Dagoba chocolates, seems to me as if they are the U.S. answer to the likes of Green & Blacks etc in the UK, an organic chocolate company with their bars dotted around various health supermarkets and the likes of Wholefoods in the States. They produce a range of various flavours of bars whilst priding themselves on working fairly and cooperatively with the cacao growers, limiting energy consumption, using recycling packaging and striving for zero waste from the farm to the consumer.
I picked up their 37% milk chocolate bar with puffed rice + hazelnuts whilst I was in the U.S. a while back and was hoping that it's flavour appeal would live up to their ethical approach. In terms of packaging the bar is pretty unassuming; it isn't a bar that would leap off the shelf at me and make me wanna pick it up, it's pretty plain with the brand name taking up the majority of the packaging.
A reasonably sized 56g bar awaits inside with each chocolate rectangular cube embossed with the word 'Dagoba' it looks like a relatively down to earth bar with simplicity at its roots; snapping a piece of there isn't a huge amount of toasted hazelnuts or rice crisps in the bar which was slightly disappointing as the dispersion isn't too great and I was hoping for a tad more.
Nevertheless this isn't the worst of it..I'm afraid to say that I wasn't a fan of Dagoba's milk chocolate at all, in fact I'd go as far to say it was quite unpleasant - dry, without the slightest hint of cream to it this bar tasted as if it had been made with milk powder; to my taste buds it almost tasted like Hershey's which us Brits have been known to despise! On closer inspection of Dagoba's background information it came to my attention that they had in fact been bought by Hershey's in 2006; which made me wonder, are they using a similar formulation? Either way the chocolate isn't brilliant as along with the dry flavour comes a hard waxy melt.
The few rice crisp/toasted hazelnut pieces you do get are few and far between but when you do come across them they at least provide a nice texture contrast and add a nice bit of crunch to the bar, but the hazelnuts are so finely chopped they barely make an appearance.
If this is the U.S. answer to Green & Black's then I'm pretty disappointed with my first experience from them; a bar that reeked of Hershey's yet cost about 4 times the price.
Taste - 4.2/10 - Very poor, not what I would look for in a milk chocolate bar.
Texture - 4.3/10 - Dry melt and pieces of hazelnut/rice crisps are few and far between.
Appearance - 5.5/10 -Simple and unassuming.
Price - 4/10 - I think I paid around $3 for this bar; which I think is pretty bad value considering I thought it tasted pretty similar to the likes of Hershey's.
Overall - 4.5/10 - Didn't live up to my expectations whatsoever.
WHO FOR?I guess if you're really into your organic, fairtrade chocolate etc you might wanna give this a go but I think there's a lot better stuff out there.
WHERE TO BUY?I picked mine up at Wholefoods in the U.S. but you can check out Dagoba's website for more info.