Is this the GO*DO I have been waiting for?
GO*DO was launched at the Chocolate Unwrapped show in October 2010 after creating a buzz among chocolate bloggers by sending them pre-production samples. Six months later, the small GO*DO chocolate bars have won the coveted "2011 Best Free From" award for their dairy free dark chocolate bars.
So what is the attraction? Is it a case of all "fur no knickers?". By the way, talking about knickers, in Italian godo means "enjoy" in the wink-wink-nudge-nudge sense of the word. Was reviewing the six little bars going to be a pleasurable experience?
Let's start with a bit of background: GO*DO uses organic cocoa beans which they grow, farm and harvest in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Peru. The products are manufactured by a fifth generation Italian family at their Orsenigo factory, north of Milan, where they run two totally separate production lines - one for dairy free and one for milk chocolate so, as the company says, "total control from bean to bar."
Now for the ever so important factor, in Italian terms: the look. Each bar is neatly packed in 2 wrappers, the outside is a thick paper, akin to postal wrapping paper, in a variation of brown and cream hues to reinforce the organic theme, and an inner foil wrapper very useful to catch up all the little flakes.
The size: the bars each weigh 35g and, as the PR notes indicate, are easy to slip into a handbag or a jacket pocket.
At under 10cm in length, they do look rather small but one could also say that size is the attraction. 35g of chocolates divided in to 28 tiny rectangles may give the impression that your waistline is safe, even if you were to scoff the whole range - godo all around.
Pay attention, here comes "the scientific bit" - each bar has a nice soft break but the chocolate flakes a lot. In case, you would like to know exactly the content of each bar GO*DO's website details it all. The initial GO*DO range comprises of 6 bars, 3 dark chocolates free from dairy products and 3 milk chocolates. Here's my comments for each of the six.
An organic milk powder, 34% cocoa content bar which provides the base for the milk bars range. A strong, sweet aroma of cocoa hits your olfactory senses when you unwrap the bar, it may be provided by the addition of cocoa liqueur. The squares melt very quickly in the mouth, remaining smooth and creamy all the way. A delicious little bar of chocolate with a very milky flavour.
Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut
A chocolate bar packed with hazelnuts... I mean really packed full of hazelnuts. The pieces are slightly sharp and the last ingredient to remain when the chocolate has melted.
Vanilla (White Chocolate)
30% cocoa solid is respectable for a white chocolate. A myriad of vanilla specks are responsible for the explosion of taste on your palate. I love this little bar - it is creamy, soft, full of flavour and almost froths in the mouth. Purists will say that white chocolate is no chocolate and this bar might taste more like a good quality vanilla ice-cream than chocolate, but for me this was godo.
As for the milk range the dark chocolate bar provides the base for the 2 other bars. All the dark chocolate bars are dairy free with soya lecithin used as an emulsifier. They contain 60% cocoa and they all flake when broken in-spite of a nice snappy break. Being free of dairy is certainly a must for allergy sufferers and rare enough for chocolate bars to be worthy of attention. The dark plain chocolate bar has a strong aroma, it is smooth and not overly sweet. A good solid product.
Dark Chocolate with Espresso Coffee
As soon as you unwrap the bar, like with the vanilla, the aroma immediately hits you. The ground coffee beans gives the bar a dry texture but when the chocolate melts you are left with a gritty aftertaste. Sorry, this one wasn't for me.
Dark Chocolate with Sicilian Almond
The same dark chocolate as the plain version, with the addition of fresh almonds. The toasted organic almonds are not as numerous as the hazelnuts were and mercifully they are left whole. Less nuts means that the chocolate is much firmer and whole nuts make for a nicer experience.
The white chocolate vanilla bar was the star of the show for me but overall the GO*DO range is a welcome, high quality entrant to the market place and worth a try - you'll find them in organic and health food stores.