Friday, September 27, 2013

Chocolat Stella Dark Chocolate with Stevia Extract

Nearly 70 years in existence, Chocolat Stella, AKA Chocolat Bernrain is one of the better known makers of Swiss chocolate. Started by the Muller family, the business continues to be run by the third generation. The Switzerland-based company is renowned for organic, fair trade, Kosher and functional chocolate specialities and today, sells a vast range of products. Widely exported, you will find a few bars of Stella at almost every store that stocks imported chocolate.

I was curious about this brand for a while, but it was only after I spotted this variety that I felt compelled to pick it up. I've tried several sugar free chocolates, like Bernique and La Confiteria Delaviuda but none with this interesting herb as a sugar substitute. For those who don't know, here's some Wiki tidbit about Stevia:

Stevia is is a herb from the sunflower family, native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations. With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has attracted attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar sweeteners.

Stevia is commonly sold at chemists and supermarkets, but is not as popular as artificial sweeteners. I remember tasting stevia leaves at a herb garden in Kerala and was very curious to know how it would taste in chocolate. The Stella dark chocolate (with 53% cocoa) with stevia extract didn't seem to me any different from other sugar-free chocolates and I was most disappointed by the after taste. Perhaps I was hoping a herb would have none of those unpleasant things chemical sweeteners do. But as the Wiki entry suggests, high concentrations may leave an aftertaste. The chocolate wasn't very smooth either, so there was little in terms of saving grace. I much prefer and recommend Bernique for sugar free chocolates, if that's what you must have.

Don't bother spending INR 345 for a 100 g bar, although you might want to try their other 'sugary' varieties as I will too.

RATING: 2.5/5

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