‘Doisy & Dam’ must refer to the two fine young fellows behind the eponymous British brand, right? Wrong. The upstart chocolate company owes its name to a pair of scientists whose pioneering work on vitamin K earned them the Nobel Prize in 1943. It may seem a rather random choice until you learn that the Doisy & Dam of the modern chocolate world vends wares enriched with nutritional ingredients; and, consequently, body benefits.
Company founders Ed Smith and Richard Wilkinson became best buddies aged five, and the friendship endured – as did the long-held notion of going into business together. As lovers of fine food and big believers in balance, the aim was to create something that would look good, taste good, and, to complete the old catchphrase, gor blimey do you good. The result was a five-strong range of superfood-imbued organic dark chocolates; handmade, hand-wrapped, and, handily, available in snack sizes as well as big bars.
Given that Ed’s superfood of choice is mulberries, it’s unsurprising that the dried form appears in one of the bars, alongside spirulina and oh-so chi chi chia seeds. This treat is a fruity, rich eat, with nary a whiff of’worthiness in spite of the superfoods. The chia adds a pleasing crunch; although the slippery sensation as the seeds develop the trademark coating in contact with one’s saliva means its not my pick of the bunch.
All five bars use the same 74%, organic Dominican Republic chocolate; a pleasant, not-too-sweet eat that acts as a competent canvas for the added ingredients. Word to the meek and mild – D&D isn’t timid with bold flavour. Chilli, Ginger & Hemp chocolate is quite literally hot stuff – containing fat flakes and searing seeds of the former. Go gingerly, brave cocoa nuts; for the warmth is further reinforced with ground ginger. The hemp adds texture, but doesn’t help tame the flames.
After a few chunks of the chilli bar, you might feel the need to be as cool as the proverbial cocoa nut. Time to turn, then, to Doisy and Dam’s newest chocolate – Coconut & Lucuma; containing a ‘Bounty’-ous combination of coconut flakes and essence and the Peruvian superfruit that always seems to make chocolate taste more of itself. To me, this bar brings with it a taste of a paradise that’s rather superior to the one promised by a famous coconut-and-chocolate confection.
Whilst I’m referencing classic confectionary, I’ll mention Doisy & Dam’s Goji & Orange offering. Firstly, this one’s not Terry’s, it’s mine; and secondly, its rich citrus depth is just as sophisticated as I imagined I was as a child, oh-so-delicately breaking off bits of a Terry’s chocolate orange and slowly savouring it segment by segment – as slowly, in fact, as I rationed out this bar of berry-studded, infinitely more sophisticated stuff as an adult.
The bitter, bright crunch of cacao nibs is a gorgeously grown-up pleasure. The final of the five Doisy & Dam bars pairs them with vanilla, which lends voluptuousness to round out the nibs’ acidic edges, and maca – a ginseng-related root whose earthy, nutty taste is subtle, but whose energising capacity is expansive and whose effect is reputedly immediate. A legitimate excuse, surely, for a few more squares?
So what’s in the pack is lovely, but what about what’s on it? As someone aesthetically-inclined, packaging is always on my mind, and Doisy & Dam’s is quite delighful; simple, single block colours reminiscent of the Pantone swatches I hold so dear; clean, quirky graphics (a Union Jack-emblazoned palm to relate ‘hand-made in Britain, ‘Vegan’ and ‘Gluten-free’ icons which resemble symbols on a periodic table, referencing D&D’s namesake scientists); and a jolly, rounded, no nonsense font. And stars. Lots of stars; earning it an additional metaphorical gold one from me.
So, to recap, Doisy & Dam makes handmade, superfood-enriched chocolate that’s vegan, gluten-, soya- and GMO-free, organic, and rather tasty too; meaning it ticks pretty much almost all the boxes. The boys have just launched a selection box containing all the bars that tick all the boxes. And, thinking outside the box, they’re working on a raw chocolate bar and a non-chocolate superfood food range, alongside, according to Ed, ‘world domination’. The brand’s Nobel-winning namesakes would be proud…
- Doisy & Dam chocolate is available in 40g and 100g bars from retailers including Ocado, Wholefoods, and Planet Organic, or via the website.
- To read more on small artisan start-ups in the chocolate world, click on the names below…