Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peanut free 76% artisan dark chocolate

I always love to find chocolate that I can put into categories which meet people's specific needs. For example, I recently wrote about chocolate containing no soya lecithin, which can be eaten by people who are allergic to soy, or who are watching their soy intake.  Peanut-free chocolate is a similar category.  Most chocolate manufacturers make the claim on their packaging: "May contain peanuts" or "Made in a facility that processes peanuts", leaving people who have peanut allergies with nearly no chance of tasting any fine chocolate at all!  However, I have found one artisan chocolate bar that guarantees their chocolate to be peanut-free: OLIVIA chocolat.

This chocolate bar is very thin and although the package looks like it might contain a 100 gram chocolate bar, it really has only 50 grams in it.  So you can see it in one of two ways:  it's a trick to make you think you are getting more chocolate for your money than you actually are, or this chocolate bar is great for portion control.

The chocolate is very smooth, as promised on the package with mention of their "Granite Stone Mélanger" that refines for 72 hours to "...unveil unparalleled smoothness...". They also tell us that they use a mix of Criollo and Trinitario cocoa beans, meaning they use the two finest of the three varieties of cocoa beans available. I will agree that the chocolate is very smooth and has a sweetness to it that is unexpected given that it is has 76% cocoa solids.  There is a strong flavour of cocoa butter and definitely more than a hint of real vanilla.

Overall, it's nice.  The only problem is: I think the retailer displayed this chocolate bar in direct sunlight.  I bought a few of the Olivia flavoured bars at the same time as this one, and clearly they had been melted by sunlight, which may be affecting the flavour as well. It was a shame, they offered some interesting flavours that I had been looking forward to.

So if you are someone who loves fine dark chocolate, but needs it to be peanut-free - try the Olivia Chocolat brand of chocolate bars. Here are the stats on this chocolate:

OLIVIA chocolat Artisan 76% cocoa, 50 grams
Olivia Chocolatiers, CSP 76002 Gall DÁylmer, Quebec, Canada
Ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic sugar cane, organic cocoa butter, soya lecithin and vanilla bean.  Produced in a facility that uses wheat, eggs, milk, tree nuts and sulphites. May contain traces of these ingredients.  Out chocolate is peanut free.



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