One of the fundamentals of living sustainably is sourcing food and products as locally as possible, and for me it doesn’t get much more local than Pana Chocolate who are located just streets away from where I work. Pana Chocolate are a company that makes raw, organic, vegan, handmade chocolate that is super delicious.
They are certified organic and step you through the process they follow to make the chocolate on their website, as well as providing information about where they source all their ingredients. The list of things that aren’t included in their products is pretty impressive, and definitely makes you feel like you’re being at least somewhat healthy!
I love it when companies are so upfront and clear about things like that as there can be so much ambiguity around what words like ‘organic’ and ‘fair trade’ really means these days. I also love the name, which to me sounds like a play on the french ‘pain au chocolat’ although as the the founder’s name is actually Pana that may just be a coincidence!
The chocolate comes in 11 flavours so there is something to suit every tastebud from plain (raw cacao) through to the more out there flavours like blue-green algae, and everything in between. There is even a gift pack called ‘I Love You Mum’ which includes four flavours – rose, mint, raw cacao and coconut & goji. The bars retail for $6.50 ($8.50 for the rose flavour and $28.95 for the gift pack) and whilst that may seem steep for only 45g of chocolate I find I can’t eat much at a time as it’s so rich and full of flavour, so it lasts a lot longer than regular chocolate!
The packaging is all fully recyclable and I think it’s really cute. There is a layer of paper and the chocolate itself has been stamped with little logos and pictures. I feel like you can tell it’s handmade even without having to be told!
I’m yet to try all of the flavours (to be honest, I’m just not sure about blue-green algae!) but of the flavours I have tried I’m struggling to pick a favourite because they are all really good. I’m always partial to both mint and orange, so they both rate highly and the cinnamon one was delicious as well. I was pleasantly surprised by the rose flavour which tasted like a mix between turkish delight and chocolate – yum. The coconut & goji flavour had an interesting texture as it wasn’t as smooth as the others thanks to the chunks of each ingredient, but it wasn’t quite crunchy either. I think the sour cherry & vanilla flavour is next on my to-try list!
Overall I think Pana Chocolate are a great, local company doing some wonderful work bringing healthy (well, healthier!) delicious, raw chocolate that can be eaten by anyone, regardless of their allergies or dietary requirements, whilst simultaneously doing everything they can to reduce their impact on their environment. That always gets a tick in my book!
Have you tried Pana Chocolate before? Would you be brave enough to try the blue-green algae flavour?!
Disclaimer: I won the ‘I Love You Mum’ Gift pack in a competition on Veggie Mama’s blog however this has not impacted on my opinion of the chocolate in the slightest, and I have bought it for myself many times in the past (and will continue to in the future!)