates ever.

    Comment by Pauline on 10/14/09 at 8:46 am #
  13. I’ve been searching for the Regal Dynasty and finally found out it was a Walgreen’s exclusive?... anything Hershey manufactures gives me diarrhea.
    That’s the only thing I went in a Walgreen’s store for but, ultimately bought something else. Oh Well

    Comment by Barry on 10/15/09 at 12:11 pm #
  14. This dark chocolate was a perfect blend of taste and price. It looked like chocolate, it tastes like chocolate, it must be chocolate. Because of my allergy to milk I can’t find another chocolate bar I can eat. Like another comentor stated, it was one of the few products that got me into Walgreens. Thanks alot.

    Comment by Cam on 11/01/09 at 7:48 am #
  15. Me too. I often went in just for Regal Dynasty, and ended up buying other items. I first bought it when it was Brazilian, thought the Polish version a bit inferior, but still good enough, and price was right.

    Comment by Peter M on 11/08/09 at 12:36 am #
  16. Where can I get the Regal Dynasty European dark Chocolate bar in San Francisco.


    Comment by Jerome on 11/09/09 at 2:37 pm #
  17. Was very disappointed to discover that Walgreen’s has discontinued selling Regal Dynasty Dark Chocolate bars. Might not register as healthy and some remarked on the wrapping, but I thought it was right tasty and wasn’t buying it for the fancy wrapping - the price was great. I would continue to buy it if I could find it. Any suggestions, anyone?

    Comment by Deanna Dale on 11/10/09 at 9:26 am #
  18. yes I work for walgreens also and we discontinued it at .37 cents too!!!  What a shame because it it fabulous chocolate!!!!  WE NEED IT BACK!!!!  PLEASE bring it back!!! I HAVE TOO MANY CUSTOMERS LOOKING FOR IT WHY DOES A COMPANY ALWAYS HAVE TO CUT SOMETHING OUT WHEN EVERYONE IS ASKING FOR IT?????

    Comment by kathleen Ramirez on 11/15/09 at 5:13 am #

    Comment by kathleen Ramirez on 11/15/09 at 5:16 am #
  20. Cybele's avatar

    Kathleen - you ask why? I don’t know why Walgreen’s made their decision, but Regal Dynasty was a fraud. They labeled their product as something it was not. It was violating FDA’s standards of identity for product labeling. 

    I’m not saying that it wasn’t tasty, but fraud is fraud.

    Comment by Cybele on 11/15/09 at 7:06 am #
  21. Regal Dynasty Dark Chocolate is the best I have found…Went to Walgreens today specifically to purchase and found the no longer carry it…Very dissapointed!  Hope they will bring it back soon.

    Comment by Nancy on 11/18/09 at 3:14 pm #
  22. Cybele, the FDA’s labeling standards are themselves pretty much a sham, if not an outright fraud. As a recently diagnosed diabetic who now reads every label, I am astounded at the deception allowed.

    European standards are more logical. For example, EU sugars are quoted as grams percent. In the US, they’re quoted as grams ‘per serving’, and a ‘serving’ can be almost anything a manufacturer decides.

    How am I to know how much sugar or sodium I’m consuming when they’re quoted as grams while the serving size is sometimes quoted as milliLiters. Even if the serving size is by weight, it’s still not clear, for it depends on how many ‘cups’ you’re buying. A can of soup may say 600 grams per serving, but you have to figure the can contains two-and-a-bit servings. You have to bring a computer with you to the supermarket!

    As for taste, most EU chocolate brands beat US brands hands down. IMO, only Mary See’s comes anywhere close to Marabou or Cadbury’s. (Yes, even as a diabetic I still sneak a bite or two of candy. Might as well die happy.)

    I hope Cadbury’s will be bought out by a consortium of Hershey’s and Ferrero-Rocher rather than Kraft, for then at least Hershey’s might learn something.

    They could also learn something from Regal Dynasty. At least it tasted good, fraud or no fraud.

    Comment by Peter M on 11/18/09 at 7:10 pm #
  23. Cybele's avatar

    Peter M. - as a recently diagnosed diabetic, I hope you take this in the manner in which I intend it: eat real chocolate. Please don’t eat unknown vegetable fats. I suspect it’s palm oil in here (or worse, partially hydrogenated palm oil), and as a diabetic you’re at much higher risk for cardiovascular disease and palm oil is a known contributor.

    On the other hand, really good chocolate might actually be good for you and the very dark stuff has a low glycemic index.

    If you live in an area near Trader Joe’s they sell excellent quality, high cacao content chocolate at a very reasonable price. If you’re a fan of See’s, you should try the chocolate that it’s made from, Guittard, which can also be purchased reasonably in the baking section.

    I agree that the current labels are not as helpful as they should be. (That’s one of the reasons that all candies included here are calculated with the same portion - the number of calories per ounce.)

    Comment by Cybele on 11/18/09 at 8:14 pm #
  24. Nothing taken amiss, I assure you. I do live near a Trader Joe’s. My companion brought back some of their dark choc last week. It tasted like I was eating my own socks. I’d rather die happy eating Swedish Marabou, Swiss Lindt, or English Cadbury’s. Or Brazilian Regal Dynasty. Even after consuming copious amounts of RD, my last A1C was an acceptable 7.3%. When I was first diagnosed with T2DM, about 3 years ago, it was 10.8%.

    Upon that diagnosis, I started eating sugar-free cookies and candies. And friends started plying me with same. Bad, bad, bad. I have since learned that SF cookies are still made with refined flour (Hey, they’re COOKIES, folks!), and SF candies often contain maltitol, a sure-fire stomach irritant. So now I eat anything I want so long as it doesn’t taste like socks, but in tiny quantities.

    Damned if I know what I’m gonna do for Thanksgiving, though. I’m invited by friends. I’ll have to take one teaspoonful each of mashpots, cran dressing, and pumpkin pie, while concealing scads of white turkey-meat in a doggie-bag. (Just kidding. I wouldn’t bring a doggie-bag to my friends’ feast, would I?)

    Comment by Peter M on 11/19/09 at 1:29 am #
  25. I have not been able find where this EU chocolate is made or the distribution source. I am down to my last 15 bars from the 30 plus I had accumulated when Walgreens began to sell it off. Maybe its under a different name now.
    If anyone has an answer please post it.
    Craig in Florida

    Comment by Craig Meshaw on 12/12/09 at 3:45 pm #
  26. Please, please let me know where I can get Regal Dynasty Dark & Milk Chocolate. this is the only Chocolate I like.My Husband likes the Milk Chocolate

    Comment by Inge Schmidt on 12/14/09 at 8:40 am #
  27. they have about 10 bars,but not dark

    Comment by ron on 1/02/10 at 6:06 pm #
  28. I am now down to my last six bars of Regal Dynasty and, have not been able to locate the manufacturing site in Poland or anywhere else.
    Does anyone have new information?
    Craig in Florida

    Comment by Craig meshaw on 1/03/10 at 6:50 am #
  29. My family loves this candy bar.
    It is not bitter like so many dark bars, the price is perfect,and it may not be chocolate, but the flavor is more like rich chocolate than so many of the pricier bars out there. I wish we could find out who today is carrying it, although it is reasonable to suspect it simply is not being imported in the USA anymore.1-20-10

    Comment by Peggy Obrecht on 1/20/10 at 7:04 am #

    Comment by tony on 1/25/10 at 1:41 pm #
  31. If anyone goes to Poland please look for the factory. The wrapper says it was produced in Poland.
    My local Walgreen’s must have found snother box in the back room, and I happened along at the right time. I bought all they had in the box (32) at 37 cents per bar, so now my supply is up to 35 bars.
    However, I am still searching and hope you are too.

    Comment by Craig meshaw on 1/25/10 at 2:54 pm #
  32. This dark chocolate candy bar is well liked by WW2 Ex P.O.W. Captured -February 16, 1944 Anzio Beach, Italy Liberated -April 26, 1945.  I am looking for a supply for him.  A very helpful Walgreens asst. mgr indicated it was discontinued by Walgreens in Sept. 2009 and the factory stopped producing them.  If anyone finds out that the factory makes them under a different label, or whatever, please post the information here.  Good luck to you all.

    Comment by miguel de los perros on 2/01/10 at 5:21 pm #
  33. please let me know where this candy is sold in sa tx or where i can order it my father is elderly and really loves this candy

    Comment by sylvia ann on 2/05/10 at 5:11 pm #
  34. I have been buying the Regal Dynasty European Chocolate Dark Chocolate from Walgreens for over 10 YEARS, and I don’t mean just a couple of bars. I usually buy 10 at a time. What do we have to do to get Walgreens to start bringing this awesome chocolate back to the store. If you know of any other store or website that I can buy this Dark Chocolate, please let me know. I went to Walgreens and pleaded that they renew their stock of your Regal Dynasty European Chocolate (all the different kinds you make, but the Dark Chocolate) the most. My body actually craves the dark chocolate. Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated. If it could be sold in other stores, that would be great too.

    Comment by Jenny Evers on 2/09/10 at 6:51 am #
  35. I am disappointed that Walgreens does not sell Royal Dynasty chocolate….bought it for years…in quanity and have given it as gifts.  Please bring it back.

    Comment by KarenAnn on 3/07/10 at 11:54 am #
  36. I have given up trying to find this Candy Bar. So, I am now buying Hershey’s SPECIAL DARK CHOCOLATE.

    Comment by Craig Meshaw on 4/26/10 at 7:54 am #
  37. We now buy the Aldi’s dark chocolate.  It is much better than the Hershey’s made-in-China candy.  There must be a reason Walgreen’s stopped ordering the Regal Dynasty bar, but there are still a lot of disappointed people and Walgreen’s doesn’t seem to care about us.  Good luck to you all.

    Comment by miguel de los perros on 6/08/10 at 7:23 am #
  38. Cybele's avatar

    Miguel - I’m glad you found a new chocolate that’s a good substitute. I actually prefer Aldi’s house brand chocolate bars (Moser Roth or Choceur). It’s much better quality and still a good price.

    One point of information - Hershey’s does not make their chocolate in China. They’ve outsourced quite a bit of it, but it’s still made in the United States and another facility in Mexico does the processing. (However, Hershey’s does make products for China in China.)

    Comment by Cybele on 6/08/10 at 7:51 am #
  39. Where do you find this chocolate???  Have not seen it the stores   I have looked at… “Aldi’s dark chocolate”

    Comment by Nancy T on 6/08/10 at 9:01 am #
  40. Thanks for the comment, Cybele.  I had purchased the small bar assortment of Hersheys chocolates with the Goodbar, Krackle and milk and dark chocolates.  The milk chocolates tasted odd, and it clearly said “Made in China” on the package (not printed in China).  Distribution network has probably changed since they started manufacturing in China.  I’ll be more careful now whenever I think about buying Hershey products.
    And the Aldi’s dark chocolate Choceur brand you mentioned is the one we selected.  Very good price when on sale, without the odd taste.

    Comment by miguel de los perros on 6/08/10 at 8:01 pm #
  41. hi i luv candy, so i think its amazing you have a blog. i have written many buh neva like dis one. great job. luv ur creativity. by the was my fave chocolate is snickers and ma fave candy is jolly ranchers

    Comment by yasmine on 6/11/10 at 10:11 am #
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