Inspired by my love of junk food and my desire to eat candy for the greater good instead of just to eat candy, I went to the local food co-op and grabbed all the candy bars that were vegan. There were eight options. My associate and I tried all of these candy bars and have rated them below. As my associate said, being a food critic is pretty stupidly pretentious, but man, if we didn’t want some candy.
The name of the candy is listed below, along with a link and a short description of its attributes.
Almond Smackers – vegan, USDA Organic
Me – This candy has a slight fruity note. It’s nothing like a Reese’s cup, but it’s good if you don’t expect that. I was expecting that, but I quickly readjusted my expectations to reality.
Associate – I thought I tasted coconut but it turns out it was oats and rice. It’s chewier than a Reese’s, and not super sweet but I do enjoy it quite a bit.
Sunspire Coconut – Kosher, (vegan, but not certified vegan)
Me – These are stupidly hard to open. It’s a good approximation of a Mounds bar. I like it but I also really love coconuts. They’re so adorably hairy!
Associate – Yeah, I agree but then again, it’s been years since I’ve had a Mounds. I like the chocolate in it.
Bug Bites – gluten-free, Kosher, vegan, USDA organic, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, 100% ethically traded
Me – I love them because you get a mini-card with bug facts and a bug picture. It is just a chocolate square, but it’s tasty!
Associate – I really don’t want to look at bugs right before I eat. It’s pretty good for dark chocolate. I don’t like REALLY dark chocolate, like super high cacao content. It’s sweet but still has a strong chocolate flavor.
Chimp Mints – gluten-free, Kosher, vegan, USDA organic, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, 100% ethically traded
Me – This is made by the same company as the bug bites, but this time with chimps. No facts this time, which is a bummer, but I like the mint in the chocolate. It ends a bit too strongly minty for me, but this would be a great after-dinner mint.
Associate – I really like this. It reminds me of those Andes chocolates. The mint is strong but not overbearing.
Crispy Cat Toasted Almond – dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, no preservatives, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
Me – Personally, I love this bar. It’s all natural, but it’s good.
Associate – I really like this one. It tastes kind of like a nutty rice krispies treat covered in chocolate without the marshmallow.
Crispy Cat Mint Coconut – dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, no preservatives, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
Me – I can taste the mint OK, but the coconut is a bit subtle for me. It’s like a crunchy, minty, chocolate covered bar of sweetness. I like it pretty well, but it’s not my favorite.
Associate – I like the mint-coconut combination and like the other one, I think the crisp rice in it gives it a bit of a lighter flavor. It’s not super dense like a lot of chocolate bars. It’s not as heavy of an eating experience as a lot of candy bars are, which I think is good.
Boom Choco Boom (milk chocolate) – vegan, Kosher, gluten-free, free of eight common allergens
Me – It’s pretty sweet. I don’t remember milk chocolate too well since it’s been ages since I’ve had any. It’s OK. I think.
Associate – I like it. I always liked milk chocolate. The texture is a bit off: it’s not as creamy or smooth as a lot of milk chocolates. A little bit chalky? But I like the taste of it. I like the sweetness.
Boom Choco Boom (dark chocolate) – vegan, Kosher, gluten-free, free of eight common allergens
Me – It’s way too sweet for dark chocolate and not chocolatey enough. It is a lot like the milk chocolate, to be honest, just a tinge more chocolatey. I’d rather have the Chimp/Bug Bites.
Associate – I don’t really like this one too much. It’s probably my least favorite. And the texture is still weird. It’s not as smooth or as rich as the other ones, but I do like the sweetness. I don’t like the bitter of most dark chocolates, so the sweetness is good. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.
So there you have it. My favorites were the Crispy Cat Toasted Almond bar and the Sunspire Coconut bar. My associate’s favorites were the Crispy Cat bars (both) and the Almond Smacker. All in all, this was an excellent taste adventure.