After seeing the awesome advert for Katjes Chocjes I just knew that I had to try this vegan chocolate with an oat mylk base.
Bet you want to try it now as well!
Katjes comes in a pretty pink paper wrapper with foil inside. It looks good and it’s it can be recycled. However, the colour has caused a bit of confusion among customers who I’ve shown the bars. Pink evokes thoughts of strawberry or raspberry flavouring. And that’s exactly what they expected.
Hazelnut based chocolates are big in the vegan market. This is not hazelnut based and has a different texture and feel to it. Bars like Vego and Pernigotti tend towards softness. Katjes Chocjes is a much drier bar. The oats give a hint of creaminess to the taste. However, this is not a bar that can be described as ‘melt in the mouth’. It’s rather refreshing (not a word usually associated with chocolate) to try a different style of chocolate. If you prefer your bars less sweet this might just be the one for you.
Rizo was recommended to me as the vegan answer to Toffee Crisp cravings. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve eaten one. But I have vague recollections of an ad campaign with a bar the seemed to spontaneously contract in the middle while making a crunch sound. So with this image in my head, I sat down to put it to the test. Naturally, the boyfriend assisted me in my work.
It’s a fairly standard wrapper for Jeavons. Clear plastic with a sticker. It is good to be able to see the product. I stock any number of items that have beautiful wrappers but no indication of what the product inside looks like. Rizo looks chocolatey!
The boyfriend and I spilt a bar so we could compare reactions (and because he really wanted to try it).
Him: So it’s rice crispies, toffee and chocolate
Me: That right.
Him: not caramel?
The test is paused for several minutes while I explain the difference between soft toffee and hard toffee. Plus the differences in naming conventions in the UK and the US.
Him: I’m going in. (takes a bite)
Me: I mainly remember it being crispy. (takes a bite)
Him: That’s good. It’s got a nice crunch.
Me: It’s got a great toffee flavour. I don’t remember there being much toffee taste in a Toffee Crisp.
Him: Lovely sweet chocolate.
Me: Ooh the crisp is spot on and the toffee is just chewy enough. Mmm vanilla.
Him: I like it.
Good to know
Free from gluten and nuts and made in England.
You can pick up a Rizo bar from Vool for just £2.60. Order online or visit a Vool pop-up (and hope we’ve got some left).
A spot-on blend of soft toffee and crunch with a sweet coating. Satisfying for vegan sweet tooths.
Customers kept asking me about products from Jeavons. When was I going to start stocking them? They did look tasty. Then Jeavons began selling to other businesses. I was delighted. My customers would be happy. And in the near future, I would have try all of their products in the interests of research and quality control.
Jeavons also turned out to be absolutely delightful to work with!
Anyway, this review looks at the Rabble bar. Jeavons suggests that this peanut, toffee and chocolate combo will appeal to Snickers lovers. No shortage of those!
The two fingers of the bar are packed in a simple clear plastic sleeve with the brown Rabble label attached. It’s simple and allows the product to be viewed. It’s not recyclable. I’m aware of the challenge that all companies face around packing that is sustainable and affordable. And it needs to protect the product and look attractive.
Inside the wrapper are the 2 fingers of the bar. Jeavons started out making toffee so I have high hopes for this bar!
It’s good. The toffee is chewy and creamy. It works well against the chunks of peanut and the chocolate. While Snickers tend towards caramel this is definitely toffee. It makes for a more satisfying eating experience. I’d cut one of my fingers in half. I chewed away for a satisfying few minutes. And I still had the other half of the finger to enjoy.
Toffee slows things down. Who would have guessed that vegan toffee might be the answer to taking life a less rushed pace!
Chocolate coated fruit. It brings to mind dried raisins (probably coated in carob). Italian Ciocofrutta with their bright packing and higher price point suggest a different experience…
The packaging shows luscious looking cherries being coated with dripping chocolate.
The packet has a recycling number of 7. This means it’s unlikely to be suitable for curbside collection. But it may be ok for the Terracycle scheme.
The bag contains a weight of 50 grams. This equates to around 8 cherries. So think of this like a bar of chocolate with 8 squares. The smell is delicious!
The taste and texture are awesome! These are really juicy! And the sour flavour referred to on the packet isn’t much in evidence. The chocolate coating is smooth and not bitter. Each bite needs to be savoured. This is not a case where you can just empty the bag down your throat. Indeed, each bite should be savoured. These would be great to serve with coffee after dinner.
Good to know
Cherries in chocolate do not contain gluten or nuts.
It’s December so time for all things glittery. Hence a review of the vegan Golden Crunch bar seems pretty appropriate. Developed by Vegan Store, this honeycomb based bar is intended to be the answer for Crunchie bar cravings.
Look at this striking gold wrapper. You just know that something amazing is inside! It’s clearly labelled as vegan and plant-based.
However, the wrapper is made from a shiny plastic so probably not recyclable through local collections. However, it could go in an ecobrick – and it looks like it would be accepted by the Terracycle scheme.
Golden Crunch looks a bit like a Crunchie but it bigger and not as smooth looking. It weighs in at 49g which is considerably bigger than a standard Crunchie at 32g.
The dark chocolate coating is an obvious difference from the Crunchie. And how does that work out? Time to take a bite.
First, I’d forgotten how hard you have to bite to get your teeth into this type of bar. And how great it feels when your teeth break the surface and splinters of honeycomb dazzle your taste buds. Secondly, the chocolate to honeycomb ratio is absolutely spot on. That it’s dark chocolate rather than a vegan version of milk chocolate matters not a bit. It’s about how the cocoa flavour tastes against the honeycomb.
This is a glorious bar to eat. Each mouthful is filled with great flavour and texture. Also, some customers have mentioned not being able to finish the bar in one go – which is probably a good thing!
Good to Know
Made in the UK, Golden Crunch bars are gluten and nut-free.
Meet Schnouggi. Schnouggi is a chunk of hazel praline and is soooo cute. But at 28g isn’t Schnouggi a teeny bit on the small side? Or does he punch above his weight?
Schnouggi is served in a little tray with a clear plastic sleeve and a paper sticker. Given that Schnouggi isn’t that exciting to look at – it’s brown and smooth – a less opaque wrapping would be fine. Or may that’s the point?
As previously mentioned Schnouggi is small, smooth and brown. It looks like a naked Miky Way or an escapee block of Vego bar that rejected being filled with nuts.
Happily, it makes up for all this in taste and flavour. The tantalising aroma as the packet is opened was amazing. I couldn’t decide whether to instantly gobble the whole thing or just sit there sniffing the wrapper for the next our.
As far as the taste and texture go it’s rich smooth praline but without out any of the chocolate nonsense that normally coats it. It slips down the throat far too easily. While it’s tempting to take large bites a thin slice delivers the same flavour experience!
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 varieties of Tuno are available but let’s keep things simple to start with!
Opening the tin to reveal a meaty looking product felt vaguely wrong. Like opening a can of cat food for dinner. It didn’t look very appealing but let’s face it neither does Tuno! It didn’t smell of much.
Tipped into a bowl it didn’t look any more attractive but did smell more appealing. A gentle fishy aroma. I’ll admit I tasted a morsel at this point. It was slightly chewy and tasty enough.
I then added mayonnaise. On reflection, it would have been better to use a thicker mayonnaise but the squirty stuff was what was lurking in the cupboard.
And once the sweetcorn and onion were added it looked fine. It tasted good. Nice texture and a good mix of flavours. I’d be more than happy to pull a tin of this out of the cupboard for a sandwich, salad or jacket potato topping. And I definitely want to investigate the other flavours.