In case you were wondering, this isn’t a typo. Neither is it a sad attempt at finally being considered hip kids (I can’t speak for any of the other titles the duck and I have come up with, though). Veganz is a German food brand that focuses on plant-based products and strives toward increased sustainability. Usually, Veganz is too pricey for our stingy little hearts. When we found that they had added two Christmas-themed chocolate bars to their range, however, the duck and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to expand our non-dark vegan chocolate experiences. At first, we wanted to go with “Organic White Baked Apple” because we had never tried vegan white chocolate and had some leftover regret about dropping last year’s plan to do a completely apple-themed Christmas treat taste test. When we saw that “Organic Gingerbread Magic” sports a gianduja base, another version of vegan chocolate we’d never tried before, the duck and I agreed to splurge. Paying a combined non-discounted 5+ Euros for two Christmas-themed 80-90g chocolate bars to celebrate our favorite season for German snacks was totally fine… we had to repeat to ourselves over and over. Veganz might be too cool for discounts, but the duck and I aren’t too cool for new taste experiences. So, here are our subjective thoughts on two of the fanciest chocolate bars we’ve invested in:
Before I get to the test, let me tell you about how the duck and I still haven’t learned to scrutinize the packaging and peruse the list of ingredients before buying a novel snack. You see, just going by our quick glances at the illustrations, we expected the visible chunks in the gianduja chocolate to be gingerbread. We didn’t even think further about the apple one. Well, they’re almonds. We don’t mind almonds. But they’re not our favorite nuts (even if we exclude peanuts, like real nut purists). And, seeing that both chocolate bars come with almond pieces as the only crunchy component made us shed a few tears about spending so much money on them. To us, it seemed like Veganz was playing it safe. And we’re known to take (mostly unintentional) risks with our chocolate! Thankfully, the compostable plastic packaging offered a little consolation.
Well, what’s bought is bought and should be tested. So, that’s what we’ll do now.
This 80g chocolate bar is described as an “organic cocoa butter blend with almonds and natural apple flavoring.”
To the duck and me, it smells like regular white chocolate. At first, it also tastes like regular white chocolate, with a well-balanced apple aroma and a nice added crunch through the roasted almond pieces. Unlike with the oat milk chocolate we tried earlier this year, we don’t feel like anything is missing, though the aftertaste is a bit funny (to the duck and me, various aftertastes are funny). Like most white chocolate, it’s a tad too sweet for our super-specific taste buds. We also realized that we’re not overly fond of apple aromas; we prefer our apples whole and baked.
Taking that into account, the duck and I award 3/5 ducks for this nicely done vegan white chocolate substitute that is sweet, like white chocolate, which we’re not huge fans of (in winter), and features an apple flavor we’re not enthusiastic about. But it’s good. And we will likely finish this chocolate bar before Christmas.
According to the packaging, this “organic chocolate with hazelnuts, almonds, and spices” includes at least 51% cocoa solids, making this the duck and my first dark gianduja chocolate. With our very specific dark chocolate tastes and expectations of this being vegan milk chocolate, the duck and I were mildly disappointed. The ground roasted hazelnuts and mix of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg were expected, though. I’ve mentioned our thoughts about the sneaky almonds.
A first sniff gave us a bit of dark chocolate with a large portion of “Christmas.” While the chocolate tastes darker than we had hoped, the duck and I love the Christmas spices in it. They even made us forget for a moment that we’re usually not fond of the combination of sweetness and darkness in 50%-70% cocoa chocolate. We’re not mad at the roasted almond pieces and even liked the aftertaste. At first. Unfortunately, the (to us) unpleasant sweetness of the not-dark-enough chocolate lingers. If it weren’t for that, and the chocolate simply being too dark/not dark enough, “Gingerbread Magic” might have gotten a perfect rating for how it makes us feel this cozy anticipation of Christmas we so adore. Instead, the duck and I award 4/5 happy ducks for the vivid Christmas imagery (think golden glitter, candles, and warm bokeh lights) it comes with. We might rebuy this one (on sale, hahaha!) – we’re in such a Christmas mood right now!
That’s it for today. What is your favorite snack season?