Whenever I see the Endangered Species chocolate bars on sale, I have loads of fun playing mix and match with the dark chocolate varieties. My husband is frequently on the chocolate rampage, and Endangered Species seems to soothe his savage beast nicely. In the past, I had chosen from among their Ethically Traded 3-ounce bar line, but on my most recent shopping trip it seemed my store was stocking their newer (and smaller 1.4-ounce) organic bars, which were also on sale.
I snatched up the two dark chocolate flavors they had, one with Tangerine and one with Cherry. Alas, their newest flavor with organic Blueberries was not yet being stocked…I shall return! In the mean time, I returned home to share my find with my husband who would surely be fiending for chocolate at that very moment (we had just run out the day before).
Cherry – The cherry bar wasn’t cracked open for a day or two, as we made our way through some other chocolate bar selections. As it faded from my memory, I actually forgot that this was an “enhanced” chocolate when I went to grab a square that was so neatly lying just away from its wrapper. Needless to say, when I first bit in my taste buds were surprised…but…extremely pleased! This was the blend I had been looking for, a complex yet complimentary mix of dark chocolate and cherry essence.
Don’t get me wrong, while Endangered Species is a staple in our house, I purchase it for the interesting varieties, the fair price, their social stance, and well … the chocolate is pretty good. It isn’t the smoothest dark chocolate I have ever sunk my teeth into, but it is above average. For this reason, it seems to be an ideal background for these flavor enhancements.
Luckily, in my opinion, the cherry flavor hit it right. It was very smooth at first almost like a milk chocolate. As the light cherry scent hit my nose, and equally pleasant sweetness developed as the cherry notes gave way. Finally the flavor exited with a slightly unrefined dark chocolate aftertaste. I actually liked that it didn’t leave that sweet aftertaste that tends to leave me craving even more sugar.
Not to be mistaken with the chocolate covered cherry, which my husband loathes, this is purely a dark chocolate that avoids any hint of artificiality. We both agreed that this flavor will be on our to purchase list the next time an Endangered Species sale rolls around.
Intense Dark Chocolate (72%) with Cacao Nibs – I am still warming up to the “intense” dark chocolates and to cacao nibs.
Fortunately, this bar was really quite delicious … and addictive. It was lightly sweet with a pleasant crunch from the nibs, and it didn’t have a noticeably bitter aftertaste, which was nice. I devoured square after square, until magically, the entire 3 ounce bar had disappeared. Oh yes, and these are nice, big bars too – trust me, 3 ounces is a hefty chunk!
Though I don’t recommend this variety for dark chocolate newbies, those who already enjoy 60 to 70% dark bars may want to give this variation a try. Also, just a quick heads up: This chocolate is vegan and dairy-free by ingredients, but it may contain trace amounts of milk since it is made on shared equipment with their milk chocolate line.
Joanna Miller of Sugar Savvy tried some more Endangered Species varieties and here’s what she thought:
The Grey Wolf Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds – like the Black Rhino, has a cocoa content of 70%. I enjoyed it, but for some reason, the chocolate seemed less smooth than the Rhino. Additionally, the bar is much chunkier with the nut and cranberry additions, as opposed to the fine shards of hazelnut toffee found in the Rhino. This is either good or bad, depending on your preference. The almonds in this one are nicely roasted and the cranberries are well distributed and portioned, so as not to overwhelm the chocolate. This is one that you need to hold in the warmth of your mouth for several seconds before you can really begin to taste it. And once you do, the flavor is rich and sharp (in a good way). I only wish it were a bit less firm and meltier.
The Extreme and Supreme Dark Chocolate Bag – contains approximately fifteen 10-gram squares, facilitating “rational” portion control. The packaging generously lists one serving as being 40 grams, which is a serving suggestion that I can actually live with. Thanks, Endangered Species, I feel your love. I don’t have too much to say about these squares, other than this: If you like dark chocolate, you will enjoy these. If you do not like dark chocolate, you will not. They could be a little bit smoother, but I have a feeling the ones I sampled had been exposed to extreme heat and were not as fresh as what you will find at the supermarket.
Also, some words from Sarah Caron of Sugar Savvy about another flavor she’s tried:
Dark Chocolate with Organic Blueberries – This flavor was good. The chocolate was just rich and sweet enough, without it becoming a tooth ache. But overall, it failed to wow me. I didn’t really detect any hints of blueberries in it, which was disappointing.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
Don’t let the color of the label fool you. For some odd reason the folks at Endangered Species opted for a green color scheme on the cherry flavored bar. Just look for the koala on the 1.4oz organic bar.
While the Endangered Species Dark Chocolate line is certified vegan (dairy-free, egg-free, animal-free) it is produced on the same line as their milk chocolate, and thus kosher certified OU-D. Therefore, this may not be a suitable product for severe milk allergies, as trace amounts of milk protein may be present.
Where to Purchase: Endangered Species has a variety of other dark chocolates that you can check out here. For locations of where you can find Endangered Species, click here. Endangered Species bars are also available via Amazon.
The Facts on Endangered Species
Certifications: Endangered Species is Certified Kosher OU-D, Certified Vegan, Certified Gluten Free, Certified Organic, Non-GMO Verified, and Fair Trade.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Endangered Species is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. Some varieties are nut-free. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Endangered Species website at chocolatebar.com/