I recently heard from a friend that Green & Black’s chocolate, once a company offering fine quality milk and dark chocolate, has started putting milk products in all of its range, even its dark chocolate. Today I had a look at the range on the shelf of a local store and sure enough, even their dark 85% block had milk products listed as ingredients.
Green & Black’s was an interesting chocolate manufacturer. Started by Craig Sams and Josephine Fairly in the 1990′s, it was one of the first quality organic chocolate suppliers. Their Maya Gold product, a dark spiced chocolate bar, earned the UK’s first Fairtrade mark. Unlike most organic chocolate, attention to detail was given to both the ingredients as well as the manufacturing, which gave it good taste, texture and mouth feel.
Unfortunately (in my opinion) Green & Black’s was taken over by Cadbury in May 2005. Whilst their website states …
You will be pleased to know that as Cadbury is treating Green & Black’s as an independent business – so our great tasting chocolate will stay the same, our ethical sourcing and business practices will continue and even the same teams have stayed on to run the business.
… the taste has definitely changed since 2005, and not for the better in my opinion.
And now we find milk products listed even in their 70% and 85% dark chocolate varieties. In my opinion, this is a travesty – dark chocolate is in part characterised by its lack of dairy products, allowing both the strong and subtle characteristics of the cacao to come to the fore.
It is such a shame for those who sought a good quality, dairy-free and organic dark chocolate. Fortunately as mass-market chocolate goes, it still uses organic ingredients and it seems Cadbury may be trying with the Fairtrade. Regrettably it will no longer be on my must purchase list.