Dagoba makes a fantastic cocoa powder that I’ve been enjoying immensely for drinking chocolate and iced-chocolate drinks over the last couple of years, so I was interested to see what they could do with a chocolate bar. Dagoba was one of the first small companies to bring organic chocolate into the United States in 2001 and should be given a lot of credit for creating a vision that others have followed. They also have an active Full Circle Sustainability™ program where they “strive to achieve high standards in quality, ecology, equity and community.” They have since been acquired by a larger corporation, but I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and trash them for selling out. Let’s let the chocolate speak for itself – and I’m telling you up front that the organic hot chocolate is excellent with its little bits of chocolate dispersed throughout the organic cocoa powder. So, clearly a corporation is capable of getting it right. But how about the bars?
The Lemon Ginger bar is one of a series of flavored bars including Superfruit, Lavender Blueberry and other exotic mixes. Knowing that other ginger-chocolate bars on the market such as Chocolove’s have a strong fan base, I decide to start with Lemon Ginger.
WHAT: Dagoba Organic Chocolate Lemon Ginger Bar. 68% Cacao. 56g. Ingredients: Organic dark chocolate (cacao beans, cane sugar, cacao butter, cocoa, non-GMO soy lecithin); ginger, cane sugar, natural lemon flavor, milk (less than 0.1%). USDA Organic. Certified Kosher (KSA). Where to buy: available at small natural foods stores and some Whole Foods Markets.
WHEN: Tasted numerous times throughout 2010
OVERALL RATING: <50. I stopped at 50 as a minimum rating. It scored the highest points for texture and less for finish, but that’s not saying much.
AROMA: Minimal, sour creme.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Skim milk. Wax.
MIDDLE TASTE: Clay, straw, black tea, green apple.
FINISH: Walnut and, of course, lemon, ginger.
TEXTURE: Crumbly. Crispy bits of ginger were nice.
LAST BITE – This was clearly not a premium chocolate experience – the bar seemed tired, the underlying chocolate had no personality and it all seemed to be just dressed-up by the ginger and lemon flavors. However, I need to defend Dagoba a bit here since I suspect that the New Jersey-based distributor that I got these bars from had mis-treated them. I got another case of Dagoba Superfruit bars from the same distributor that was completely bloomed – every single bar was virtually inedible! At the same time, these bars were not bloomed at all and I’m not sure the lemon-ginger combination works all that well for me.
As for the Distributor, I’ve changed to one that is closer and has their act together. Still, I will stick to Dagoba’s rich cocoa powder for my drinking chocolate and stay away from the bars…for now, at least until I have time to evaluate the rest of their offering. As for the rest of the Lemon Ginger bars in my stash, they’re going into my morning oatmeal which I am enjoying just fine…like turning lemons into lemonade or lemon-ginger bars into, …well, you get it.
 I paid for this chocolate myself.