Monday, August 25, 2014

Videri Chocolate Factory – Product Review

Not all chocolate is created equal.

I recently learned about the Videri Chocolate Factory in Raleigh, North Carolina. I haven’t been there in person, but if I ever have occasion to visit Raleigh you will find me taking a tour of this chocolate factory. (Call me obsessed, but I honestly can’t think of anything better to do on vacation!)

The folks at Videri reached out to me and asked if I would like to sample their chocolate. I’ve never been known to turn down chocolate unless it contains dairy or is too sweet. But hand crafted dark chocolate? That was an easy answer – heck yes!

Videri sent me complementary samples to review. This is what arrived, beautifully packaged and kept cool:


It felt like Christmas.

I wanted you to see the packaging because it makes a great gift for your favorite chocoholic.

But now, let’s talk about the chocolate. Videri Chocolate Factory is a bean to bar factory that uses only the finest organic cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and organic sugar. There were no other ingredients on the labels (except sea salt for the sea salt bar, and pink peppercorns for the peppercorn bar). In fact, chocolate liquor is not even listed as an ingredient? Why? Because they make their own from organic cocoa nibs. You won’t find soy lecithin, xanthan gum, emulsifiers, or artificial flavorings in Videri chocolate. The facility is completely gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free. They do use dairy for the milk chocolate bars; dairy is processed on shared equipment, but precautions are taken to sanitize.

Okay, I know what you really want to know – how does it taste? This isn’t cheap grocery store chocolate; is it worth paying for?

I received an assortment of chocolate bars – all dark – ranging from 60% to 90% cacao. The 90% cacao is crafted from Ecuadorian beans and the 75% from Venezuelan beans. To call it artisan chocolate would almost be unfair because it is so much more than that. This is chocolate for the true connoisseur.


When I visited the website to decide whether this was a product I wanted to review, I was struck by the description of the dark chocolate bar as “the chocolate bar for purists,” a category that I put myself in when it comes to chocolate. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by some of the unique flavors, most notably sea salt, and that is what I tried first:


Note that each box contains 2 bars, and every box is hand-numbered with an edition.


And, oh my… there are not enough adjectives in the English vocabulary to describe how good this chocolate is. Truly. It is exquisite. Yes, I am gushing.


The bottom line: this is not chocolate I will use for baking (although Videri does also sell baking chocolate). This is chocolate meant for savoring, one (okay, maybe two or three pieces) exquisite piece at a time.



4 comments:

Kate Hufnagel said...

Wow, Colette, this chocolate sounds amazing! And I love that it's nut-free and soy-free!

I do have some questions/comments ... is the chocolate free of GMOs? and, for my dairy-free followers, do you know how Videri sanitizes their equipment?

I'm also wondering if you've heard about the *potential* linkage between pink peppercorns and cashews/pistachios? I love chocolate probably as much as you do and am always on the hunt for nut-free and soy-free chocolate to try. I'm trying to find some definitive and authoritative information about this linkage; until I do, I have to confess I'm a little reluctant to try their peppercorn (and maybe all their chocolates depending on their sanitation and production methods) :-( So any insight you can provide into their manufacturing practices would be appreciated!

Thanks
~Kate

Kate Hufnagel said...

Colette -

As a follow up to my previous comment, I just stumbled upon some info on the potential pink peppercorns & cashew linkage.

The very last paragraph/bullet on FARE's page on nut allergies, mentions the linkage.

Check it out here: http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/tree-nut-allergy

What do you think of this?
~Kate

Colette said...

Kate, thanks so much for pointing out the relationship between pink peppercorn and tree nuts. I didn't realize pink peppercorn isn't actually pepper. I've since discovered that it is a berry and it is indeed related to cashews. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_peppercorn

Kate Hufnagel said...

Thank you so much for the follow up, Colette! Like you, this relationship is new to me. More importantly, I'm glad both our research yielded the same answers.
~ Kate