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Discover Green & Black’s Velvet Edition

As a recent convert to dark chocolate, due to my attempt to eat healthier, I was particularly excited to work with Green & Black’s on their Velvet Edition range. When I first moved to dark chocolate, I wasn’t too keen on the harsh bitter taste, but after experimenting with different percentages and high-quality brands such as Green & Black’s, I haven’t looked back. I am a true convert, and now, at times, I even find milk chocolate too sweet.

Green & Black’s was founded by husband and wife Craig Sams and Jo Fairley in their flat on Portobello Road, London in 1991, and they created the UK’s first 70% chocolate bar. Green & Black’s is an inspirational, sophisticated brand that encourages a spirit of discovery. The brand’s name stands for its founding principles: Green, which symbolises the commitment to ethically sourced cocoa (through Cocoa Life – a global program that invests in sustainable farming) and environmental benefits, and Black, which stands for the high-quality ingredients and the delicious taste of their chocolate.

If like me, you are looking to move over to the dark chocolate world to reap the health benefits. You will be pleased to know that Velvet Edition is a smoother, less bitter dark chocolate that is more gentle on the palate, thanks to its delicate character and soft texture. For those apprehensive of the more complex, strong flavours commonly tasted in dark chocolate, Green & Black’s Velvet Edition is a 70% chocolate that is smooth, but still has a good depth of cocoa.

In fact, Velvet Edition uses high quality, gently roasted Ghanaian cocoa beans, carefully balanced with sweet Madagascan vanilla. The range is delicious, ethically sourced and made from the finest ingredients, with no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Made with only four ingredients, it is one of the cleanest dark chocolates in the Green & Black’s range. It is still dark. Still ethical. Yet irresistibly less bitter.

The 7 Flavours 

I had the seven delectable flavours in my hand ready to share with my wife. After admiring the packaging, we got comfortable on the sofa and quickly got stuck in. Here is my verdict: 

70% Cocoa – I love the Heavenly simplicity of the rich yet gentle taste of this Velvet Edition chocolate. It has a superior smooth flavour that is the pièce de résistance according to my palate. 

Roasted Almond – This chocolate was flavoursome and is packed with the highest quality Mediterranean almonds that are delicious, roasted with their skins on for an even more satisfying flavour. A high-quality chocolate I will go back to for sure. 

Raspberry & Hazelnut – I’m not usually one to choose fruit mixed with chocolate, but I thought this was first-rate. The pieces of raspberry and chopped hazelnuts leave an inviting aftertaste. The zingy raspberries cut through the delicate chocolate and perfectly complement the taste of the hazelnuts. 

Salted Caramel – The team of Velvet Edition chocolate with pieces of Yorkshire Caramel infused with flakes of Anglesey Sea Salt, culminates in a delicate yet flavourful crunch. I had to go back for more with this one. 

Sea Salt – Sea salt and dark chocolate is one of my favourite combinations. Here we have dark chocolate with tempting delicate flakes of Anglesey Sea Salt. The luscious contrast the salt brings to the sweet chocolate is a tasty treat to the senses.  

Orange & Almond – The divine dark chocolate teamed with mouth-watering Sicilian blood orange oil and crunchy chopped almonds is a scrumptious delicacy. Again, I am not usually a fan of fruit mixed with chocolate but I really liked it. 

Mint – After a break in our tasting session, I was ravenousness for more. The Velvet Edition chocolate with Indian Peppermint oil is truly luscious, delivering a mild and refreshing mint flavour that complements the decedent chocolate and makes for a perfect after dinner treat.

Most of my knowledge about chocolate comes from my wife who is a cocoa buyer and actually buys an impressive 16% of the UK’s yearly cocoa. As I had the whole Velvet Edition collection in my hands, and the offer to share some with her in return for some interesting facts about chocolate, she did not disappoint. Keep reading to find out five intriguing facts. 

Five facts about chocolate 

1. Did you know most cocoa farmers have never actually tried chocolate, and that it takes 5-6 years for a cocoa tree to start bearing fruit (cocoa pods). 

2. December 13th is National Cocoa Day, and chocolate has properties that combat Heart disease; thanks to flavanoids from the cocoa plant. 

3. Dark chocolate contains a higher proportion of cocoa than other types (milk, white) therefore delivering a higher proportion of flavonoids per bar.  

4. The ancient tribes, of the Maya Indians, were the first to discover the wonderful enchanting properties of the cocoa bean around the year 600 AD. 

5. 90% of the world's cocoa is grown on small family farms, this is because cocoa trees do not flourish in large plantations like most other plants. This means there are 6 million cocoa farmers in the world- which is why philanthropic programmes like Cocoa Life are so powerful!

*Sponsored blog post with Green & Black’s

Craig Landale

Previously heading up digital marketing at a large UK menswear group, Craig steers the ship at Menswear Style and has a keen interest for sustainable brands, fashion startups and British manufacturing.

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