Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Politics of Chocolate

I am definitely going to culinary hell. And now social/political hell as well.

I know everyone is screaming about organic this and organic that. But when I look at the giant, gorgeous, colorful non-organic apples and the puny, creepy-looking, dull organic apples - I say "Give me chemicals!"

But, hey, I try to keep an open mind - especially where chocolate is concerned. So today I'll review Dagoba Organic Chocolate (these are both organic and politically correct Hershey bought this small Oregon chocolate company back in 2006. I bought four bars to check out:

Let's start with the Lavender bar - described as lavender, dark chocolate and blueberries. I just don't like to eat lavender - it tastes like a soap or a sachet to me. Bleech. Apparently my palate is just not that developed (heathen that I am!).

These bars may be too kumbaya for me. I don't need a social message with my chocolate. The wrapper has a Full Circle Sustainability Tip: Grow and share your own herbs and medicinal plants for extra health and happiness. (Yeah, it's all fun and games until someone is poisoned.)

Next we'll go to Xocolatl (named after a chocolate drink created by the Aztecs). Contains dark chocolate, chilies and nibs. Too bitter for me - one step above eating dirt. I like sweets and this is an anti-sweet. (We've come a long way from the Aztecs, baby.)

Kumbaya Sustainability Tip on this wrapper - Carpool, bike and use public transit to reduce carbon emissions and turn back the tide of global warming. (It never occurred to me to do any of those things! Thank God I bought this candy bar! I'm joining Greenpeace!)

And let's remember the Aztec's idea of sustainability was human sacrifice. Ah, sweet irony!

Next bar is Mon Cherri - dark chocolate, berries and vanilla. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. I had high hopes for this bar, but was let down. Chocolove has a Cherries and Almonds bar that blows this one away.

The final bar is Super Fruit containing the very trendy acai, goji berries and currants. This was my favorite of the bars. (That's really not saying much.) The fruit content seemed to make this one more flavorful. It also was the only bar that listed at the end of the ingredients list - and of course, love. So maybe it was the love I was tasting.

At the risk of being completely politically incorrect, I'm going to say that I prefer my chocolate to taste great and I don't care about it being organic or politically correct. I don't buy my candy to get tips on saving the world. Now, if you like that stuff - buy Dagoba!!! If you want really good chocolate, I think there are many better choices.

And if someone offers you medicinal plants, just say no.


Heidi said...

Thank goodness you are sampling these things so that WE DON'T HAVE TO.
This weekend I was given a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms, and may I just say for the record ... although a lot of chocolate snobs would say, "How Bourgeois," (or worse), nothing but nothing beats a tried and true good old fashioned American chocolate recipe, kicked up a little with a dark chocolate edge and presented in a nice purple bag for those of us who are the kid at heart.
I agree with you -- too many times people try to align themselves with the latest social trend, but their efforts are just hollow and flat -- and the resulting recipe tastes like -- how did you put it? -- BLEACH.

Leann said...

Hi! Love your review of the organic chocolate. I've tried a ton and find the words "barnyard" and "dirt" always come up. But, with that being said, as an employee at Lake Champlain Chocolates, I feel compelled to offer up our Organic Bars for sampling. While I'm not really on the organic train personally, I love the sea salt and almond and I think at least one of our four bars might either be the exception that proves the rule or perhaps shows where the latest in gourmet organic chocolate is going. It tooks us years to be happy with an organic chocolate so I don't offer them up lightly. :-) I'd love to send over samples if you're up for it. We even now have organic chocolate truffles. Cheers, Leann

Denise Ryan said...

Ha, ha! Leann, you are hilarious! And I LOVE Lake Champlain Chocolates - I would be thrilled to sample your organic bars!!