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Thomas Jefferson

Marks & Spencer Dark Chocolate (dairy free): a review

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I was shopping in M&S today and noticed they are now selling "Dark Chocolate 50% Cocoa" in their "free from" section. Usually it's gluten or wheat free, and not so much dairy free. However, this chocolate bar is dairy free (that means it has no dairy in it). Each bar is 85g and costs £1.50, which is quite a reasonable amount when you consider the prices of dairy free chocolate in certain other retail outlets that I won't name. It tastes reasonably nice. It does taste a bit milky, probably the vanilla flavouring. The best before date is six months from today, if you want an idea of how long it will last in your cupboard. All in all, I'd give it an 8 out of 10. Good work, M&S; I would personally like to see dairy free chocolate cakes or brownies, but I understand that not everybody wants that, so you would have to factor in the relative costs versus whether it would sell and that sort of thing. I like that they are constantly trying new things, though.

 

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: soya lecithin, vanilla flavouring.

 

ETA: My only concern is regarding the source of the vanilla flavouring. I read somewhere that a lot of the vanilla flavouring in food items is sourced from beavers' arses. I would like clarification of whether this is the case here.

Edited by Thomas Jefferson
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I was shopping in M&S today and noticed they are now selling "Dark Chocolate 50% Cocoa" in their "free from" section. Usually it's gluten or wheat free, and not so much dairy free. However, this chocolate bar is dairy free (that means it has no dairy in it). Each bar is 85g and costs £1.50, which is quite a reasonable amount when you consider the prices of dairy free chocolate in certain other retail outlets that I won't name. It tastes reasonably nice. It does taste a bit milky, probably the vanilla flavouring. The best before date is six months from today, if you want an idea of how long it will last in your cupboard. All in all, I'd give it an 8 out of 10. Good work, M&S; I would personally like to see dairy free chocolate cakes or brownies, but I understand that not everybody wants that, so you would have to factor in the relative costs versus whether it would sell and that sort of thing. I like that they are constantly trying new things, though.

 

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: soya lecithin, vanilla flavouring.

 

ETA: My only concern is regarding the source of the vanilla flavouring. I read somewhere that a lot of the vanilla flavouring in food items is sourced from beavers' arses. I would like clarification of whether this is the case here.

 

Nonplant vanilla flavoring[edit]

In the United States, castoreum, the exudate from the castor sacs of mature beavers, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive,[32] often referenced simply as a "natural flavoring" in the product's list of ingredients. It is commonly used in both food and beverages, especially as vanilla and raspberry flavoring.[33] It is also used to flavor some cigarettes and in perfume-making.

Can't get more 'natural' than that.

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Sainsburys 'taste the difference' Belgian dark chocolate 72% chocolate (100g for about £1.40)contains no dairy products if ingredients are to be believed tho states not suitable for allergy suffers due to manufacturing process (presumeably other varieties have milk, nuts etc) - the vanilla flavouring is 'fairtrade' and is made from 'natural sources'; shelf life about a year according to packet but in practice I suspect would last longer if keep cool and away from light - thus stock up on a trip to Liverpool.

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Who cares about the chocolate, where is your nose spray review?

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TA: My only concern is regarding the source of the vanilla flavouring. I read somewhere that a lot of the vanilla flavouring in food items is sourced from beavers' arses. I would like clarification of whether this is the case here.

From what I can see, it's not used as commonly as you'd think in food due to milking beaver's anal glands not being the most fun or easiest job...

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OMG .... seriously ... I have a bottle of vanilla extract in my cupboard which I use for making my delish cakes.

 

I thought it came from a pod that grew on a tree or something.

 

Seriously .... arses ??

 

this can't be right, I've just been wound up right?

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I'm guessing you're on the no-dairy trip now because of http://www.manxforums.com/forums/index.php?/topic/57186-give-up-dairy-to-beat-cancer/ ?

 

I'm not buying into that, but if you are looking to reduce dairy then get almond milk instead of normal one. You can either buy it or make it yourself. It tastes quite nice and I've used it as part of diet changes while exercising more.

 

If you just want really good chocolate, then try William Curley, La Maison du Chocolat or Melt Chocolates, all of which are available in London and I guess also online. They're not dairy free but they're damn nice.

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As far as I can recall, vanilla extract is exactly that - extract of vanilla pods. Vanilla flavouring is cheaper, and I suspect that it is entirely synthetic.

 

Thank you TJ, not a great review (not enough on what it tasted like - chocolate, for example?) but a killer fact about the beavers arse, which I will file away with civet cat shit coffee and whale vomit perfume.

Edited by guzzi

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As far as I can recall, vanilla extract is exactly that - extract of vanilla pods. Vanilla flavouring is cheaper, and I suspect that it is entirely synthetic.

 

Thank you TJ, not a great review (not enough on what it tasted like - chocolate, for example?) but a killer fact about the beavers arse, which I will file away with civet cat shit coffee and whale vomit perfume.

 

Civet coffee is nice.

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I'm stunned that a post from TJ that involves a beavers arse has actually educated me slightly

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Civet coffee is nice.

A lot of the coffee beans sold as weasel, civet etc are fake. The real stuff is often the product of horribly cruel battery farming.

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not something I knew of either! I bake a lot but tend to use vanilla extract as it is made from Vanilla Pods and usually just alcohol whereas vanilla essence or vanilla flavouring have far too many additives in the ingredients list and don't give the same flavour - now I definitely won't be using it!!

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Civet coffee is nice.

A lot of the coffee beans sold as weasel, civet etc are fake. The real stuff is often the product of horribly cruel battery farming.

 

I know, a lot of the times the stuff is the result of force feeding, sadly.

 

There's a local variety available around here and I met one of the farmers at a little coffee exhibition here recently. That stuff is really nice and they still do it the proper way. It's reflected in the price as well.

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Shakiti Man in Ramsey do a fab dairy free chocolate. The one I tasted was flavoured with oil of rose and it was absolutely scrummy. A bit like a Turkish Delight taste without the inside being made of boiled up animal parts.

Where'she? And no Amadeus I've been meat and dairyfree for about10 years. I like to find new treats I can buy.

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