Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sjaak's Vegan, Organic Valentines Part 1

Sjaak's Valentine Options 2018
It is easy to go to a store and find mass made chocolates for Valentine's Day. These can range from okay quality to very good quality though for excellent chocolates you may want to visit a candy or chocolate shop itself. What about vegan or organic treats for your loved one? That can be more challenging to find unless you live in a large enough city that has a few shops to choose from. If you have time you can also order some online. Today we are going to look at three Valentine's Day option you may still be able to order through Sjaak's Organic Chocolates if you follow our links and jump on it. Sadly we got their samples after our Saturday Sacrament was scheduled and as  long time readers know, we don't rush through out testing so today was the fastest we could get this feature published. Sjaak's sent us these products for free in exchange for a fair and honest review; no other form of compensation was received.

Sjaak's Almond Butter Melk Chocolate Hearts
We'll begin looking at the trio of Almond Butter Melk Chocolate Small Hearts. You'll need to cut off the ribbon and the wrap as well because the heart fits very snuggly into the sleeve. The heart is 0.5 inches thick and weighs 2 ounces or 56 grams. I'm not sure what "melk" is but it isn't a typo unless that is one being repeated for several products; I'll ask in our future interview about that. One of these is 2 servings of 140 calories so be aware of that. I cut one in half for testing for this feature and saved the other half for another day. Inside as you can see in our photo is the almond butter filling. Peanut butter filling is very common, there isn't anything unvegan about it any more than it almond butter would be unvegan; both can be organic. By choosing almond butter as their filling, Sjaak's makes their heart stand out from the crowd but are they tasty? The almond scent intensifies when I cut it open and overwhelms the melk chocolate scent. I take a piece and discover that is also the case with the flavor. The almond butter is very sweet and strongly almond, it is creamy but not particularly soft when I lick some from one of the broken sections. Taking a bit of the melk chocolate I discover it is creamy and chocolatey but also sweet. The melk chocolate is made with organic rice milk and organic evaporated cane sugar, both ingredients can produce an intense sweetness. While a bit too sweet for me personally, I think this was a balanced treat that vegan folks who love sweet and almonds will really like.

The next Valentine's Day option is this red Melk Chocolate Filled Hearts. The red heart is foil wrapped melk chocolate. You can untwist the ribbon and slip that out of the plastic sleeve. then carefully cut the two pieces of tape on each side and you can open it to discover 5 pieces of more vegan chocolate inside. First, a photo of the opened heart before we look at each piece inside.

Sjaak's Melk Chocolate Filed Hearts

The foil wrapped heart; this foil is more a deep pink color compared to the foil around the chocolate box itself. As soon as I unwrap it there is a strong cherry scent making it one of the Hearts of Cherry that you can find on Sjaak's website. The chocolate looks darker brown that the edible container or the other pieces inside of it so it might be darker chocolate. I take a bite and the shell makes a snap, it is thick and my mouth is flooded by chocolate and cherry but there is only a soft creamy center, no fruit. The cherry flavor is sweet and it fades with each chew to reveal that the chocolate is indeed a darker type. The darker chocolate is still vegan but I find that higher cacao is better at overcoming the rice milk and sugar making this heart very yummy to me.


Across from it is with what appears to be almond design on top. Like the first Almond Butter Filled Heart this has a strong, sweet almond scent. The chocolate is tall about 0.75 inches at the highest point. Taking a bite makes no sound because it is very soft to bite into which is surprising considering how heavy the piece is in my hand. Inside is a lot of very creamy and softer almond butter and perhaps something else because it is very smooth and not sweet. Is that a bit of caramel I taste and feel? I liked this piece much more than I did the almond butter heart we started with because the almond and sweetness was less intense.


The square piece had diagonal ridges of chocolate over the top. This not as thick as the almond piece above but it is over half an inch thick. This has only a rice milk chocolate scent to it before I bite into it. I take a bite and while it makes no sound I discover a very thick caramel inside. The caramel is a good balance of sweet and butter, it blends very well with the chocolate. This is delicious!


Across from that is a stylized butterfly shaped chocolate, or at least, it looks like a stylized butterfly to me. What do you think? This has the same sweet chocolate scent to it and it as thick as the almond butter chocolate above. I take a bite and there is a soft snap from the thickness on the bottom of the shell. Inside is chocolatey cream that has a hazelnut flavor and scent to it. It is not super sweet and the hazelnut chocolate cream center blends very well with the melk chocolate shell.


Finally at the tip of the heart is a thinner square with one signal diagonal ridge on the top. This is 0.5 inches tall and it has a strong sweet and slightly fruity scent to it. I take a bite and find it is sticky but not so sticky that it adheres to my teeth. The flavor is peanut butter and caramel.  I think I see little nuts inside of it even though I'm not getting a crunch. The melk chocolate blends very well with the filling. When I get done, I want more!


What about the melk chocolate heart box itself? I broke off a small part of it and tested it out. It has that rice milk and evaporated sugar smell that is very sweet. Because this is a box it is thick and the piece I cut out of it to test makes a snap when I cut it and when I bite into it. The flavor is subtle, very creamy and not as sweet as the scent suggests it will be. Letting a piece melt on my tongue increases the creaminess and allow more of the cocoa flavor out.

Sjaak's Melk Chocolate Heart Box
That's these two Sjaak's Valentine options. Of the two, I preferred the Melk Chocolate Filled Hearts. I hope if vegan and/or organic chocolates are what you or your loved want that you will check them out not just for holidays but any time of the year. Come back tomorrow to read Part 2 of their Valentine to learn about another bigger box of chocolates you could give to your beloved. I'll be publishing an email interview I did with a representative from Sjaak's later on so I hope you come back and learn more about this company because it deserves your attention.

Now you tell me. Would these treats be a good idea for your beloved Valentine's Day 2018?

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