Being a chocolate addict, it would have been a fairly standard assumption that I would start with chocolate. Made by the company, Plamil, 'No Added Sugar Chocolate' is dairy free, gluten free, made with no added sugar, egg or animal ingredients, and produced under controlled conditions where no nuts are used. Therefore it's suitable for vegetarians, including vegans, coeliacs, and those who wish to avoid added sugar. It's sweetened with xylitol instead, which apparently has oral health benefits. Double-whammy for the health department!
No Added Sugar Chocolate is a dark chocolate, containing approx. 272.7 calories in every bar (for the more weight conscious individual). When I found out that I was lactose intolerant, a number of people told me that it'd be ok, because you get used to dark chocolate, its an acquired taste. To be honest, I actually enjoy dark chocolate though, and as dark chocolate goes, taste wise, this is a pretty good one. It has a nice rich taste, and doesn't have the fake taste that you'd expect from an everything-free product. Especially from a sugar-free product, which often get a bad reputation in the taste department. I enjoyed the taste of this chocolate though.
Texture-wise, it's a rougher chocolate than I'm used to. It's got a slight grainy texture to it, and doesn't feel like it's melting so much as dissolving or crumbling apart in your mouth when you bite or chew it. I would point out, that it wasn't an unpleasant texture either, just different to the creamy kind of texture that I prefer. I found that I got a slightly strange aftertaste about 20 minutes after eating it, however, again, it wasn't an unpleasant aftertaste.
I was genuinely surprised by this product, because I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. I didn't think about it afterwards as a chocolate alternative, just as an option for a choice of dark chocolate for the future. I'd give it an 8 out of 10, with marks lost for the slightly strange texture and after-taste.
I am looking forward to trying more of their products, which is good... as I have one of their mint chocolate bars waiting patiently for my attention.
Plamil is a UK company, based in Kent. On their website they list a range of different products as well as chocolate, such as carob, spreads, mayo, milk alternatives and ice-creams. In their chocolate section, they also have a number of ranges, including Dairy Free, No Added Sugar, Organic and Luxury. All products are available to purchase on their website. On their news section of the website you can find occasional special offers as well as competitions. More chocolate for your money. Fun fact: they are an environmentally aware company, using 100% renewable energy resources. Environment win! Their website can be found here.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I cannot stress how much I love dairy. Chocolate, cheese, yoghurt, milk, scones.... I can't even begin to describe it. But I was feeling unwell for the last few months, and there's only a certain amount of it that I could take. So I got a food intolerance test, and last week I got the unfortunate, but probably in the long-term good news that I am lactose intolerant. And that means a massive diet overhall. Because, honestly speaking, dairy products, or at least products that have dairy in them make up about half of what I eat every day. Not to mention the fact that there's a sneaky amount of dairy as a coating in unlikely products like crisps.
I know that there a lot of dairy-free alternatives on the market. However, there is a large amount of hit and miss involved in buying nice dairy-free alternatives. Especially chocolate. And considering the price of dairy-free products, in Ireland at least, if you're going to spend that amount, you at least want to enjoy the product.
So this is my record of my taste-testings, as well as any dairy-free recipes that I try out. Any suggestions or comments are appreciated!