How does raw chocolate differ from “regular” chocolate? Until I stumbled across Gnosis Raw Chocolate Bars, I had no idea.
The second I took a bite of their Simplicity Bar, I truly understood how heat could affect such a seemingly simple food. With raw chocolate, every ingredient stakes its claim. Each individual flavor occasionally works in harmony with the others, but sometimes engages in a little friendly competition. It was a level of intrigue that my palate couldn’t get enough of.
Gnosis Chocolate Bars were also softer and slightly more eager to melt in my fingers than more processed chocolate. It’s best kept in the fridge to keep its integrity.
Tasting Notes for Gnosis Raw Chocolate Bars
As you might expect, Gnosis Raw Chocolate uses all natural and raw ingredients only. Rather than extracts (with the exception of vanilla) they use essential oils to create these unique flavors. To further explain, I’ve included tasting notes for each variety that we sampled.
The scent of vanilla melded into the initial agave sweetness of this chocolate bar. But it then gave way to a smooth cocoa buttery taste, scent, and feel. Deep cocoa was the final note, leaving behind a rather profound statement that was more bitter than sweet. It was an amusing cycle of sweet to buttery to bitter that my taste buds wanted to repeat over and over.
Cashew Goji Cherry
This flavor combination is beautiful. Overall, this treat provided a wonderfully sweet trail mix kind of experience, where the chocolate was rich and strong enough to hold its own, yet still just one of the gang. In my opinion, this flavor rates a close second, just behind the SuperChoc.
I expected another berry infusion with this bar. What I uncovered was a wonderfully sweet, yet gentle flavor. The overall theme was semi-sweet (sweeter and butter-ier than some of the other bars), with a calm melding of fruit. It tasted as if it was infused directly with a touch of agave and pomegranate juice.
Sizable berry chunks and bites of very neutral Brazil nuts gave texture to this bar. The berry bits were surprisingly tame. Since I am rarely a fan of chunky nuts in chocolate, I would prefer this bar without the nutty interruptions. But sans nuts, I could easily become addicted to this unassuming “superfood” chocolate.
My husband immediately said, “This tastes like a Mounds bar.” To me, it was more like an Almond Joy with darker, richer chocolate. Plus, the pure and unsweetened coconut chips was a pleasant surprise. The add-ins were so abundant that the chocolate became simply one member of the cast rather than the star of the show.
This flavor started off strong with a smooth vanilla flavor. It moved on to be a bit flat, but ended with an intriguing buttery finish. The hazelnuts were fine little bits (unlike the much chunkier almonds in the Coconut Almond) and easy to miss. The chocolate was a more present in this bar, yet still not as cocoa rich as I expected. In fact, it had somewhat of a white chocolate vibe from the generous use of cocoa butter.
Almond Fig Spice
I only got a small bite of this delightful chocolate, but could have easily devoured an entire bar. Dotted with large chunks of almonds, sweetened with figs, and beautifully flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. This chocolate variety seemed like a natural combination. Once again, the chocolate was just another flavor among this pleasant meld of flavors. However, the cinnamon after-taste was definitely potent and could be too spicy for some.
This chocolate bar took my taste buds by storm! This dense block combines sweet, bitter, fruity, and buttery all in one. My taste buds were in jitter bug heaven. After sampling several flavors, my husband said, “I really liked the raspberry one.” I immediately knew he was speaking of this bar due to its rich berry flavor.
Some of the Gnosis flavors are decidedly bittersweet, but the bitter cocoa flavor never fully develops in this bar. Instead it intertwined with the other flavors, emerging briefly but then disappearing behind the natural sweetness. If this is what healthy raw food tastes like, then I am on board! Of all the Gnosis flavors, I think this one was our favorite.
Noting the superpower flavors that Gnosis typically arms their flavored chocolate with, I braced myself for a minty rush. Instead, I was greeted with a soothing, minty essence that tingled slightly my taste buds. The peppermint flavor never fully developed. This truly bittersweet (almost coffee-like) chocolate possessed just a hint of sweet and a gentle nudge of cocoa butter, allowing the cocoa to take center stage. Overall, it was a satisfying experience that I would describe as a “grown-up” chocolate mint.
Surprisingly, the chocolate used in the Mayan Heat bar is quite mellow and rich with cocoa butter rather than sharp with cocoa. The various and unique ingredients (figs, cashews, cranberries) offer a light sweetness. At first the heat is virtually nonexistent, but slowly it emerged to warm my entire mouth. I appreciated that it never became overly spicy as someone who is a little timid around the fire. It was an interesting marriage of sweet and hot against a very mellow cacao backdrop.
While one might expect the Cool Peppermint to be the boldest option, the Blackberry Mint turned out to be the more potent of the two. As I opened the package, the scent was pure and awesome. The flavor had a rich, natural mint flavor against a decidedly bittersweet backdrop, with specks of berry throughout. The overall flavor left me indifferent yet wanting for just a bit more. The berry seeds got caught in my teeth, which was a little off putting. Otherwise the flavor had grown-up appeal for a perfect after-dinner treat.
While I love oranges and I enjoy chocolate, I have never been a fan of the two together. Unfortunately, this seems to hold true with Gnosis’s version, but for a different reason. The easily spotted strips of zest were so pleasant. But the strong essential oil scent and taste just didn’t work with my senses. Beyond orange, the masculine notes of bergamot were ever-present. This was far from a dainty chocolate, but for the adventurous, I definitely recommend giving it a shot.
Lemon Berry Rose
Perhaps my nose is one of my stronger senses, as the Gnosis chocolates that were bolder with scents just weren’t up my alley. While the lemon appeal was pleasant against the bittersweet backdrop, the rose scent was a little overpowering. But, with a dozen flavors to choose from, I think I will simply move on and leave the citrus varieties for others to enjoy.
An extra reason to love Gnosis is their packaging! 100% post-consumer recycled paper and dyed with vegetable-based ink. In addition to being “green” they are very attractive and excellent for gift-giving, even if the recipient is yourself!
The Facts on Gnosis Raw Chocolate
Certifications: Gnosis Raw Chocolate is Certified Kosher Parve, Certified Vegan, Certified Raw, Certified Organic, and has Certified FSC Packaging.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Gnosis Raw Chocolate is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, raw, and paleo-friendly. Most 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 Gnosis website at gnosischocolate.squarespace.com.