Monday, November 7, 2011

Canadian-Made All Natural Chocolate Truffle Bars

Yesterday it was American chocolate, but today it is distinctly Canadian.

I was at my local IDA on Saturday and spotted a new set of chocolate bars that I had not seen there before: Barkleys Chocolate Truffle Bars made in Richmond, British Columbia.  What had caught my eye was the large "All Natural" written on the package.  I am all about "all natural" when it comes to chocolate, so I was excited to see a truffle bar collection claiming to be made of only natural ingredients. You see, it is rare to find all-natural packaged chocolate truffle on store shelves because traditional truffle is made from chocolate mixed with cream and/or butter, two ingredients that have a limited shelf life (my own chocolate TOFFLE is made with real cream, and therefore only has a 10 day shelf life).  So commercial manufacturers will usually replace these ingredients with hydrogenated oils and all sorts of unnatural ingredients in order to recreate the smooth texture of truffle that lasts long enough to sit on store shelves for months.

So I bought all three Barkleys Truffle bars: "Double Dark", "Mint" and "Hazelnut".  I have to say, I liked all three chocolate bars.  The Double Dark Truffle Bar had a smooth centre and melted in your mouth.  It definitely tasted different than a truffle made with cream and butter. Truffle made with coconut oil tends to be a little stiffer, but melts faster when heated, which is why they melt so nicely in our mouths (think Lindt/Lindor Chocolate Truffles which are made with coconut oil and palm kernel oil). The Hazelnut had an added mouth-watering quality, as all chocolate with hazelnut butter tends to have. I found that it was difficult for me not to eat the entire bar in one sitting.

My favourite of the three was the Mint. It is incredibly minty flavoured and just melts in your mouth.  It is similar to the Double Dark, but the sweet mint flavour just makes you keep coming back for more.  It sort of tastes like those little individually wrapped Alpine chocolates with the mint centre, only it is made with all natural ingredients and is much healthier.

So what have I taken away from this tasting experience?  Good tasting chocolate truffle that is both all natural and long-lasting is available, and it is made in Canada!  It is also very accessible to the general population, since I found it at my local I.D.A. pharmacy.  If you are looking for more all-natural chocolate truffle with a long shelf life, check out my review of Truffle Pigs, another all natural chocolate truffle that is made in British Columbia.

Below are the details from the packages of the three chocolate bars that I tasted today. Although the web site was not listed on the package, I found it online: www.barkleys.ca  and is worth a visit if you are into all natural confections; they have a few other products that may be of interest, including a brand of organic chocolate truffle bars.

Barkleys Chocolate Truffle Bar "Double Dark", 50g/1.76oz
Barkleys Canada, Richmond, B.C.
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, coconut oil, butter oil, soy lecithin, natural vanilla. This product contains soy ingredient and may contain milk, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, and wheat.

Barkleys Chocolate Truffle Bar "Hazelnut", 50g/1.76oz
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, hazelnuts, cocoa mass, coconut oil, soy lecithin, natural vanilla. This product contains  milk, tree nuts, soy ingredient, and may contain peanuts, eggs, and wheat.

Barkleys Chocolate Truffle Bar "Mint", 50g/1.76oz
Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa mass*, cocoa butter*, coconut oil,butter oil, soy lecithin, natural flavours. *Contains 49% min cocoa solids. This product contains milk and soy ingredients. May contain peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.

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