Theo Chocolates Milk & Cookies

Theo Chocolates Milk & Cookies

I have been wanting to try some treats from Theo Chocolates for ages now.  Theo is organic, Fair Trade, and local, being based in Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood.  But their distribution is somewhat small, and it can be difficult to find their chocolates out here, two counties to the north.

I spied this bar on a sale rack at Fred Meyer.  At only $2 each, I couldn't pass it up!  This is their Organic Fair Trade chocolate, a 45% cacao milk chocolate, with bits of sugar cookie.  How festively delicious!

In America, most milk chocolate hovers around 10 to 12% cacao content.  Cacao is the thing that makes it chocolatey.  Which is why most American milk chocolate is kind of terrible.  Waxy and fake-tasting.  (The rest of the world mocks us for the poor quality of our milk chocolate.  It's true.)

This is why I get excited about some of the offerings from these smaller, boutique producers.  If you have never tried a higher cacao percentage milk chocolate, then you're really missing out.  It pairs the depth of chocolate taste you get in a dark chocolate bar with the wonderful creamy texture of a milk chocolate.  (The only difference between milk chocolate and what we call "dark chocolate" is that the latter contains no milk.)

45% cacao is beyond respectable for a milk chocolate.  I have seen some supposedly "dark chocolate" bars with a lower percentage of cacao.  Therefore you might expect this bar to be amazingly tasty.  And you would be right.

Each bar is stamped into five big rectangles.  If you break off a segment of this bar, you're getting a really generous piece.  Those of us with little self-control might wish for a chocolate bar that could be easily broken down into smaller units.  (Of course, those of us with little self-control would just be kidding ourselves on that point, because we'd just eat the whole bar anyway, regardless of the number of squares it was pressed into.)

When you see the Fair Trade label on a chocolate bar, you think of the cacao beans.  And this is an important consideration, since non-Fair Trade cacao is kind of an atrocity from a human rights perspective.  But Theo Chocolates takes it a step further and uses other Fair Trade Certified ingredients in its bars, too.  In this bar, the sugar, cacao beans, milk powder ,and cocoa butter are all Fair Trade items.

I have never had a chocolate bar with sugar cookie bits.  I have to say, I'm a fan now.  The sugar cookie bits aren't as gritty as other "cookie bits" tend to be, when they get included in chocolate.  They provide a nice bit of texture, even though the chocolate alone would be quite nice as well.  There is a nice subtle sugar cookie taste (presumably from the lemon oil noted in the ingredients). 

There's no need to dress up the chocolate in this bar, but if you want something a little special for the holidays, I definitely recommend it.