My husband and I live on 160-acres of Oklahoma prairie in a house situated at the end of a long, tree-lined driveway. The property is gated and fenced by barbed wire, a point that becomes relevant later. Every afternoon except for Sunday we walk down to the gate, climb over it and retrieve the mail from our box. And sometimes – on really good days – we pick up a package or two, and then we climb back over the fence and trudge back to the house with our assortment of junk mail, bills and maybe something eagerly anticipated. For instance, a box of chocolates.
I was expecting just such a box from Lily’s Sweets when Kel and I needed to make the 90-minute drive up to Tulsa for an appointment. We were gone a couple of days and I completely forgot about the chocolate that was on its way. It just didn’t occur to me that it would arrive while we were away. Well, it did. The day of our return it was a blazing 77-degrees – in February, mind you. This fact also becomes relevant. When we arrived back home late on that hot afternoon, we unlocked the gate, drove slowly in and noticed a white object seemingly hovering about three feet above the edge of the driveway. Kel stopped the truck and I climbed out. A FedEx box was jammed into the fence. It dawned on me. Chocolate. Sitting in the hot sun. Impaled on the barbed wire fence like one of Vlad’s unfortunate victims . I wrestled with it, pulled and twisted, but I couldn’t free the box. Kel came round and manhandled it from its snare – it was badly gored, perhaps fatally – and off we went, up to the house where I could check to see how much damage had been done. Well, somehow despite everything, the chocolate bars and chips were undamaged and unmelted.
Without further ado, below is a review of sorts of Lily’s Sweets vegan eating chocolate. In a later post I will share my thoughts on their vegan baking chocolate – as well as a couple of recipes. (These products were provided to me by Lily’s Sweets. My opinions are my own, however, and have not been influenced in any way. I have been a fan and consumer of their vegan chocolates for several years now.) Giveaway runs from March 25 – April 1 and is limited to those residing in the U.S. and Canada. Enter giveaway via Rafflecopter below.
BLOOD ORANGE: If the first thing that comes to mind when you see the words “orange” and “chocolate” together is Terry’s Orange Chocolate ball, let me nip that thought in the bud. Lily’s Sweets Blood Orange Dark Chocolate bar is a much subtler affair. As you let a small square of chocolate melt in your mouth, your tastebuds must tease out the delicate citrus flavor. This is what makes “today’s” chocolate superior to the waxen chocolate bars of my youth, which didn’t so much melt as dissolve. One is encouraged to slow down, savor, enjoy. Another difference is that a little goes a long way in taming a sweet or chocolate craving. I only need a few small squares to put a satisfying close to a meal. SALTED ALMOND: I’ve always been a big fan of chocolate + nuts and almonds seem especially well-suited to the pairing. I appreciate that Lily’s doesn’t put whole almonds in their bars, as some brands do. This means that you’re not risking a chipped tooth in the enjoyment of eating – and that the almond pieces are nicely distributed throughout so you never miss at least some in each bite. Now, the salted part…I know there are folks out there who are mad for a sweet-salt pairing. It’s never been my thing and I’m more of a purest, i.e., I like my sweet things sweet and my salty things salty. Having said that, this is still a highly enjoyable bar and let me tell you, not a sliver of it went to waste. It is not shy on the salt, so if you love this kind of pairing, this is your dream bar. EXTRA DARK: When it comes to food, there isn’t much out there that is more alluring and attractive than a bar of dark chocolate. With its rich, glossy color, shiny smooth surface and seductive curves – you want to immediately embrace it. This one is probably my favorite of Lily’s Sweets vegan bars. With no flavor distractions, it’s just me and the chocolate. It melts in the mouth beautifully and as it does, you pick up subtle and complex flavors. A general note on all of Lily’s Sweets bars: the stevia never gets in the way of the chocolate. You just don’t know the stevia is there. (Seriously. Look at these close-up shots. Chocolate is gorgeous.) SEA SALT: This one really surprised me. Remember what I said about the Salted Almond bar? Forget all of that nonsense. What do I know?! The flavor chemistry works like this: first up is the chocolatey sweetness which is then followed by a light nip of salt that diffuses right back into the deep flavor of cocoa. I don’t know why this one works for me more successfully than the other bar, but I’m okay with not knowing all of the answers to the mysteries of the universe. Now, enter the giveaway to get your mitts on a variety of amazing stevia-sweetened, vegan chocolate bars!
Giveaway runs from March 25 – April 1 and is limited to those residing in the U.S. and Canada.