I have a big sweet tooth so originally thought veganism would be difficult because of my obsession with treats like Malteasers. I can’t say I don’t miss milk chocolate confectionery because I still do, especially when my Teen flaunts eating Minstrels in front of me. Temptation is never in the house for me as I stopped buying treats like this for him a while ago. He is given an allowance and he spends it as he sees fit, and it usually involves food or computer games.
I have found my palate has changed and some of the chocolate I wasn’t keen on in the past I’ve grown accustomed to. I thought I’d run through some of the dairy free chocolate we’ve tried since veganism first came into our life back in October 2015 and whether we’d buy it again.
Sarelle, Available in Sainsbury’s and Asda
Remember Riva, a chocolate coated biscuit made by McVities in the 90’s? I loved them and was sad when they were discontinued. Sarelle (65p per bar), a vegan wafer chocolate bar, is the closest I’ve found to emulating this classic. They are accidentally vegan and can be found in the World Food aisle of selected supermarkets. Although they are dark chocolate, they definitely don’t taste bitter thanks to the hazelnut.
I first came across Vegan Burd’s products on Twitter and was interested to try out this collection of vegan copy-cat chocolate bars. I ordered these online to arrive by mail order but was a little disappointed to find a significant delay in my order arriving. To be fair I think demand was underestimated after the Metro newspaper featured her products and it must be difficult to keep up if you’ve had a sudden onslaught. A discount was offered due to this and I was kept posted on a number of occasions about the progress of the order. The first I tried was A Wafer a Break – a supposed riff on the classic Kit Kat. I thought it was more like a Blue Riband actually. The peanut butter version was, in my opinion, the better of the two and was very tasty. My favourite way to eat a Kit Kat was to dunk it in a cuppa before eating the melted mess but the chocolate coating didn’t work in the same fashion. Muncherz were a take on Munchies with a caramel and biscuit centre. Not exactly the same as I remember because of the dark chocolate, it has to be said, but pretty good regardless.
While they aren’t carbon copies of the original chocolates they are great for those who, like me, miss the comfort and familiarity of some of these classics. It’s a shame we waited so long for our order to arrive but we obviously understand that this is because of a surge in demand. We could only order the three that we purchased, although there’s a vegan version of a Bounty, Crunchie, Snickers and Rolos normally for sale too. Vegan Burd’s products are available in stockists in Glasgow – the company is based there – and available from her Etsy store.
Vego Chocolate Bars
Vego was the first vegan chocolate I really liked. This hazelnut packed bar is reminiscent of Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut, minus those pesky raisins! The bars are very chunky and I imagine even the most voracious chocoholic would struggle to finish in one go. More easier to manage are the Vegolino Pralines, which the Teen says reminds him of Guylian Seashells. These melt in the mouth mini bars are individually wrapped and retailing between £5 and £6 a bag they are quite expensive and should be purchased as a special treat.
Essy & Bella
Local lady Amy founded Essy & Bella in 2013 and has created a range of award winning chocolates that are free from dairy. As both Amy and her daughters suffer from multiple food allergies and the products are from the Top 14 allergens. Available to buy online and in selected retailers my particular favourite is the Jelly Popper variety. With pieces of popping candy and jelly beans, this is a delicious mix of fruity flavours and creamy rice milk chocolate.
Many of our large retailers in the UK have launched their own lines of free from chocolates. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s are all worth notable mentions for a choice of ‘milk’ and white chocolate buttons, bars of dairy free chocolate, orange flavoured and ones with crisped rice inside. Retailing at around the same price as traditional chocolate bars they are also budget friendly for those watching the pennies.
High street name Hotel Chocolat stock a range of chocolates that are suitable for those who are vegan. My particular favourites are the Rose & Violets, which contain a soft fondant centre flavoured with rose and violet essence.
iChocThis German chocolate brand is available in health food stores across the country. My particular favourite is the Choco Cookie variety with crispy pieces of biscuit covered in velvety rice milk chocolate.
Jeavons ToffeeJeavons are vegan toffees handmade to a secret recipe. Made in small batches to create the perfect flavour and chew-factor, Smootch were recommended to us recently when visiting Alternative Stores.
For those who miss Rolos these toffee treats encased in milky chocolate will certainly satisfy those craving a snack. The Teen said they are his favourite vegan chocolates and the rolls don’t last too long in this house!
Go Max GoFor those who miss Reece’s Pieces, Milky Bars and other popular chocolate bars Go Max Go are an imported brand of vegan treats that I pick up at Farplace and other local vegan stores.
Choices Dairy Free ConfectioneryFree from many allergens, these caramel flavoured chocolates went down a treat in our house over Easter after picking up a box in Sainsbury’s. The milky chocolate and caramel combination is deliciously moreish.
PernigottiAvailable in bar form or the pralines pictured above, Pernigotti is a wonderful accidentally vegan product. One of the oldest chocolate producers in Italy, the company was founded in 1860. It is worth checking the product ingredients if you don’t believe that these creamy chocolates contain no dairy whatsoever! Delicious 🙂
Thanks for reading,