The rainbow motif is a powerful one, often used to represent peace, equality, and hope, as well as being a symbol of LGBTQ+ movements around the world. It's a beacon of hope that one day we will all live in a world without discrimination or exclusion.
They kindly sent me over a box to brighten up day number whatever it is of lockdown number three. Fancy taking a peek inside? Scroll down!
In this article:
- Nono Cocoa Rainbow Collection Review
- Pineapple & Toasted Coconut Cube
- Caffe Latte
- Cardamom & Lemon
- Turmeric Latte
- Ginger & Lemon
- Dark Blood Orange
- Orange Caramel
- Peach & Crunch
- Cinnamon & Apple
- Saffron & Orange
- Strawberry & Cream
- Bulgarian Rose
- Rose & Cardamom
- Raspberry Crunch
- Cranberry & Spice
- Raspberry & Beetroot
- Cherry & Beetroot
- Dark Rose
- Dark Cocoa & Cherry
- Milky Orange Caramel
- Dark Redcurrant
- Blue Matcha & Blueberry
- Blue Marzipan
- Dark Blue Lime
- My Thoughts
- Where to Buy Online
The Rainbow Collection is presented in a sturdy blue textured board box. A white paper sleeve seals it closed, as does a colourful hand-tied rainbow ribbon.
On the front of the sleeve is a photo of the chocolates inside. There's also a description explaining what makes these chocolates stand out - namely that these are vegan, natural, free-from chocolates that are made with superfoods and feel-good ingredients.
On the reverse of the sleeve, there's an introduction to the business and its beliefs. Nono Cocoa is a social enterprise that offers opportunities to people with autism and special needs in its kitchen in London. These chocolates are handmade in small batches, using organic dairy-free white chocolate and a rich 72% dark chocolate. The chocolates are free from gluten, dairy, nuts, yeast, artificial colours, preservatives, sulphides, GMO, and refined sugars, and so are ideal for a wide variety of people with dietary requirements who normally have to avoid mass-produced chocolate products.
The ingredients list and nutritional information sits to the side of the box menu.
Nono Cocoa Rainbow Collection ingredients:
Organic dairy-free white and dark chocolate (cocoa butter, rice powder, coconut nectar) (45%), dates, baobab, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, redcurrant, peach, beetroot, pineapple, cherry, matcha, camu camu, maca, spirulina, coconut, turmeric, ginger, saffron, cinnamon, green coffee, Greek coffee, winter spice, cardamon, pumpkin seeds, amaranth seeds, sunflower seeds, puffed rice, natural extracts (lemon, orange, lime, cherry, rose, marzipan), D-mannosa, γ-Tocopherol Antioxidants, Tri-Calcium, Celtic Salt. Cocoa solids: 72% minimum (dark chocolate).
On average, across the box, sugar levels sit at around 29% and each chocolate weighs in at around 12 grams, containing approximately 80 calories.
Nono Cocoa Rainbow Collection Review
Lifting the lid and the cushion pads off the box reveals a rainbow of bright, colourful chocolates. There's a variety of shapes in the box, including flowers, hearts, cups, apples, and cherries as well as domes and a cube.
The box contains chocolates that graduate from yellows to oranges to pinks and purples before culminating in blues. It's worth pointing out that these vibrant colours are completely natural - remember, no nasties in here.
Nono Cocoa reckons you should cut each chocolate in half and mindfully sharing with your partner. I'm all for mindfully eating chocolate but I'm not sold on the sharing part! Still, I did as I'm told, and worked through the menu as suggested on the outer sleeve, starting in the top left of the tray and working to the bottom right.
1 Pineapple & Toasted Coconut Cube
- What they say: An indulgent and creamy-tasting chocolate with pineapple and crunchy toasted coconut.
- My thoughts: Coconut shines through most in the aroma. The thick, crunchy white chocolate shell adds a creamy flavour although it feels ever-so slightly dry compared to its dairy-based equivalent. There's a crunch that comes courtesy of the coconut mid-way. The pineapple doesn't impart its flavour in a forceful way, but instead adds a subtle tang and introduces a tropical flavour. This leads into the aftertaste where the pineapple fades back out, leaving the coconut lingering on its own.
2 Caffe Latte
- What they say: A creamy-tasting maca root, green coffee, and Arabica coffee soft centre inside a white chocolate dome.
- My thoughts: I love coffee chocolate so the punchy espresso aroma is a good start. The aroma translates perfectly into the flavour, with strong, espresso-like coffee notes sitting front and centre. There is a slight hint of bitter, green notes in play too. The white chocolate adds a sense of creaminess to the overall taste, but the rich coffee is the star of the show, and this is what lingers longest into the aftertaste.
3 Cardamom & Lemon
- What they say: Small chunks of cardamom paired with lemon extract.
- My thoughts: This pretty floral shape chocolate exhibits a zesty lemon aroma with a touch of earthiness in the mix. It also doesn't like being cut in half! Lemon comes through first in tasting, although it briefly dips out before returning again. As it comes back into play, it introduces an almost sherbet-like zing to the flavour. There's a hint of spice in the mix but it sits at the fringes of the flavour, letting the lemon do its thing long into the aftertaste.
4 Turmeric Latte
- What they say: Turmeric spice latte made with coconut milk, spices and coconut crunch for texture and flavour.
- My thoughts: Notes of coconut waft from this vivid yellow cup, which also translates into the flavour. The crunchy texture means the subtle turmeric flavour is a little lost in the fray. It's there, right at the very back, adding depth, but it is almost apologetic in nature.
5 Ginger & Lemon
- What they say: A crunchy and potent ginger praline with soft gooey lemon.
- My thoughts: A fragrant lemon aroma tempts with this one. It boasts a thick shell with a soft, tart centre. Lemon sings away at the front to begin, and then mid-way, it fades out. All of a sudden, the fiery warmth of the ginger rushes in as if from nowhere. The heat subsides as the lemon notes come back into play for the aftertaste.
6 Dark Blood Orange
- What they say: A powerful blood orange dark chocolate.
- My thoughts: A coconut aroma made me question whether this was the correct chocolate. Biting into it, the blood orange flavour shines from the very beginning. It's a deep, orangey flavour with a slight bitterness that is enhanced by the rich dark chocolate shell. Once the dark chocolate comes into play, the orange flavour subsides and disappears, leaving a rich cocoa aftertaste.
7 Orange Caramel
- What they say: A white chocolate cup with a soft orange caramel centre.
- My thoughts: A citrus aroma makes way for a powerful orange flavour when you bite into this one. There's a little tartness to the flavour, and the sweet soft centre adds a sherbet-like fizz to the mix. This lively chocolate fades nicely at the end, leaving an orangey aftertaste.
8 Peach & Crunch
- What they say: A popped rice and zesty peach white chocolate.
- My thoughts: There wasn't a distinct aroma to this one, and it is a similar story when it comes to the flavour. The popped rice adds crunch and its own flavour, but masks the very delicate peach, which barely comes through. The aftertaste is nondescript too, such is the power of the rice.
9 Cinnamon & Apple
- What they say: A chunky cinnamon shell and a soft apple centre with a hint of orange.
- My thoughts: Warming cinnamon notes emanate from this apple-shaped chocolate. Biting through the thick shell, it releases a mild cinnamon flavour that develops into the taste. Orange notes swoop in mid-way to help cement this wintery flavour combination. The duo linger nicely into the aftertaste.
10 Saffron & Orange
- What they say: A journey of sensory experiences, with fragrant orange, turmeric, crunchy seeds, and Iranian saffron.
- My thoughts: This chocolate exhibits a mild citrus aroma. An explosion of zingy orange flavour awaits you as you bite into this one. There's an earthy-yet-floral aspect to the flavour that morphs into an almost-herbal characteristic. A refreshing sherbet orange flavour lingers into the aftertaste.
11 Strawberry & Cream
- What they say: Creamy blonde strawberry chocolate
- My thoughts: This one is a feat of culinary skill, as Team Nono successfully evokes a creamy strawberry flavour - without dairy products. Fresh strawberry comes through in the aroma and flavour, along with a creaminess similar to that of a strawberry yoghurt. Strawberry sits front and centre in the aftertaste too.
12 Bulgarian Rose
- What they say: Delicate Bulgarian rose extract combined with raspberry, crunchy coconut, popped amaranth, zesty baobab and D-mannose extract.
- My thoughts: The coconut aroma masks the very many flavours hidden inside this one bite. It starts off with a zesty, almost sour flavour that morphs into sherbet, before the delicate rose flavour emerges. It's like a roller-coaster ride of different-yet-complimentary flavours. Rose lingers into the aftertaste as do the zesty notes. I also picked up the flavour of toasted coconut right at the end too.
13 Rose & Cardamom
- What they say: Cardamom paired with Bulgarian rose extract.
- My thoughts: This pretty chocolate has a faint aroma, and crumbles very easy when cutting. Cardamom leads in this crunchy bite but gradually morphs into a delicate rose flavour. Both settle down and hum away in the aftertaste.
14 Raspberry Crunch
- What they say: Popped rice and fruity raspberry white chocolate
- My thoughts: A crunchy shell with a berry aroma makes way for a smooth and sweet paste hidden inside. The raspberry flavour is punchy, just the right amount of tart, and zingy. The nuances settle down leaving a rounded raspberry flavour in the aftertaste.
15 Cranberry & Spice
- What they say: An autumnal spiced chocolate with sour cranberry.
- My thoughts: A dark fruity aroma adds intrigue to this positively festive sounding - and looking - bite. The flavour of tart berries comes through straight away, with an almost-citrus-like flavour that develops beneath. The liveliness of this refreshing chocolate settles down to allow the gentle hint of spices to subtly develop right at the end, resolving in a mild cranberry flavour aftertaste.
16 Raspberry & Beetroot
- What they say: A fruity and zingy chunk, with popped amaranth and baobab.
- My thoughts: Beetroot haters will be pleased to hear that raspberry sits as the top notes in the aroma, as well as in the flavour. Like the Raspberry Crunch bite above, it's a lively and zingy raspberry flavour that dominates. The beetroot doesn't add flavour per se, but it does help to morph the raspberry flavour by adding a touch of earthiness and depth to it. This grounded flavour continues into the aftertaste.
17 Cherry & Beetroot
- What they say: A smooth and creamy cherry chocolate.
- My thoughts: Again, don't be alarmed by the mention of beetroot. It creates a similar effect as in the Raspberry and Beetroot medley above. Cherry comes through in the aroma and also kicks off the flavour. There's a gentle tang - that borders on citrus orange notes - that hums away but the earthy quality of the beetroot restrains this particular aspect. It's a sweet bite but not overly so, and that sweetness fades away into the aftertaste leaving cherry flavours standing alone.
18 Dark Rose
- What they say: A blend of dark cocoa and sweet rose.
- My thoughts: This one gives nothing away in the aroma other than rich dark cocoa notes. It's a crunchy bite with smokey notes that come through first in the flavour. The rose flavour is mild and appears mid-way before quickly dipping back out. This leaves the smokey cocoa notes free to swoop in ahead of the aftertaste, along with a touch of mild bitterness.
19 Dark Cocoa & Cherry
- What they say: A creamy-tasting dark chocolate with freeze-dried cherry pieces.
- My thoughts: Like the Dark Rose chocolate above, this one puts the cocoa front and centre. This time, its fruity aspects come through most clearly. This is enhanced by the addition of chewy cherry pieces. It is also surprisingly creamy which counters the bitterness that sits at the sidelines in the lead up to the end. The aftertaste is a mix of cherry and fruity cocoa notes.
20 Milky Orange Caramel
- What they say: A creamy-tasting chocolate with orange caramel.
- My thoughts: The aroma gives nothing away and it's only by biting into this once do you discover its orange secret. More paste than caramel, the soft centre crams in tonnes of zesty orange flavour that works well against the crunchy shell. It's also more creamy than I expected. The sweetness dips out in the aftertaste but the orange flavour lingers long like the midday Mediterranean sunshine.
21 Dark Redcurrant
- What they say: A dark chocolate praline with redcurrant centre.
- My thoughts: A dark and smokey aroma hints at the bold flavours contained inside this bite. Crunch through the dark chocolate shell to reveal earthy and smokey flavours with a burst of berries delivered in the form of a soft paste. The cocoa is mightier than the berries so leads in the aftertaste.
22 Blue Matcha & Blueberry
- What they say: Creamy and delicate with crunchy chunks of blueberry.
- My thoughts: A firm chocolate cup resistant to being shared fairly, this bite serves up an immediate dose of creaminess while the other flavours decide what they want to do. After a while, the green matcha tea flavour pops its head up. The blueberry flavour is very faint and crops up as the matcha flavour disperses. It develops a little further in the aftertaste to add a pleasant fruity twist to the tea.
23 Blue Marzipan
- What they say: A trio of white, blue spirulina and dark chocolate with soft nut-free marzipan centre.
- My thoughts: Since I discovered Nono Cocoa, there was one thing I kept meaning to try - their nut-free marzipan. Surely it's not possible to recreate that very distinct almond flavour without almonds or artificial flavourings? Well, Team Nono knocks it out of the park with this one. The neutral aroma gives nothing away, and the crunchy shell delays things a little. Then it floods in. That familiar almond flavour together with an uncannily-similar texture to marzipan. Clearly, there's no substitute for almond marzipan (other than more almond marzipan) but Nono's Micro Marz (Micronutrients Marzipan) is an amazing nut-free, refined-sugar-free substitute that faithfully mimics the flavour and texture of traditional marzipan. The almond flavour continues into the aftertaste and is ably joined by dark cocoa notes that sit beneath it.
24 Dark Blue Lime
- What they say: Fresh mint and lime combined with matcha tea, crunchy amaranth and pumpkin seeds.
- My thoughts: A simple, slightly smokey aroma masks the complex medley of flavours tucked away inside this one. The citrus lime flavour is first to show itself, which dances around with a medley of faint mint and matcha notes to create something quite unique. The smokey quality of the dark chocolate comes through to add contrast and depth to the sweeter flavours. The aftertaste reminds me of the classic Chocolate Lime boiled sweets from my childhood.
There's probably no better way to literally taste the rainbow than this colourful box of treats by Nono Cocoa.
It's easy to dismiss any free-from product as bland or tasteless, such is the reputation of such foods, but these chocolates are different. Bold flavours sit front and centre and draw on the qualities of the other ingredients involved to add depth, crunch, or character.
Best of all, not only does each bite taste really interesting, but it also helps support this social enterprise. Giving Mum a box of the Rainbow Collection for Mother's Day truly is a gift that keeps on giving. Mum gets to work through a rainbow of flavours without any hidden nasties, while Team Nono is empowered to offer more work opportunities to people with Autism and special needs. Surely this is the very definition of a win-win?
I enjoyed working through this box of flavourful chocolates. My favourites are the seriously-impressive Blue Marzipan and heady Caffe Latte.
Nono Cocoa Rainbow Collection Review
RRP: £24.00 | Nono Cocoa | Shop now
Inside, you'll find 24 varied hard chocolates spanning a wide range of fruity flavours. There's something for everyone in this pretty chocolate box. Chocolates are vegan and free-from nuts, dairy, and artificial nasties, but are anything other than devoid of clear and concise flavours.
Where to Buy Online
The Rainbow Collection box of assorted free-from chocolates is available via the Nono Cocoa website here (£24). Nono Cocoa also stocks a selection of themed gift boxes with selections of chocolate that revolve around specific groups of flavours.
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Which flavours sound most exciting to you in this Rainbow Collection? Let me know in a comment below.