Yes, it’s a new Vego. It’s only been a few months since Vego white was launched. Yet now Vego have gone off in the opposite direction – and joined the dark side. But will this new bar be as popular as the classic bar?
Vego has chosen a shade of plum for the wrapper for this bar, presumably to flag up the addition of fruit to Vego Dark. Unlike Vego white the wrapper isn’t recyclable. Or if it this isn’t indicated anywhere on the packet. This feels like a step back. It’s chocolate – it can be wrapped in paper and foil.
Vego Dark is much chunkier than Vego White. However, it’s a far cry from their original bar which rivalled the Yorkie Bar! It’s divided into 15 squares and does look pretty appetising. It breaks into pieces easily enough making it good for sharing. It weighs in at 85g which 20g more than a Vego Mini.
What about the taste? The initial bite wasn’t great. The cocoa taste was very heavy and rather bitter. But it does improve after the first square. As you adjust to the taste there is a good note of cocoa followed by a pleasing sharp fruity taste.
I struggled to work out which fruits and nuts were in the bar and looked at the pictures on the packet for help. However, even with this visual assistance picking out the individual flavours was tricky. Possibly this is a result of the nut and fruit pieces being rather small. Hence the almond and hazelnut flavours mixed in with the fruit.
On the subject of the fruit, the bar contains cranberries, raspberry pieces and blueberry drops. The drops are made from blueberry puree, apples and sugar. Hence a general sweet note with a tang rather than clear individual flavours.
Tuna was pretty much the last thing I gave up when I became vegetarian aged 13. I rarely ate it alone but would mix it with cold pasta, mayonnaise, gherkins and spring onions to make a pasta salad. I regularly took a bowl to an event if it was uncertain that there would be food that didn’t contain meat. And this subjected me to all kinds of conflicting views about whether or not fish was vegetarian.
Anyway, I gave up fish and learned to love pasta salad with other ingredients. So the arrival of Tuno on the UK market was a cause for excitement. How would it measure up?
Tuno comes in a blue tin. I got 2 generous servings out mixed with other ingredients. A number of
This is the second review of the Shaka range from Vantastic Foods. A previous post has considered the creamy Shakalotta. A review of the strawberry Shakaberry will be forthcoming. Today we’re trying the exotic-sounding Shakaloha with its raspberry and calamansi flavouring!
Shakaloha comes in a cardboard box with 8 fingers of chocolate individually wrapped in silver paper. Take a moment to admire jaunty illustrations of the main flavours dancing in grass skirts. No, the green one isn’t a pear. It’s a calamansi!
Testers simply said ‘Revels‘ when asked for their impressions. But they were unable to articulate anything regarding the flavour in any detail. The Revels like flavour and texture has been noted in regard to other bars in the Shaka range. Maybe Vantastic Foods will take note and introduce a coffee/orange/coconut filling.
The taste while hard to pin down is rather lovely. It’s sweet but not too sweet. There is an initial taste of raspberry before the tart calamansi taste kicks in. And what is calamansi I hear you ask? It’s a citrus fruit largely grown in the Philippines. So a sharper taste to counter the sweetness of the raspberry which works splendidly.
Good to know
Shakaloha is palm oil and soy-free.
You can buy Shakaloha from the Vool online shop for £3.
An unusual flavour but it makes a delightful addition to the Shaka range.
Mahalo with coconut filling is the vegan bar of choice for those who miss bounty bars. It’s apart of the range from Go Max Go which are similar to certain popular non-vegan chocolate bars. For example, the Jokerz bar as an alternative to Snickers.
The turquoise wrapper with pink flowers references the tropical nature of the bar. It doesn’t appear to be recyclable; so another one for the eco bottle.
Mahalo is chocolate coated and has a somewhat bumpy appearance. It smells of coconut and very much the way I remember a bounty bar to be.
The chocolate has a creamy taste but it’s the texture that makes this work. The filling looks closer packed than a bounty but it isn’t really noticeable once you’re chomping away. And there’s something else that’s not very noticeable…
An interesting addition is the almonds that run along the length. While in the UK we think of this as a Bounty it’s actually based on the American Almond Joy. I’ve never eaten an Almond Joy so I can’t make a direct comparison. Maybe it enhances the flavour in some way? However, you could quite easily – and I have – eat this bar without even noticing the almonds.
Good to know
The bar is gluten-free.
Mahalo bars can be found in the Vool online shop priced at £3.50.
An excellent alternative to a Bounty with a great texture – and see if you can taste those almonds!
What were the bestsellers for Vool in May 2019? Which vegan goodies were you most enthused by last month?
Dandies Marshmallows had been much requested. They were barely in stock before they were out of stock again. Mini Dandies have now been added to the shop and regular sized marshmallows are now (just!) available once again. Get your hands on these marshmallows before they go!
I debated over which flavours of Walnut Whirls to stock. They come in orange, peppermint, coffee and chocolate. They are particularly delicious with thick chocolate that you have to sink your teeth into in order to get at the delicious truffle filling. Coffee has slightly outsold chocolate – but only just. Excitingly these come in completely compostable packing which is a welcome step. There are a couple of chocolate truffle whirls still in stock with new supplies arriving soon.
It’s like strawberry Revells in bar form – hello shakaberry. The individually wrapped fingers theoretically make it really easy not to succumb to the whole thing at once. The last bars sold over the weekend but they’ll be back soon.
What’s the deal with the Thumbs Up bar then? It’s part of the Go Max Go range which offers vegan chocolate bar alternatives to Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, Mars, Bounty and so on.
What is it?
Part of the fun is figuring out which bar will give you the taste experience you’ve been missing. When first ordering the range for Vool the Thumbs Up nearly didn’t make the cut. I simply didn’t know what it was. A bit of digging informed me that it was an alternative to the Butterfinger. That wasn’t much help to me. My only point of reference to the Butterfinger bar came from the teen novel ‘I Stay Near You’ by M.E. Kerr. The teen narrator tells his rock star father that they are his favourite candy bar! It’s probably a different situation if you live in the US but there isn’t really anything like this in the UK.
However, anything described as ‘peanut-buttery’ has got to be a good thing and the pale blue wrapper looked pretty cool next to the rest of the range. So I ordered a box and was surprised by the way they swiftly developed a bit of a following. Customers would appear at my stall to buy them and nothing else would do. They seemed to have a bit of a cult following…
So what are they like? What’s the appeal? What’s inside the wrapper?
Rip (or cut with scissors so it looks better for a photo) the wrapper and the Thumbs up is a cylinder-shaped bar. I attempted to cut it half with a knife to show off the centre but it wasn’t having that!
Beneath a layer of chocolate lurks the splintery ‘peanut-buttery’ centre. That’s not to suggest that you’ll be jabbed in the mouth by something massive fibrous. Splinter here describes the appearance of the crunchy peanut centre.
So what does it actually taste like?
Actually describing the taste and texture of a Thumbs Up is a bit challenging and it makes me wonder how I’d get on describing Jokerz, Buccaneer, Twilight, 2fer and Mahalo with being about to compare them to mainstream chocolate.
A customer once described it as ‘really crunchy peanut butter honeycomb’. I’ve heard it referred to as having a peanut brittle filling. For me, it was like a Dime bar made with peanut instead of almonds roll into a tube.
The Vool Verdict:
If you like peanut butter you owe it to yourself to give this one a go. now by heading over to the Vool online shop