Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate

I have been excited about trying this chocolate since I saw it at my parent's house over Easter (thank you, Mum, for letting me know it existed).

The long lead up to me buying the chocolate, and then tasting it, could have resulted in my expectations being dangerously inflated and the product being unable to live up to my excessive hopes. Really, it could have ended terribly. The disappointment would have been shattering.

I am delighted to report that hopes were not dashed. Disappointment had no cause to arise. In short, I was thrilled with this chocolate.

It might almost be going in the Best Chocolate Ever Category, which is a big call to make after one purchase. Do note, however, that I say category. No single chocolate can take the title of Best Chocolate Ever, in my indecisive, what-if-I-get-it-wrong world.

But back to the chocolate.

The Alter Eco range includes 7 dark chocolate varieties, and provide a higher cocoa content than most brands. This block had 61%, but the Dark Blackout has 85% and the Dark Cacao blends 73% with roasted cacao nibs.

The Dark Quinoa block impressed me with a short ingredients list: cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and rice-quinoa crisps. No dairy, soy, or emulsifiers. Also nothing I hadn't heard of.

Happily, the use of just four ingredients didn't translate to a simple flavour. I will go out on a limb and say that I don't think I have tasted a richer, deeper dark chocolate than this. At the same time, the taste wasn't over-powering or too rich, as I find to be the case with some dark chocolates. The taste was like being enclosed in chocolate, if that makes sense to anyone other than me. I know it probably doesn't. I won't be giving up my day job to be a food reviewer anytime soon :P

The contrast of the deep chocolate flavour with the light, crisp quinoa puffs added an element of excitement to the block, and contributed to the overall experience being as good as it was.

What is more, there is (happily) no skimping on the puffs.

Whilst not at all visible from the top, and only slightly visible from the side, turning the block over reveals just how much quinoa is there to be enjoyed.

My partner (who has decided he would like to be known as Mr Bite :D) also enjoyed this, which is impressive when considering that he usually likes his dark chocolate in the 40 - 50% cocoa range.

What is more, he followed his taste of this with Cadbury Black Forest milk chocolate, and reported that Cadbury did not come off well at all in comparison.

All of which means, I will definitely be buying more, and I suspect branching out to other flavours too.

I found this in the Perth city Oxfam store, but the Alter Eco website confirms that products are available around Perth, and Australia more generally.

Whilst I haven't yet mentioned the fair trade nature of this block, it is, of course, an added bonus. It also makes the $5.95 / 100g price tag seem worthwhile, especially as other blocks can approach that without being fair trade.


  1. Kari, it's so funny that you mentioned this chocolate to me, because a friend just sent it to me from America! You're therefore off the hook ;) So glad you loved it so much - can't wait to try and then blog it myself :D

  2. @Hannah
    That is a brilliant coincidence :D I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. I'll look forward to your (no doubt more insightful and adult) review when it appears!

  3. I'm so excited you've posted this! Sounds delicious! I've tried some horrible fair-trade choc lately but I'm going to get this, the quinoa puffs are just my thing! Thank you :)

  4. Wow, I am seriously intrigued. I love the really dark chocolate and would love to try it, and if you say this falls into the Best category, I think it must be good.

  5. @Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock
    Horrible chocolate is always such a disappointment...hopefully you can find this near you and it will make up for it :)

  6. @Carolyn
    "Seriously intrigued" was my take on it when I first saw it - I'd really never thought of quinoa in a chocolate. But yes, it is pretty good (or at least to my tastes)! Hopefully you can stumble across some and see what you think.


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