Theo Fig, Fennel & Almond Dark Chocolate

Theo Fig, Fennel & Almond Dark Chocolate

Surprise! It's vegan AND delicious!
This is a premium bar of chocolate, make no mistake! Theo Chocolate is a Seattle-based chocolate maker, specializing in small-batch organic and Fair Trade specialty chocolates. Theo Chocolate is peerless as a company, the first American chocolate company to operate fully organic and Fair Trade, supporting local artists and artisans, and with a real passion for their product which shines through every aspect of the production, from sourcing to packaging.
 
Case in point: this bar, which is part of their "Fantasy Flavors" line, features a gorgeous and adorable illustrated wrapper designed by www.kittenchops.com. Says so right there on the label! When was the last time you saw a packaging designer credited on the label? It never happens. But Theo Chocolates does it, because they love their illustrators, and they want you to love them and buy more of their work. 
 
It's endearing as hell, is what it is.

This bar happens to be vegan, and if I had realized that when I bought it, I probably would have chosen a different flavor. Everybody knows that vegan chocolate bars are just terrible. How can you possibly make a decent chocolate bar without milkfat? 
 
Well guess what: everybody is wrong. Because this bar is delicious.
 
I didn't even notice the "vegan" flag on the label, I was too fascinated by the ingredients (who would put fig, fennel, and almond together? And what would that taste like?) and the adorable wrapper which features two kitties sitting down to tea.
 
The bar is shaped into four large tablets, each of which is half an ounce. Substantial! I detected only the faintest hint of fennel in the smell, and never did quite catch the taste of it in the bar. Mostly what you taste is delicious, premium dark chocolate. This is a 70% cacao bar, which makes it dark but not overwhelmingly bitter. 
 
Every once in a while I hit a little piece of fig, which has a texture (in this bar) that is surprisingly raisin like. It also offers a bit of gritty texture from the tiny fig seeds, and bigger flecks of texture from the almond. For the most part, the unconventional ingredients do more for the texture than the flavor.
 
But no matter. The flavor is wonderful, lacking that cardboard-y blandness of most vegan bars. It has a creamy texture that melts on the tongue, thanks to the cocoa butter that substitutes for dairy. Vegans are sure to be pleased by this amazing little bar!