Many of us, I included, have been smitten with an addiction to chocolate since the womb. An affliction no amount of dieting or exercise can completely rid us from. However as the trend of veganism and gyming is creeping upon us all at a frightening pace; chocolate is given no choice but to shape up or ship out. Of course chocolate is never going to be one of your five a day and I should clarify from the outset that that is not what I am trying to argue here; however it can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Cocoa, which is the plant that chocolate comes from, is highly rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. It also contains the antioxidants catechins and procyanidins. The studies that have been conducted to suggest these remain in chocolate after being processed into a physical chocolate bar are limited, and often biased. However the NHS has said as long as it’s not overdone, it’s absolutely fine to treat yourself to some choc.
One thing everyone can most definitely agree on is that the best chocolate is the chocolate with the highest cocoa content, and the chocolate with the most whole ingredients (by that I mean nothing you can’t pronounce on the back of the packet). A perfect British example of this is being produced by none other than James Cadbury. Yes Cadbury. I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with him about ‘Love Cocoa’ his new brand of clean chocolate made right here in the UK.
So when did Love Cocoa start? And what motivated you to start it?
“I set up Love Cocoa in July 2016, leaving my career in finance behind. I was inspired by my great-great-great grandfather John Cadbury, who set up Cadbury chocolate, and went on to be a known philanthropist. Love Cocoa aims to make British chocolate great again, reinventing chocolate classics with a contemporary touch and being free-from: refined sugars, gluten, palm oil and other nasty’s.”
Can you talk about the importance of sustainable production and how you are doing this?
“Sustainability is a key theme for us throughout our company, from sourcing the beans to what packaging we use. Our chocolate is sourced through a specialist supplier who works with individual farmers and helps them improve the way they farm, in an organic manner. We are committed to going 100% recyclable by the end of the year.”
As I understand everything is handmade in the UK? Why produce in Britain and not elsewhere?
“Britain has an amazing tradition of making chocolate and we wanted to keep this going. Having been inspired by my great-great-great grandfather, who setup a garden factory in Bournville, I also hope to one day own a beautiful factory and keep the tradition going.”
I found the chocolate flavours to be really interesting, the gin and tonic one especially, how do you decide what could become a chocolate and the pairings?
“We try hundreds of flavours and always look for on-trend food and drinks to try and apply to our chocolate. This doesn’t work every time!”
What is your favourite flavour?
“I love our English Mint with Dark Chocolate. We use mint from Summerdown Farm in Hampshire where they grow and distil the mint. It’s amazing!”
And are there any new flavours we can look forward to that you have planned?
“We are going to be launching a few new ones this summer with a summery theme. One to look out for is the Sparkling Rose Wine! It tastes and looks amazing!”
So what would this product be perfect for? After trying three dark flavours, including the English mint James suggested, avocado and gin and tonic, I would certainly say that this chocolate is far too fine to waste on a midnight binge. Love Cocoa is like experiencing a really good wine – it only takes a little to enjoy a lot.
If you want to taste exquisite chocolate this is where to go. Personally at the moment I am trying to avoid dairy, which is why I went for the dark chocolate options. Although I enjoy other brands I often find plain dark chocolate a little dull.
The mint was definitely my favourite, it tasted almost like After Eights, a close second would be the avocado which had a really milky texture despite being dark chocolate and in third the gin and tonic (but they were all really good).
The gin and tonic bar was really interesting to eat as different elements of the cocktail come out at different times; there was a pang of cloves followed by a fizz of gin. It was an experience to eat it!
I did not have any acne after eating this which considering I ate all three bars to myself, was quite an achievement. As someone who can flare up after eating one Dorito is was amazing to eat something naughty that didn’t make me feel bloated or give me a breakout.
This is chocolate that comes from a family that has a renowned history of expertise. James is part of the initiative to make brands sustainable and make them British.
If you opt for Love Cocoa you aren’t just getting a great product you are supporting a British entrepreneur and a sustainable recycled future for the next generation.
They have some excellent deals and gift boxes you can have posted to your door or to a special someone. Here is the link you need https://lovecocoa.com/collections/all-products enjoy!
Photo Credit : Sophie McGinness