Jullie & Chelsea: Taste Test Tuesday | Dark Chocolate

If you follow us on Snapchat, you probably know that most of our 'girls day' dates typically revolve around trips to the grocery store (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe's...), perusing aisles for our favorite snacks or for new brands to try. It only made sense to share some of the taste testing fun with all of our followers! :) So we're super excited to bring another new feature to the blog: TASTE TEST TUESDAY!

In this week's edition, all about DARK CHOCOLATE *praise hands*, you'll find a little bit of information about and links to each brand we sampled (we both picked two each), as well as our scoring results. We decided to judge three key categories: quality of the ingredient list, texture, and overall flavor, and we awarded points based on a 1-5 scale. Now before you get any ideas about this being a super stiff critique of each one...Nah. We're not about that life...This is about the two of us trying new things and learning about different options that are out there, and maybe it'll help you out next time you're staring down the chocolate aisle trying to figure out what you want. Remember the motto, friends. Stay hungry, stay adventurous. ;)

| Jullie's Picks |

B.T. McElbrath Chocolatier | Salty Dog
 This bar is 70% dark chocolate, made with butter toffee pieces and sea salt. (Ethically sourced + non-gmo cocoa / hormone free butter)

Cocoa Parlor | Simple Pleasure 56
Basically, I *had* to grab a bar when I saw "Simple" on the label. =P And okay, the palm tree and blue waves may have hooked me too... :D This dark chocolate is 56% cacao and is made with toasted hazelnuts and Himalayan pink salt. (Vegan / Organic / Fair-Trade / Gluten-Free / Soy-Free)

| Chelsea's Picks |

Lily's Sweets | Blood Orange
This brand sweetens its chocolate with Stevia, which is an interesting option for people trying to avoid refined sugars. This particular bar is 70% dark chocolate, flavored with blood orange. (Vegan / Non-GMO / Fair-Trade / Gluten-Free)

If I’m completely honest, I really bought this chocolate bar because it had a sea turtle on it, and I love sea turtles. However, after getting it home, I was impressed by its partnership with wildlife preservation groups, donating 10% of the brand’s overall proceeds to help keep endangered species on the planet. This particular bar is 72% dark chocolate (our darkest bar of the bunch) with freeze dried blueberries. (Vegan / Non-GMO / Fair-Trade / Gluten-Free)

| Jullie's Results |

#4. B.T.'s | Ingredients: 3 | Texture: 3 | Flavor: 3 |
The Salty Dog was...uh...salty. We didn't realize until later that the label actually suggests two different ways to eat this bar: salt-side down (which is how we did it) for a "sharp pop" and salt-side up for a more mellow bite. Either way, the salt was just too overwhelming. I found myself craving more of the butter toffee to balance everything out.

#3. Endangered Species | Ingredients: 4 | Texture: 3 | Flavor: 3 |
First, can I just say how awesome the Endangered Species packaging is?? If you unfold the label, there's a ton of information on the back! A really fun detail! As far as the actual chocolate goes...The chocolate had a great earthy flavor, but I was disappointed by the missing blueberries. :( I ate a few squares, hoping to bite into something, and I even started carving up the bar with a little knife! Alas, the blueberries were few and far between. So this bar lost points in the texture and flavor department. It wasn't entirely what I was expecting. However, I'm a bit curious to try a different flavor from this brand!

#2. Lily's | Ingredients: 4 | Texture: 5 | Flavor: 4.5 |
Lily's blood orange bar had the richest and creamiest texture out of all the chocolate we tried, and I loved it! I also loved the floral citrus flavor. I feel like this would be a tasty treat alongside some coffee or tea!

#1. Cocoa Parlor | Ingredients: 5 | Texture: 5 | Flavor: 5 |
YES. A PERFECT SCORE. You could taste everything that's supposed to be in this bar...the toasted hazelnuts and the pink Himalayan salt...but they paired really well together and one didn't upstage the other. If you like crunch in your chocolate bar, this will be great for you to check out. I adore the nuts + chocolate combo, so this bar had a perfect texture to me!

| Chelsea's Results |

#4. B.T.'s | Ingredients: 3 | Texture: 2 | Flavor: 3 |
Given that this bar is a butter toffee and sea salt bar, I expected this to actually have butter toffee in it, which it really didn’t. It wasn't really present in flavor or texture and overall it was just kind of underwhelming. The salt in this bar was also really heavy which I didn't like, and that’s coming from someone who likes salted flavors.

#3. Endangered Species | Ingredients: 4 | Texture: 4 | Flavor: 3 |
This is a dark chocolate blueberry bar that needs more blueberries. While it had a good texture and flavor, overall there weren't enough of the blueberries to even bother to call this a chocolate blueberry bar. Jullie tried 2 or 3 squares and didn't get a single one. I got one on my first try. But only one and I even had a second square looking for them.

#2. Lily's | Ingredients: 4 | Texture: 5 |  Flavor: 5 |
The flavor of this bar is delicious and it also had the best overall texture. It reminds me of a fancier chocolate orange. However, it contained two ingredients that I'd never even heard of, a little disconcerting. After googling them, though, they turned out to be a sugar alcohol and a chicory seasoning, but in the grand scheme of things, I still prefer being able to read and pronounce everything in my food.

#1. Cocoa Parlor | Ingredients: 5 | Texture: 4.5 | Flavor: 5 |
Ironically, even though this bar had the lowest percentage of cocoa in it, it was actually my favorite. It has 4 ingredients, all of which I can pronounce. I actually hate nuts as additions to my desserts/baked goods but I loved this bar. The chocolate was perfectly smooth and delicious, and the hazelnuts added such a great crunchy texture. The hazelnut flavor was present and balanced by the chocolate in the bar, and the pink Himalayan salt was there, but unlike the Salty Dog chocolate bar, it was not too salty.

The clear winner in this round of Taste Test Tuesday: Cocoa Parlor's Simple Pleasure 56! Amazing flavor and nothing in the ingredient list that we had to Google. Simple and clean and delicious! In fact, we both loved this chocolate bar so much that we immediately looked them up online. And after finding out about some of their other flavors...like HELLO, Surfer Girl and Strawberry Mermaid?!...we definitely want to try more! We definitely recommend checking out this brand if you ever spot it at your local stores! You can also order bars from their online shop! :)