Both the flavour and smell of an orange always causes a mixed reaction. Many a person cannot stand to be in the same room as a freshly peeled orange, particularly when that person is not the one who peeled it. The acidity and strength of its smell can turn a stomach in an instant. For others, a freshly peeled orange evokes the fresh smells of springtime, thoughts of vacationing in Florida or simply a refreshing breakfast in a sunny kitchen nook.
The same mixed reactions are revealed when presented with any combination of orange and chocolate. Many people who love this combination can not often have it, because their spouse or friends will instantly balk at the mere suggestion of a chocolate-orange truffle cake. I know at least one such couple, and surely if I were to bring home an orange-chocolate dessert, my husband would likely refuse to eat it.
However, the orange-chocolate lover can always indulge by oneself, in a flavoured chocolate bar. Of course, there has always been the milk chocolate orange that is intended as a stocking stuffer at Christmas time, which is marketed as a fun thing to eat because you can bang it on the table to unveil its "slices". But there are also many orange-infused chocolate bars on the market, including several environmentally friendly and "healthy" options. Two of these, available at least in the Canadian market, are Green & Black's Organic brand (also available in the U.K. since its manufacturer is based there) Maya Gold bar with 55% cocoa solids - a chocolate bar with both orange and other spices. The other that is readily available at health food stores and grocery stores these days is Camino Orange Dark Chocolate with 65% cocoa solids.
As you may have guessed, I am tasting both of these chocolate bars today. I have eaten both in the past, however, never at the same time. Now that I am tasting them against each other, I realize where my preferences truly lie. I always thought I loved the Maya Gold by Green & Blacks, but that is not proving to be the case today. When compared to the Camino bar, the Maya Gold is chalkier and much sweeter. Mind you, I do like the additional spices that Green & Blacks has added to this bar - a nice twist on traditional "Mayan" spiced chocolate where orange has been added to the heat of the spices. I also like that it is certified organic chocolate. But I offer a warning to anyone who eats dark chocolate because of a lactose or milk allergy, Green & Blacks Maya Gold does contain whole milk powder.
The Camino Orange bar is smooth and full-bodied in flavour, and I think that even those people who may not like orange and chocolate combinations may like this bar. The orange is not overpowering and there are no chewy candied orange zest bits that some manufacturers add to their chocolate bars (which can sometimes be nice, and at other times be unpleasant depending on the texture and bitterness in the candied orange).
To anyone who has read my blog more than once, hopefully you are are not tired of my regular comparisons of Camino (formerly known as Cocoa Camino) to other quality chocolate bars, but in my defense, I do have a large supply of these bars on hand regularly (being a reseller of their chocolate and customer of Camino because I use their organic couverture in my desserts and confection products). I also find their chocolate to offer a good comparison to other chocolate bars since they have a great range of flavours and because they offer the point of view of organic and fair trade. But I am replenishing my supply of fine chocolate bars every day from around the world and will soon be out of Camino flavours to taste and so, will be tasting other brands.
All that said, if you are one of those people who like orange and chocolate, or are interested in Camino or Green & Black's products, check out their web sites below. Happy New Year!
Green & Black's Organic Maya Gold (Dark chocolate with orange spices), 55% cocoa solids, 100 grams
Green & Black's Ltd., London, England
Ingredients: organic cocoa mass#, organic raw cane sugar#, organic cocoa butter#, soya lecithin, natural flavouring: fruit & spice extracts (o.1%), organic vanilla extract#, organic whole milk powder. #Fairtrade ingredients total 99%. Contains milk and soya ingredients. May contain traces of nuts & cereal. Suitable for vegetarians.
Camino Orange Dark Chocolate, 65% cocoa solids, 100 grams
La Siembra Co-operative, Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
Organic ingredients: cocoa mass*, golden cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, whole cane sugar*, orange essence, ground vanilla beans*. *Fair Trade certified. may contain traces of nuts, peanuts, soy and dairy products.
Contains 99.9* Fair Trade Certified (R) ingredients by dry weight.