June 22, 2012, by Recovering Chocoholic
Alter Eco’s Sustainable, Fair Trade Chocolate
I sometimes feel pangs of guilt about the profound laziness with which I greet environmental sustainability efforts and fair trade practices. I have been trying to eat more organic and local foods, which companies like Full Circle make really easy, but it’s still a struggle. Supporting the sustainability and fair trade efforts of specialty foods company Alter Eco, however, is something I can get behind. When I opened my Alter Eco chocolate, the top tab told me, “This bar is restoring the rainforest.” This made me feel very self-righteous, because I got to pretend that I am a globally conscious individual while eating yummy organic chocolate.
Alter Eco’s Dark Quinoa
Alter Eco has done something really magical to quinoa, a supergrain that I prefer not to eat on its own because it has a funky texture. The Incas called quinoa the “food of the gods.” They were wrong. Quinoa looks like this:
It resembles sickly fish eggs, but is apparently very good for you. Alter Eco made it look like this:
I prefer Alter Eco’s organic chocolate incarnation of quinoa. The chocolate tastes light and crispy, like a Crunch bar, and the quinoa puffs up in the chocolate, like rice.
Alter Eco’s Dark Chocolate Velvet and Noir
Alter Eco’s Mini Dark Velvet and Mini Dark Noir chocolate bars are like Ghirardhelli’s fair trade, sustainable cousin; the kind of thing I would be attracted to in the checkout line at Whole Foods. At $1.59 a pop (the 2.82-oz. bars are $3.99) the Mini bars are an affordable product line for sustainable fair trade chocolate.
I preferred the Mini Dark Noir chocolate to the Mini Dark Velvet. Although I did not taste the “hint of licorice” the label promised, I did enjoy the smooth texture and the rich aftertaste.
Alter Eco’s Dark Coconut Toffee
Of the four samples, I would be most likely to seek out the Dark Coconut Toffee bar. It’s got all my favorite things in one organic chocolate bar. The bits of toffee are pleasantly reminiscent of the timeless Heath bar, which made it into the Final 4 of the Chocolate Candy Sweet 16 for good reason, and the coconut undertones aren’t overpowering. I’m also a disciple of the sea salt-chocolate combo, and I was very impressed.
Try Alter Eco chocolate, and compare it to some of the other organic brands we’ve reviewed, like Shaman Organic Chocolates. I imagine you’ll come to the same conclusions I did; that quinoa chocolate does not taste as offensive as one might assume, and that sustainable, fair trade chocolate can be delicious!