Did you know that dark chocolate is naturally vegan?
With more people following dairy-free and vegan diets, the interest around vegan food has grown exponentially, and people's understanding of what they are eating is continually expanding, yet there is still a lot of confusion around what is vegan-friendly, especially when it comes to chocolate.
At Chococo, we have always created vegan-friendly, dairy-free treats. From our dark chocolate truffles, studded slabs, treats in cartons & bars, to our 70-100% hot chocolates & vegan gelato flavours in the cafe, we have a wide range of dairy-free options available.
Our co-founder Claire has answered some of the questions that we get asked a lot (some of which continue to surprise us!) to help clear up some of the misconceptions & confusion around vegan chocolate.
Q: How do you make your chocolate vegan?
A: Chocolate is a natural product that is made from the seeds of a cocoa pod, so dark chocolate is naturally dairy-free as it is a blend of just cocoa beans (made up of cocoa powder & cocoa butter) & sugar. As such, it is also naturally vegan-friendly. By the way, whilst we are talking about what chocolate is made up of, all chocolate is also naturally gluten-free. So we don't actually do anything to make chocolate vegan, it already is!
Q: Why is milk and white chocolate not vegan?
A: Traditionally milk powder, made from cow's milk, is added to chocolate to create milk chocolate - and as such milk chocolate is not dairy-free or suitable for vegans. Further, cheap mass produced industrial chocolate keeps the cocoa content low and bulks the chocolate out with sugar and palm oil. White chocolate is milk powder combined with sugar and just the cocoa butter from the cocoa beans (it contains no cocoa powder).
Q: What is Vegan 'Milc' Chocolate?
A: Earlier this year we introduced our new Vegan 'Milc' Chocolate from Madagascar. Rather than using milk powder in the making of the chocolate, 'cashew milc' is used from locally grown Malagsy cashews as a dairy-free substitute. This gives the chocolate a beautiful, delicate nutty flavour and the creaminess you would find in traditional milk chocolate. We are now making mini bars of Vegan Milc, to make it easy to discover.
Q: Will you be making more vegan 'milk' chocolates?
A: Some companies use coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative but we find it can be very overpowering and it's not great if you don't like coconut! We are continuing to look for more vegan-alternatives but we want to ensure that they are of the finest quality and made with high cocoa content so it may be a while before we are able to release any more vegan milk alternatives.
Q: Why don't you put the vegan logo on your chocolates?
A: The vegan society logo (the sunflower) is a trademarked logo that is commonly used to symbolise vegan products. As a small business that makes a great variety of products at any one time, we would be unable to register each product each time so that we can legally use the trademarked logo. However, we do make it clear on our labels what is vegan-friendly, and you will find signs throughout the shop to help you find the perfect dairy-free treat!
You can find our full range of vegan-friendly chocolates on our website and in our chocolate houses!