As a dark chocolate fan who happens to be surrounded by some of the tastiest locally made cocoa treats (like Brooklyn's Mast Brother's Chocolates)--I wouldn't often put in an overseas order for German-made bars. I like chocolate but I don't need a special order of it flown over in a plane. I would however give 'em a taste test were it presented a gratis as happened with an invite from Chocri brand chocolates. (Oh the tough job I have!) They were somewhat justifiably touted as fair trade and organic. Chocri's "shtick" is the purchaser's ability to design their own chocolate flavor creations online. This was my favorite part of the whole order process. The website prompted me to pick my chocolate base (white, milk, dark, or white/milk combo) and then pick and choose from a selection of over 100 (!) fruits, spices, nuts, confections, and grains. (Those who panic in the face of too many options, may need to enlist a friend's help.)
I, on the other hand, solid and confident in my choco-taste preferences quickly whipped up three different themed bars all using a dark chocolate base. (I admittedly justify my chocolate affairs with dark choco's high anti-oxidant levels.) Here were a couple of my flavor combos and my thoughts on each:
Goji berry, black sesame and sea salt. I thought this one would be a hit. I love a good mix of sweet and salty. This took salty too far and I'm a salt fiend. So salty I couldn't muster up the courage to finish the bar.
Vanilla bean, hazelnut and coffee. A coffee lover's delight and made for an excellent 4pm pick-me-up!
Though the website doesn't say where the fair trade Belgium chocolate is sourced from nor if it's fair trade certified--well deserved information--it does state on the website,
We believe that it is inexcusable to produce chocolate in such a way in that it causes suffering for people in some of the world's poorest countries. Quality to us means not only excellent-tasting chocolate, but also fair working practices at every level of chocolate production. For this reason, we offer only Fair Trade or organic chocolate.
The chocolates also arrived in a box with some gel-filled cold packs to keep them from melting in the summer months. This was packaging that I failed to think about until they arrived unfortunately.
Chocri was a treat while it lasted and I have to say the dark chocolate quality itself stands up (just avoid the salt!). Would it be a regular indulgence? Definitely not. The air travel and packaging alone isn't low impact. Were I to live in Germany and need a Chocri choco fix? Absolutely. Though I'd still want further insight to it's fair trade and organic-ness.