As I mentioned in I Like Lakeland: Part One, my friend A and I checked out Chamberlin's Natural Foods store and scored some sweet vegan treats. Now that I've had time to taste them, it's time to share my findings with the masses. And as you'll soon find out, reviewing one particular chocolate bar was much more difficult than anticipated.
Chamberlin's had a selection of vegan and gluten-free cookies made by Everyday Gourmet Vegan Bakery. They had me at "vegan," "gluten-free," and "cookie." It was really hard to choose which ones to try, but I narrowed it down to three. The first one, the fudge stripe cookie, made me think of those crispy Keebler cookies of a similar name. I used to like them as a kid, and it's kind of fun to try veganized versions of things we used to like in our pre-veg days, right?
Well, the Keebler elves may as well pack up the treehouse and find new jobs, because Everyday Gourmet's Fudge Stripe cookie knocks their version out of the forest. Thick, soft, chewy, perfect amount of chocolate and cookie-sweetness. I never would have expected such a moist cookie out of a package off a shelf.
Next up: their brownie with walnuts.
Again, this brownie is amazingly moist and fudgy. The walnuts add texture and flavor. What a perfect brownie. It's huge, too.
The Italian Almond cookie also intrigued me (and made me think of my friend, Kate. Hi Kate!).
This is a much lighter cookie due to the absence of chocolate, but still perfectly-sweet and with excellent almond flavor. This would go well with coffee or tea in the morning. And, like the other Everyday Gourmet cookies, this cookie is ultra-moist.
Needless to say, I'm a big fan of Everyday Gourmet. If you find their products in your city, check them out!
Now, let me tell you a little story about this next product. It's called Bubble Chocolate and it just seemed like a silly novelty to try. A and I both bought a bar and we sampled some of mine that night. I was expecting it to have a sort of Pop Rocks or Rice Krispies effect, but it ended up being rather... quiet. The texture is kind of fluffy and airy (duh - bubbles).
I returned home with most of the chocolate bar (we only sampled a few squares) and I had the bar in my bag, ready to photograph it over the weekend for the blog. Well, long story short, my cousin's dog sniffed out the chocolate and ate the whole thing. Don't worry -- the dog was fine, just bouncing off the walls (literally) for the entire day and evening. The dog ate the wrapper, too, so I didn't have anything left to photograph (except maybe the dog...). A gave me what was left of her bar for the blog, which was mighty kind.
But then I forgot about it and left the bar in the car for a day or two.
You know I'm in Florida, right?
So, in case you were wondering, this is what Bubble Chocolate looks like after it sits in a warm car for a day or two - it turns extra bubbly. (Good thing it isn't summer yet.)
The inside (actually-bubbly part) of the chocolate looks about the same.
So basically, my thoughts on Bubble Chocolate are:
1. Not as fun as you might think
2. Not suitable for dogs
3. Not heat-resistant
Just skip this one.