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Flavor: Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts and Currants|Change
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Green & Black's is my new favorite dark chocolate--by a mile. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to eat dark chocolate either for the health benefits it provides or for its delicately bittersweet flavor. This particular brand of dark chocolate tastes amazing.

The company G&B is from Canada and is famous for organic, fair-trade, 70% dark chocolate. This particular bar has had the same recipe since 1998. It was previously labeled "vegan," but per the G&B website, the label for this bar no longer says vegan and indicates that milk is an ingredient because both their "milk chocolate and dark chocolate bars are made using the same production line...and a recent audit revealed that traces of milk residues can still be found on manufacturing equipment despite intensive cleaning." The ingredients listed on the package are: organic bittersweet chocolate (organic chocolate), organic raw cane sugar; organic cocoa butter; soy lecithin (emulsifier), organic vanilla extract; organic whole milk powder. There is a warning that because this is manufactured in a facility that uses nuts and peanuts, those with allergies to them should not eat this product.

The question some may ask who love sweet, milk chocolate is, why pay more money (often quite a bit more) for dark chocolate such as this that doesn't taste sweet? The main reason for most people in the over-50 crowd is the health benefits to be gained from consuming dark chocolate. The more chocolate contained in a chocolate bar, the more of the good stuff--cacao--that you are getting. In short, the more "bang" for your "buck."

Over the last four years there have been dozens of scientific studies analyzing and confirming substantial health benefits from a small amount of dark chocolate consumed daily. The latest findings from a Harvard study released in early 2011 indicate that as little as 6 gm. of dark chocolate (about 30 calories) is a sufficient daily "dose." (That is equivalent to about 1.5 of the tiny squares of this chocolate.) The original German studies in 2007 used Ritter Sport chocolate, but I haven't so far been able to discover which kind of Ritter's dark chocolate was used by the researchers. However, since Ritter's only makes two types, 50% cacao and 71% cacao, this product, at 70% cocoa, fits well within the parameters of that study.

The health benefits of dark chocolate are due to the flavonoids contained in cocoa. Flavonoids act as antioxidants in the body, which both prevent and reduce inflammation. Over many years of medical research, inflammation has been found to contribute to or directly cause a host of diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer, as well as autoimmune diseases like arthritis.

Flavonoids are found in the pigments of fruits and vegetables which give them their color. The darker and deeper the color of a fruit or vegetable, the greater the amount of flavonoids it contains. Cocoa is derived from the dark-brown cacao bean, which is the fruit of the tropical tree, theobroma cacao. In any chocolate product, such as this one, the higher the percentage of cocoa/cacao, the more flavonoids the chocolate contains.

Dark chocolate such as this product is better for your health than milk chocolate because it contains more antioxidants, which are good for you, and less sugar, which is not good for you--especially if you have diabetes or are struggling with your weight.

The FDA defines categories of chocolate based on how much cocoa/cacao is in a given product:
1. Unsweetened chocolate with no additives is 100% cocoa. Most all brands of unsweetened baker's chocolate fall into this category. Their ingredient list will state simply, "chocolate."
2. Bittersweet chocolate contains 35-99% cocoa (35% is the minimum), and it must contain less than 12% milk solids. There is a large range of products in this category, and the product names reflect the amount of chocolate they contain. Unsweetened chocolate is very bitter, and the more cocoa in a product, the less room for sugar, and the more bitter it will be. In order to avoid frightening off customers who are used to sweet chocolate, marketers often substitute the words "dark," "extra dark" or "intense" for "bitter" if that word is not paired with "sweet," for example as "bittersweet" or "extra bittersweet." This product lies at the top of this range.
3. Sweet chocolate contains 15-34% cocoa (15% is the minimum), and it must contain less than 12% milk solids. It is sometimes also marketed as "dark chocolate," even though it has a much lower percentage of cocoa solids than bittersweet, which can cause consumers, in such cases, to purchase a product with less cocoa in it than they realized they were getting. Everything else besides the cocoa and milk solids is essentially sugar.
4. Milk chocolate is only required to have a minimum of 10% cocoa, a minimum of 12% milk solids and 3.39% milk fat. The rest is sugar and milk.
11 comment|36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 29, 2013
This is an excellent bar of chocolate. For those of you concerned about milk content, it does not actually contain milk. It is listed on the label as a courtesy for those with a milk allergy because of the chance of cross contamination with their milk chocolate bars. From the FAQ's on their website asking if it is an ingredient:

"No, the decision to show milk as an ingredient was very hard and debated for a long time. Unfortunately we can not guarantee that our dark chocolate will be free from traces of milk as it is made on the same production line and we have therefore included it as an ingredient to ensure consumers, especially milk allergy sufferers, are aware of the possibility."
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on December 19, 2009
Be careful what supplier you select because returns aren't allowed. I had ordered this chocolate several times via Amazon. From Amazon directly, the G&B bars (made in Canada) arrived promptly. Then in late 2009 my first (and last) order, fulfilled Nutricity, arrived a month after the order had been placed, and then only after an inquiry to the seller. The bars were dry, stale and hard, the color of cocoa powder rather than chocolate bars. Although the bars still had 10 months to go before expiration of the sell-by date on the wrappers, they were a disgrace to the good name of G&B. It may be that they had been stored improperly, or that the single paper wrapper used in the Italian plant (the Canadian maker uses an inner foil wrap) allowed too much air to get to the bars. I ground them for hot chocolate, but they were unsuitable for eating directly and very similar in quality to the bars one sometimes finds at mass-market outlets that resell overstock from other retailers. Two years later I tried again, but had the same experience. The order was fulfilled by a different Amazon supplier, not Amazon itself. Again, the bars were stale and appeared to have been improperly stored (although they did arrive promptly.) In the future I will use a supplier with which Kraft (owner of Cadbury, owner of G&B) seems to have better quality control --- my local grocer.
88 comments|94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon June 12, 2009
I always said I hated white "chocolate" until I tried this. I guess I never really had true white chocolate before. This stuff is sweet, creamy and delicious! You have to really want something sweet though. It doesn't satisfy my craving for chocolate, but when dark chocolate just wont due (because I'm wanting something much sweeter) I like to nibble on both this white chocolate & intense dark chocolate creating a enjoyable snack! The best of both worlds.
My one complaint is the non organic soy lecithin. They don't say it's GMO free and soy lecithin is available in it's organic form (it didn't used to be) so there is no excuse not to make the switch. Finding non-organic ingredients in certified organic foods is a big peeve of mine.
Aside from that, yum yum all the way. If you've only had the cheap versions of white chocolate you don't know what your missing!

Update: Green & Black's is now owned by Kraft. I will no longer be purchasing Green & Black's products.
77 comments|25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 27, 2015
It arrived spoiled and discolored. I have ordered this chocolate before and have not been disappointed. I bought a package and handed them out to my employees today for a special treat. Tonight I opened a bar and I am horrified. It is spoiled and discolored. How embarrassing that I gave them out as gifts. What a disaster!
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on November 1, 2011
Though the date on the package expires a year out, the candy is hard, bloomed with pale edges, and lacking the nuances I enjoy about this particular brand. I saved about forty cents per bar buying a ten pack, but it's not worth it. I'll buy them locally, and enjoy the freshness.
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on January 24, 2010
This is probably the best dark chocolate that I have eaten. 85% is definitely something one has to acquire a taste for, but once you're there, this is outstanding. I much prefer it to the 70%, which now tastes a little too sweet to my palate. Out of several fine chocolate makers- Godiva, Lindt, and Scharfen-Berger- Green & Black's has probably got the finest overall taste.
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on November 24, 2013
Green & Black's Organic Chocolate is owned by Cadbury which, in turn, is owned by Kraft. They contributed heavily to defeat GMO labeling in the states of California and Washington. Because Kraft has so corrupted the intentions of the founder of Green & Black's Organic, he has been trying to buy it back. If you support ORGANIC foods, do not buy this brand. Kraft is in it only for the money.
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on November 6, 2011
I ordered this chocolate from Nutricity. Although I have no problems with the speed of the delivery, or the way the items were packaged, somewhere along the line, Nutricity did not store them well. DO NOT ORDER FROM NUTRICITY. The chocolate is dried out and discolored. It crumbles in your mouth and has a bitter, astringent taste. In comparison, I just picked up a bar at Wegmans. The color of the chocolate is darker and more consistent than the bars from Nutricity. The bar from Wegmans melts in your mouth and has complex undertones that I can't find words to describe yet. If I hadn't tried the comparison, I would have said that Green & Black's chocolate was pretty poor. However, the bar from Wegman's is a completely different chocolate. So, do not order from Nutricity, but do try Green & Blacks. I rate the chocolate from Wegmans a 5.
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Many things that people think of as "white chocolate" are actually confectionery coating---they have no cocoa butter in them at all. Even real white chocolate often has a chalky taste depending on the quality of the other ingredients. Green & Black's White Chocolate with Vanilla is the one type of white chocolate I've tried that never, ever has that chalky taste. It's unbelievably buttery, rich, and smooth, with specks of real vanilla throughout.

Here's my favorite way to use G&B: heat up a cup and a half of whole milk to scalding hot (microwaving it works fine). Break up one bar of G&B white chocolate into small pieces. Whisk the pieces into the milk until smooth, then pour into two small mugs or glasses and serve. You could also add a shot of flavor syrup, a couple drops of natural almond extract, or a bit of liqueur to the drink for variety.
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