A brand committed to food activism without compromising bold flavor, Alter Eco is defying chocolate's "guilty pleasure" reputation. This fair trade-certified chocolate doesn't let your taste buds down, and you can indulge shamelessly knowing that each bar you purchase helps restore the rainforest and is made with minimally-processed, organically-grown ingredients.They offer 11 different flavors, (all of which are gluten-free and non-GMO), as well as four kinds of decadent truffles, and you can find them at Whole Foods or buy them online. Thanks to the help of my friends who ever-so-selflessly offered their assistance in taste-testing (read: devouring) seven of Alter Eco's incredible flavors, I can confidently say that this chocolate is a real crowd-pleaser. If you need further convincing, here's what we thought of each.
1. Deep Dark Sea Salt
Still a little salty about having to share this one, but it was an instant classic: smooth, simple, and perfectly dark. Made with only four ingredients and a respectable cacao content of 70%, this bar is perfect for vegans as well.
2. Dark Quinoa
That's right. Puffed royal quinoa is the star ingredient in this one. But don't let these ancient superfood crisps intimidate you. This vegan-friendly flavor has the nostalgic texture of a Nestlé Crunch bar without straying too far from the sophisticated taste of smooth dark chocolate.
3. Dark Salted Burnt Caramel
To quote my chocoholic roommate, "I normally think chocolate and caramel is a horrible combination, but this is good." As if the buttery chocolate and smooth caramel pairing wasn't irresistible enough, this bar also features a pleasantly surprising malty crunch.
4. Dark Salted Brown Butter
It doesn't get much butter than this. 70% cacao might sound bitter, but this rich, almost fruity flavor's key ingredient is the perfect sweetener, and it's made using organic milk from grass-fed cows.
5. Dark Mint
6. Dark Coconut Toffee
This is the lightest of the mix, containing 47% cacao, but the extra few grams of sugar make for an undeniably sweet flavor. The toffee adds a nice crunch, and it was deemed the overall favorite by my tasting team.
7. Dark Blackout
Topping the list at 85% cacao and only 12 grams of sugar, this smooth, bittersweet variation was one of my favorites. Claims were made by skeptical taste-testers that they could even smell the darkness, but everyone eventually agreed that it was impressively sweet for super dark chocolate.