Without a doubt, I have found a new favorite chocolate. For starters, the packaging of Pascha Chocolate is sheer perfection.
The big bars are housed in beautiful slim boxes with interior wrappers that give respect to their free-from nature. Inside, the impeccable-looking chocolate is scored into low-guilt rectangles for a bit here and a nibble there whenever cravings strike. But back to that free-from note … Pascha chocolate bars are labeled free from dairy, eggs, gluten, tree nuts, soy, and peanuts (they actually have a top 8-free facility, according to the company), and they are certified organic, fair trade, and kosher, and non-GMO verified.
But could a dairy-free chocolate bar truly reach perfection? With so much virtue, it’s hard to believe that Pascha chocolate might taste good, too. That’s because it doesn’t taste good, it tastes AMAZING, and really is some of the most amazing chocolate that I’ve ever tasted.
At present, Pascha produces
five eight varieties; here are our unbiased thoughts on each one:
Pascha Chocolate 55%
This may be the milkiest semi-sweet chocolate I’ve ever tasted, but without a speck of cream, butter, or milk (of any kind!). Pascha has somehow created the perfect cacao blend for a very smooth and creamy chocolate. Our resident teenager agreed that this was an impressive dairy-free find, and was even more excited to learn that it was peanut- and nut-safe. We’ve found a new love.
Pascha Chocolate 55% with Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are usually a give or take thing for me, but I really liked this bar. The sweet creamy chocolate generously dotted with crunchy bittersweet cacao was a heavenly dessert-like treat.
Pascha Chocolate 55% with Goldenberries
This was my first goldenberries tasting, and they are shockingly tart. The whole dried berries dramatically contrasted the sweet chocolate backdrop. Good and surprising, but almost a little too conflicting for my tastes.
Pascha Chocolate 70%
Pascha kept the smooth and creamy consistency with this bar, but the 70% cacao shines through with a hint of bitterness, particularly in the aftertaste. I loved the flavor, but confess that after savoring the 55% bars, this one was a little too sharp in cacao. Of course, I still had no problem in devouring the entire bar by the square.
Pascha Chocolate 85%
I hesitate to call myself a chocoholic of any sort, since my desires lie more with the cacao butter than the intensely-chocolate cacao powder. 70% is usually as high in cacao as my taste buds like to go, but, this was pretty good for a super-dark. And contrary to my expectations, there wasn’t a strong bitter aftertaste. The texture did have a slight powdery feel intermixed with the creamy backdrop and this was without a doubt a dark bar. But I could see fans among the pure cacao loving population.
The above were in the company’s original product line release, but Pascha Chocolate Bars have three new varieties! I’ve got further details on the ingredients used in these bars and why, in this post: Superfoods in Chocolate. I’ve also created a delicious healthy recipe using each of these Pascha Chocolate Bars: No Bake Superfood Chocolate Crunch with Milky Maca Berry, Cinnamon SuperSeed, and Java Jolt Variations. And finally, below are my simple tasting notes:
Pascha Chocolate 60% Maca
Maca can easily dominate the flavor scene with it’s rich, intense and malted caramel notes. But in this sweet-dark chocolate bar it tends to enhance rather than control, offering unique flavor nuances that are a little grown-up and almost too complex to describe. This Pascha Chocolate bar is almost milky, and the most “treat like” of the new superfood bunch. In our group sampling, this one was chosen as the favorite. (pictured almost center in the bowl below with image facing forward)
Pascha Chocolate 70% Lucuma
Rich, rustic, and slightly powdery, the lucuma adds an alluring yet subtle sweetness while tempering without masking the intense cacao beneath. Though not as decadent as some of the other Pascha Chocolate bars, this is one of my favorites for everyday noshing. It offers nutrition while satisfying my sweet tooth, and doesn’t leave me “sugared”. (pictured in the middle of the other two flavors below with lined pattern)
Pascha Chocolate 70% Arabica Coffee
Coffee beans are typically categorized into two types: robusta and arabica. Arabica has approximately half as much caffeine as robusta and it tends to have a sweeter, softer taste with more fragrant notes. Some even say that the pleasant acidity of arabica gives it an underlying chocolaty flavor. This might explain why I actually liked this Pascha Chocolate bar even though I’m far from a coffee fan. The coffee taste is pure and potent, but a little more complex than most other java desserts, and with quite a complimentary flavor. (darker piece pictured below far left)
Certifications: Pascha Chocolate Bars are Certified Organic, Certified Fair Trade, Certified Vegan, Certified Kosher Parve, and Non-GMO Verified.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Pascha Chocolate Bars are vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and tree nut-free. Nonetheless, 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 Pascha Chocolate website at www.paschachocolate.com.