What could be sweeter than tucking into a blinding bar of chocolate? Tucking into a blinding bar of chocolate that’s also certified Organic, Fairtrade and all-round ethical like Seed and Bean‘s stuff is, maybe – leaving you to relish your treat guilt-free. Except, of course, for the slight pangs from knowing you’ve put away the whole block before bedtime. Hmm. On reflection, maybe those are caused by indigestion, rather than remorse.
If you’re a hedonistic cocoa-head, you’ll not be too bothered by the issue of over-consumption. The true trouble is there’s just so much to try. But when you weigh up the weight gain:wisdom ratio, extensive sampling is worth every piled-on pound. With Seed and Bean’s vast range, it’s not so much ‘how to stop’ as ‘where to begin’. The core range contains 18 flavours, with seasonal specials also trying their hardest to tempt.
Seed and Bean attempts to go beyond the boring bases and explore something slightly more surprising. Concerning citrus specimens, that well-known Terry should be on his guard – Seed and Bean prefers to offer its orange-yness in the form of the lesser-seen, rather more tongue-tingling tangerine or mandarin, the latter paired with the zing of ginger. Then there’s creamy milk chocolate punched up with lime and sea salt, the flavours hinting at the margarita a square will make you crave.
Lime loves chilli, and it’s a combo even more cracking where chocolate’s concerned – especially the deeply dark 72% stuff Seed and Bean has infused it into. The ‘Lemon & Cardamom‘ is another (slightly less) dark horse; the citrussy notes of the spice in the 58% bar teased out by the fruit. That same fruit is also paired with poppyseed, which, it transpires, works every bit as well with white chocolate as it does in cake.
To my mind, there are three contenders from Seed and Bean‘s chocolate collection that that really take the cake, all from the ‘dark’ end of the spectrum. ‘Espresso‘, ‘Coconut & Raspberry‘, and ‘Pumpkin Seed & Hemp Oil‘ bars are all kinds of awesome. The former is like a suave, short shot of the drink it’s named for, full of Peruvian Amazonian coffee beans. There’s Philippine coconut oil and real crushed fruit in the middle one; and, for the latter, it’s a matter of adding air-roasted seeds and Canadian hemp oil to the mix.
But all those awesome inclusions would count for little if the chocolate was crummy, as is the case with so many flavour-added bars. Refreshingly, all of Seed and Bean‘s bars are excellent eating in their own right, using ethical cocoa sourced from places like Sao Tome and the Dominican Republic – which shines in both the simple ‘Rich Milk‘ and ‘Extra Dark‘. Simple, though, has never been my schtick.
No: like a stupid singleton who always going for the wrong guys, I’m often wooed by bonkers Wonka-ite creations over refined, elegant bars – frequently doing myself out of something delicious in the process. With Seed and Bean, I’ve finally found my perfect partner; a company that manages to marry top choc with funky flavours. I do love a fairytale ending.