Pacari chocolate is one of those indulgences you can enjoy totally guilt free. It’s vegan (of course) and it doesn’t contain palm oil. The cocoa is ethically sourced as they work closely with local communities and, as I’ll describe, their products are perfect for ‘mindful’ consumption.
Pacari is not cheap, nor should it be. I was lucky enough to receive complimentary items to try, but I know they’re of the highest quality. Now, onto mindfulness.
The first item I tried was the Chocolate Covered Cacao Beans. These crunchy beans were relatively mild in flavour, although they had banana in them, plus a generous dusting of cacao powder. With lots of chocolate, one finds oneself gorging and perhaps feeling regretful. With these however, the substance and complexity of texture left you satisfied after only a couple of beans. This is great news for someone like me, who feels a meal is never really complete without something sweet to finish. Eating them slowly and mindfully felt like the right thing to do somehow.
I also received drinking cacao with ginger. Now, I felt the ginger was fairly subtle (I consumed it as a drink, but of course you can use it in all sorts of ways.) However, my other tasting guinea pig felt the ginger was too much – each to their own. I heated up some oat milk in a pan and adding this made it into a very tasty hot chocolate.
I’m no barista, but if you are, I’m sure you could make this into all sorts of wonderful delights. My only criticism would be the inner packet is quite tightly packed, so you’d be better decanting the cacao into a tin or something to save it from spilling everywhere. Happily the availability of vegan marshmallows these days means you could enjoy an even more indulgent winter drink.
More treats were to come. This time I wasn’t quite so restrained. Three packets of chocolate covered berries, banana and then espresso beans were next on the list. I must admit to finding them all rather more-ish. The golden berries were pleasantly tart which made for a lovely contrast to the smooth chocolate that covered them. I popped them into an egg cup (what else should a vegan do with such an item?) and did my best to be restrained.
Another day I tried the tiny balls of delight that were the banana pieces. These had an unexpectedly strong banana taste, which again went well with the dark chocolate. Out came the egg cup once more and, like the berries, they probably lasted us two tasting sessions.
Lastly were the chocolate covered espresso beans which were strong in both taste and texture. Although I know it’s not everyone’s thing, I love coffee flavoured chocolate. This was not the somewhat manufactured coffee taste of chocolate you might be used to though, but much more real. For me, this would be preferable to having an actual coffee after dinner.
The last item we tried was the organic chocolate bar with ginger and chia. The flavours that Pacari produces always seem so well thought out and this was no exception. It managed to be refreshing and again, this is a chocolate bar that you could (with some self control) enjoy mindfully. The aroma was lovely and no one flavour was overpowering. They melded together into a really lovely chocolate experience.
If you’re into chocolate but feel that you eat too much of it, perhaps the price and distinctive flavours of these products are just the thing to moderate your consumption and enhance your experience. Chocolate is supposed to be a treat, and tasting these yummy items certainly was.