As I am writing this post, we are about to enter the month of July, which means half of 2013 is over. My New Year’s Resolution was to blog more frequently. Ideally, I would be blogging 1-2 times per week. And yet, if you look at the dates of my posts, that hasn’t happened. 2013 has proven to be a busy year for me; much more so than I anticipated. A few times I’ve wondered if it is wiser to stop blogging. But then, I remember that my blog is my way to contribute to a little vegan activism and blogging sporadically is better than not blogging at all. So I say, “oh, well!” to my New Year’s Resolution and simply resolve to blog whenever time allows.
It also occurred to me that I haven’t spoken enough about one of my passions: chocolate (specifically, vegan chocolate)! So while I may have been away from my blog for a little while, I have been sampling some vegan-friendly chocolate to tell you about! So today I pick up where I left off with a review of a lovely little chocolate company called Bixby & Co.
Before I dive into the review, I encourage you to read my blog post on The Food Empowerment Project’s efforts to end slavery in the chocolate trade (yes – slavery still exists in some industries!). Also, The Food Empowerment Project has developed a smartphone app, available for both Apple and Android phones, to help you learn which brands create chocolate that is both vegan and slavery-free. I try as often as possible to purchase chocolate that is on the FEP’s “recommended” list, but since perfection does not exist, I simply say to use the information to educate yourself and make the best purchases your money and situation can afford. Having said that, let’s move onto the chocolate review!
Bixby & Co. started (as far as I could tell in my research) in the early part of 2012 and puts their emphasis on natural, organic, and non-gmo ingredients to create superb chocolate bars. What’s even more awesome is that several of their chocolate bars are vegan-friendly and are labeled as such on both their website and on the chocolate label. They even sell a “Vegan Pack“. I just love it when I see businesses use the V-word; too many brands are afraid to use it as they think it might deter others from checking out their products and instead opt to use the word “vegetarian”, which of course is not the same thing at all. So I love that a company like Bixby & Co., which is not a vegan company, actually uses the word vegan on their printed and digital advertising.
I purchased both the Whippersnapper and the Heart’s Delight at my local Whole Foods. The bars themselves are about 4 inches long by about 1 inch wide. They’re the perfect size for a lovely treat. The dark chocolate they use is not very bitter as many dark chocolates are. The spices they use in the bars (at least the ones I sampled) leave a subtle aftertaste in your mouth. I will admit, I’m not one of those people that likes spices in my chocolate, but the flavors were so balanced, that I really did enjoy these little treats. These would be perfect for a chocolate and wine tasting party as the subtle fruits and spices within the bars are delicate enough to complement a variety of red wines – which I love to drink!
The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was the texture of the bar. I think I was expecting more of a “chew” to this bar because of the fruit that was going to be in it. However, the fruit in these bars are more like “flecks” of fruit – again, very subtle. So, with the pieces of nuts and the small bits of fruit, the bar had a more crunchy texture, almost like biting into a Nestle crunch bar (back from the days when I wasn’t vegan). I don’t want to say it was “crumbly”, because I don’t think that description is quite accurate, and I also think it implies something unpleasant. And these bars were definitely pleasant. Most of the chocolate I eat is simple, dark chocolate OR are bars with a little more of a chewy, nougat-y texture. So this was simply a different type of chocolate bar for me – which I absolutely appreciate as I am always happy to expand my experience with all kinds of chocolate! After all, what kind of vegan chocoholic would I be if I didn’t try a variety of chocolate?!
At any rate, I encourage you to check out the vegan-friendly Bixby bars if you are able to. For the loveliness of the dark chocolate, the quality & harmony of the ingredients, and for the vegan-friendly factor, I give the Bixby bars a thumbs up!