“Thank you for indulging in a cause,” the wrapper tells me smugly. I’m unsure whether I hate it or I love it. Regardless, it’s an impressive bit of marketing wordplay: short, simple, and clear, yet conveying moral and comestible superiority. Not bad for a piece of chocolate.
Endangered Species Chocolate works hard to make consumers feel good about themselves, and, certainly, if chocolate can be morally superior, it’s not a bad choice. They maintain high standards of quality and sustainability, and make a good case for chocolate as a taste indulgence too. They hit the checkpoints: non-GMO (which I don’t care about), fair trade (which I do), kosher, vegan, gluten-free, and one I haven’t even heard of: RSPO-certified (something to do with sustainable palm oil cultivation). Most notably, they donate 10% of proceeds to conservation efforts, and work to raise awareness about global environmental causes.
They’ve certainly used all available real estate on the 88% cacao bar. I already knew that the front of each bar features a different endangered animal species, but it turns out that the inside of the wrapper is also covered in text and infographics, QR codes and social media icons.
Inside, there’s lots of text about panthers. Apparently, panthers are “not a scientific term for a distinct species” but in fact “a common name for big cats with black coats.” So they are typically either jaguars or leopards with melanism (excess black pigment), not a species of their own. Hey, I’m learning something!
Okay, on to the chocolate. This is very dark and roasty-tasting, almost smoky. Little lifts of brightness like a sweet balsamic vinegar are quickly blanketed by a fudgy melting texture. The aftertaste is bitter vanilla and almost hoppy. Panthers are complex! And three ounces of this feline sophistication can be yours for just $2.89!
Found at Harvest Co-op
580 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
If you like chocolate, read more of my Very Dark Chocolate tasting reviews by clicking here!