Jun 3, 2013

Loco for Coco Polo!

I'm a chocoholic, I get that from my mom.

Dark chocolate is my absolute favorite, especially when it has stuff in it - like nuts, caramel, etc. And lucky for me, chocolate is actually good for me! It's a great source of antioxidants, but the beneficial effects of that can definitely be hampered by all the sugar in many mainstream brands of chocolate.

Sugar isn't evil and is fine for now and then, but I eat a lot of chocolate. So I was excited to hear that there's a brand of stevia-sweetened chocolate on the market: Coco Polo!

The chocolate is sold as full-sized bars, like the one in the center of the above photograph, but I also got a bunch of small, sample-sized bars to review.

They put an emphasis on natural, whole foods, focusing their chocolate bars on non-GMO ingredients and keeping the ingredients list nice and short (extremely rare in low sugar products).

They have both dark and milk chocolate varieties.

Coco Polo Dark Chocolate Varieties
Even their milk chocolate is darker than the typical milk chocolate bar, with a pretty high cacao percentage. The dark chocolate is 70% cacao and the milk chocolate is 39% cacao.

Coco Polo
As you can see, they have a lot of different varieties of both their milk and their dark chocolate! I really enjoyed that variety, because my favorite way to eat chocolate is with stuff in it.

The bars were very variable in how much of the 'extra' ingredients they had in them. The dark elderberry bar sample didn't have a single elderberry in it! It was a small sample size, however, so the full-sized bar probably (hopefully) has more. The cacao nib bars on the other hand, were studded with plenty of flavorful nibs.

Dark with Cacao Nibs
The dark almond also had two large almonds in it (YUM) adn the dark cherry (my favorite!) was a thicker piece of chocolate than the others, with a big, sweet-tart cherry in the middle.

The flavor combinations were tasty, even if the extra ingredients were sparse. But what decides whether chocolate is good is ultimately the quality of the chocolate in the bar, not of the extra ingredients (they're 'extra' for a reason).

Coco Polo nails it! 

The milk chocolate bars are creamy and sweet. 

The dark bars are also creamy and sweet, but with a more intense cocoa flavor. The chocolate isn't as intense as some dark chocolate bars, so if you're used to super dark chocolate, this might not quite do it for you. I thought it was delicious, however, and great for most people. 

Both the dark and the milk chocolate are also free of any sort of alternative sweetener-associated bitterness or aftertaste!

Even a friend of mine, who hates stevia (she thinks it tastes soapy), said that she really enjoyed the chocolate. When I told her that it's sweetened with stevia, she said she didn't believe me! 

I mean, look at that smooth, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. Don't you want it? Yum.

What is your favorite sweet treat - chocolate, candy, ice cream, or baked goods?

Do you prefer plain chocolate or chocolate with lots of add-ins?

How often do you eat chocolate? Everyday! Usually several times a day.

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