If you don't like chocolate, you can leave now and read my other posts. But if you do like chocolate, please stick around.
Everybody still here? I thought so. Chocolate is most people's top comfort food.
But many of us who have diabetes do all we can to avoid sugar. Regular sugar, or sucrose, is half fructose. And fructose has lately earned a bad rap. If you wonder why, you might want to check out a couple of my reviews, one from 2007 and another from 2008.
Most of us have tasted enough sugar-free chocolate to doubt that it anybody can make it taste right. But somebody has. So now you can eat your chocolate without the sugar and enjoy the great taste. Kiss chocolate guilt goodbye
In the interest of science I have been taste-testing chocolate bars that Mary Jo Kringas sent me at no charge. Somebody had to test them!
Mary Jo started the conversation by telling me that she developed a chocolate bar sweetened with inulin from chicory root and from erythritol. They are 60 percent cocoa solids.
Inulin is soluble fiber. It passes through much of our digestive system intact and therefore doesn't raise our blood glucose level.
Erythritol is one of the sugar alcohols. But unlike the commonly used maltitol, it has a glycemic index of zero.
That sounded good enough for me to go to the trouble of asking Mary Jo to send me a case of her chocolate bars and to eat them. I knew that I had to do a taste test on your behalf.
Since my rather mature taste buds might be fallible, I convened a tasting panel of three younger testers. The panel consisted of a 20-year-old university student named Rachel, a 21-year-old manager of an ice cream store named Lauren, and a 58-year-old psychotherapist named Barry.
The panel's study protocol could not have been more unscientific. We didn't compare Mary Jo's chocolate bars with anything else. And I compensated the panel members by giving them all the rest of the bars that I hadn't already eaten.
Yet the panel affirmed my positive take.
Rachel was first to voice her judgement. "It has no bitter after-taste!" she exclaimed. "It is rich and creamy. Really yummy!"
Lauren said that "for my not liking dark chocolate, this is one that I would eat. It is smooth."
Finally, Barry offered his evaluation. "I have tasted dozens of dark chocolate bars," he told us. "This one has a nice balance between dark chocolate and sweetness. It isn't overly sweet."
Then we looked at the ingredients. Barry noticed that the bars have unspecified "natural flavors" and wondered how natural they really are. So I contacted Mary Jo again, and she told me that they are natural vanillin, which is the primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean, natural raspberry extract in the dark raspberry bar (which we didn't test), and another natural ingredient. Mary Jo told me what it was but asked me not to name it, because it is her "secret ingredient."
Barry also commented that the bars look small. But he noted that each bar actually is a good-size 50 grams since they are dense. Each bar has just 2 grams of net carbs, 14 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein, 18 grams of fat, and a total of 197 calories.
The gift box of a dozen bars that Mary Jo sent me retails for $44.95. That's $3.75 each.
Mary Jo isn't exaggerating when she called her contribution CHOCOperfection. Her website is chocoperfection.com.
My only regret is that in the interest of science I gave away almost a whole case of perfectly healthy and tasty chocolate bars.