the Chocolate Lover's Diary

A diary concerning all kinds of chocolate. Here I'll comment on chocolate websites and post test protocolls as well as write about other subjects tied to my favourite pastime. I'll test chocolate of all varieties, from the cheap bars at the shop around the corner to the criollo pralines from Fortnum & Mason.

Location: Uppsala, Uppland, Sweden

Indoor gardener and christian chocolate lover with too many interests at hand. In my non digital life I spend most of my time playing in the SCA.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Notes from the brown book; Fair Trade Chocolate

Oh yes, about two months ago I made an excursion and visited Globalen, a small shop in Uppsala specialising in being good. I'm not pretty fond of people trying to lecture, but I do think a fairtrade mark on my chocolate adds to the taste. Or perhaps it's the other way around; the glamour and fun with the chocolate would be spoiled if I got to know that the farmers growing the cocoa were underpaid and suffered. That's all there is to it, and I want to eat my chocolate without a lecture.

However, I bought four dark chocolate bars to see what the fairtrade section had to offer. Here's the test results

Oxfam fairtrade

Fondant Negro


Click: Crumbles eventhough it's warm (the test was made during a day with +30* C )
Bitterness: Vague
Sweetness: High
Mouth feeling: Smooth and nice
Hot chocolate: -
Allergic friendly: Probably

Commentaries: A nice presentation, a true "bar". Probably made for a hot climate (?). The test was made on an extremely hot day. Good as a goodies chocolate, good beginners dark chocolate. TASTES GOOD.
Minus: The wrapping looks like a small political manifesto - a happy african in ragged clothes...

Green and Black's


Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids

Click: Soft
Bitterness: Low, but a clearly distinguishable level of resin (furtree)
Sweetness: Low
Mouth feeling: Crumbly
Hot chocolate: -
Allergic friendly: No

Presentation: Comes in one big piece of 20g. You are probably supposed to chew it from one end to the other. Very soft (hot day). Sharp aroma. Doesn't work as [goodies]
Plus: Elegant wrapping


Extra dark

Amargo Extra


Click: Somewhat crumbly
Bitterness: Middle
Sweetness: Mild but distinguishable
Mouth feeling: Somewhat rough
Hot chocolate: Dissolves slowly on hot milk. Two piecies are too few for a cup.
Allergic friendly: No

Commentary: The chocolate bar looks excactly the same as Snack Eco [below]. Mostly sour. The higher percentage of cocoa do make a difference.
Plus: Elegant wrapping

Snack Eco


Dark chocolate

at least 55%

Click: Soft
Bitterness: More like smokey
Sweetness: Pretty high
Mouth feeling: Soft with rough afterfeeling
Hot chocolate: Works well in hot milk, but requires a high dosage
Allergic friendly: No

Presentation - good looking elegant bar. The taste is smokey, sour and of resin, but hardly of chocolate; do taste more of unrefined suger than of cocoa. Hardly worth it.
Minus: the wrapping looks like a small political manifesto. [The wrapping was covered with the fair trade badge, blown up to gigantic dimensions.]

To sum up: Oxfam is the true winner of the test but I do suggest that you tear off the paper wrapping as fast as you could (whatever the good intentions are behind putting workers on it the results are a chocolate that looks boring and that the chocolate in reality are sold on other peoples bad luck, ie. the cocoa workers that are not involved Oxfam programs).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Siel said...

Nice roundup of reviews on fair trade chocolate! Thanks for this :) You know, I was curious about your religious beliefs, especially in light of your political leanings. Do you find your pro-choice, pro-gay rights stance to be at odds with your Christian beliefs? I'm v. honestly interested -- Although I'm an atheist, my mother is a very, very devout Christian, and my father (he died) was a preacher and missionary. I guess I often feel that the "church" tends to be both homophobic and patriarchal. How do you mediate between the two?

6:33 AM  

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