As someone who is dairy free it can often be difficult when you get a real craving for chocolate. I am a chocoholic and it was one of the reasons I resisted veganism to begin with. As healthy as dark chocolate is, I’m not a big fan. This is often what vegans resort to when the sweet tooth needs sated, but not me. I tried lots of dairy free chocolates – which you can read about here – but many are only available from health food stores, online or vegan shops.
Imagine my joy at discovering Marks & Spencer, the highest street stalwart, had started to stock one of my favourites. Pernigotti is classed as ‘accidentally vegan’ and is reminiscent of Guylian’s chocolate seashells. It is so moreish I have to hide it from the Teen. It is quite expensive, and usually only available from vegan outlets like Alternative Stores. To see it on the high street made my day, although I managed to resist buying the canister!
The purpose of my visit to Marks and Spencer was to pick up their own brand of Gianduja on sale, which is the same type used in Pernigotti. Gianduja is a sweet chocolate spread containing about 30% hazelnut paste, and was invented in Turin during Napoléon’s regency. Completely dairy free, it still has a creamy texture and richness from the hazelnuts used in production.
Many people rave about Vego bars and, while I like them, can find the chocolate sickly after a while. Marks and Spencer’s Gianduja is small enough to keep in your bag for when you crave something sweet while also a purse-friendly £1.50 at a 65g bar. The chocolate is smooth and, to those none the wiser, would pass as a milk variety. The pieces of hazelnut make it quite filling, which is probably a good thing when I’m supposed to be watching what I eat!
Also available is Novi Nocciolato Fondente, a dark chocolate bar laced with whole hazelnuts. This is sold for £2.50 for 130g bar. I wasn’t expecting to like this because it calls itself ‘extra bitter’. Thankfully it is anything but! For those who find the Gianduja too rich, Novi is a happy medium. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it – much in the same way I did with Sarelle, another recent find – and could probably finish a bar on a Saturday night with a little help from the OH. The Teen wasn’t as keen, which is a blessing for me keeping the treat cupboard full of my vegan nibbles.
It is worth seeking these out in your local M&S to give them a whirl. We hope you enjoy trying them as much as we did.
Thanks for reading,