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Product Review: Missionary Chocolates
by Marla Rose
are lucky enough to have some friends in Portland who generously sent
us a care package a couple of weeks ago of vegan chocolates and
cheeses. (Cheese review coming soon!) Daniel and Beth Redwood
are two of the nicest people we know; Daniel is a wonderful
singer-songwriter who created one of our son’s favorite CDs (you can
find the songs here
but I encourage you to buy a copy or two because it’s great to listen
to in the car and support vegan artists. Beth is an artist in her own
right as a wonderful photographer and graphic designer. I seriously love this couple, especially when they send me packages of deliciousness like this.
I am an unabashed chocolate fiend but as someone who is concerned about
the ethics of this often-exploitative industry (please check out my feature story in the December-January issue of VegNews
for more on this topic), I know that not all chocolate, even vegan, is
created equal. Vegan companies that use certified Fair Trade cocoa go
the extra mile to creating truly ethical chocolates. This is what we
have with Missionary Chocolates, a storefront and wholesale business run by the founder, Melissa Berry,
who happens to be a naturopathic physician when she’s not crafting
award-winning, mostly organic truffles, all of which are vegan. I was
sent a very generous big box of their signature truffles from the
friendly and helpful Melissa as well as some seasonal varieties. Each
individual truffle is quite large so I split (most) in half with my
husband so I could get his impression as well. All the Missionary
Chocolates truffles I tried have a smooth chocolate coating, often with
flavoring elements sprinkled on top and spiced ganache in the center.
This is not an overstatement: it is perfection. I am a big mint fan but
it can overwhelm other flavors easily. Here, the peppermint is subtle
but still definitely noticeable, creating a nice balance with the rich
ganache center. Peppermint lovers should love this.
Spicy Cinnamon Chipotle
These guys pack a punch, but not in a throat-burning,
where’s-the-water?! kind of way, in a gentle, slow-burn, “Oh, that is
interesting,” kind of way. As a personal preference, I am generally not
a big fan of chocolate and chilies together (I love them both separate
very much) so these would not be the first ones I would choose from a
variety of chocolates but those who like that combination should find
Sweet Raspberry Heart
Ah, chocolate and raspberry. Who could ask for more? With tart, organic
raspberries in the opulent ganache, these sweet hearts would be the
perfect Valentine’s Day gift for anyone who loves chocolates and
berries together. This was a really lovely truffle.
Vanilla Salted Caramel Chocolate
and salt is a match made in heaven. These are not your typical caramels
in that they are not the stretchy confection one expects from the word
but a ganache interpretation of caramel: buttery, warming and subtle,
these truffles have a rich center that is complemented by a good
dusting of salt on the exterior.
Ginger Tamarind Not
throat-burning, this truffle offers a gentle but distinctive peppery
ginger with the subtle interplay of pleasantly sour tamarind in the
rich ganache. This is a beautifully integrated flavor for those who
love Indian and Thai flavors.
Chai Spice This is
a really unusual truffle, one aromatic with nutmeg, and a flavor that
reminded me of French toast. This has a nice mellow sweetness, like the
others, distinctly flavorful while not being overpowering.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
The pumpkin has a gently squash flavor and a softer ganache than the
others I tried. This truffle is perfect for autumn or, for those of us
who are pumpkin fans, any ol’ time we can get our mitts on it.
Blood Orange Cardamom
This tastes like a luscious explosion of vitamin C. I love how the
subtle smokiness of the cardamom interacts with the assertive flavor of
blood orange. This is a bold and assertive truffle and I loved it.
Simply Espresso I
am not a fan of coffee/coffee bean-flavored anything but this comes as
close as I am able to enjoy it. Simply Espresso is mocha at its finest;
this is the truffle for coffee lovers and even those of us who are
coffee averse. Quite the feat to pull that one off.
Anise Even if you
think you are not a fan of anise because you have an association with
licorice, this has a lovely flavor. Chocolate plays nicely with anise!
Who knew? Missionary Chocolates knew.
Dark Chocolate Delight
This is for those who don’t want anything to get between them and their
rich chocolate: the ganache is almost nougatty and it reminded me of
the best Three Musketeers bar you could ever hope to have in truffle
Meyer Lemon Explosion
They weren’t exaggerating with the name: this is a flavor explosion of
the sweet-sour delight that is the Meyer lemon in chocolate truffle
form. This is a confident and bold truffle and I don’t like to pick
favorites, but this was probably mine. Days later, I am craving another
one. Darn you with your witchy ways, Missionary Chocolates!
I highly recommend Missionary Chocolates – these are truffles with a great mission, fantastic ingredients, creative flavors and a sublime taste. These would make great holiday gifts as well. Please consider supporting this great little chocolate company!
Vegan Street received this product for free to review and this was my honest evaluation.
2013, 2014, Vegan Street