Although it’s great news that we have such a large array of fine chocolates these days, how do you know that what you’re buying really is as good as it seems? With the even wider choice that comes with Christmas, it’s a good time to think carefully about what we’re putting in our shopping baskets. Here are just seven discriminating things to look out for when you’re chocolate shopping this year (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.)
- Some chocolates may look divine and even taste pretty good too but always check the ingredients label. Chocolate truffles shouldn’t have a long list of ingredients, the simple recipes win every time. Similarly, avoid unknown ingredients, which may include stabilisers, emulsifiers, flavours and other chemicals or ingredients you couldn’t buy yourself.
- With a plethora of brands to choose from these days, try to opt for a British producer where possible. An independently-owned business is a friendly choice for those who like to support local businesses and the economy
- Buying 100% organic means there are no extra surprises in your chocolate, such as the chemicals used to grow cocoa beans or sugar cane. Look for the Soil Association mark, this means the company are helping to care for and look after the planet all along the supply chain
- How can you tell whether chocolate will actually taste as good as the packaging looks? Well, apart from bearing in mind the points in this list, if you see a Great Taste Award logo on-pack it’s a sure sign they’ve scored high with the experts!
- It’s also reassuring to find chocolates that have been accredited by the Vegan Society (UK), this way you know that what you’re eating has been created in the most benign way possible
- Even if you don’t have a food allergy, selecting chocolates that are free from dairy, gluten and soya can help to balance your intake of these food items but also allows you to share your chocolates amongst friends and family with varying diets
- Less is more. Avoid chocolate boxes that contain layers of truffles and opt for the artisan chocolates with fewer truffles in the box. The quality will be far superior and you’ll enjoy them much more.
Top Pick: One brand we love is Booja-Booja, who has been making organic chocolate truffles for over twenty years. Creatively and thought-provokingly purveyed, these British made truffles are up there. Organic, made with the minimal amount of ingredients, handmade in Norfolk, free from dairy, gluten and soya, multiple Great Taste Award winners and with many gifting boxes presented in beautiful keepsake boxes. For more go to: www.boojabooja.com