Flipping the pages of my calendar over and watching the days fly by, I can’t help but notice that the changing seasons have affected my appetite. These cold days certainly evoke cravings for warmer, heartier dishes than I desired only a few months ago. However, I find myself not only in need of additional warmth and comfort food, but more sweets. For some reason, fall and winter just scream “baking, desserts, sugar!” in my mind, so I’ve been thinking about the sweeter side of the season, and especially chocolate even more than usual lately. Good thing I found Verē Chocolate, a high-end brand with an impressive line of vegan offerings.
Talk about heaven; with a box full of quality chocolate in endless forms and flavors sitting before me, the hardest part of this review was deciding on what to try first! Trying to exercise some amount of restraint, I decided to start with the basics and sample their 75% cacao chocolate bars. Not only does each of these fantastic flavors come in standard 3-ounce bars, but also 10 gram sample sizes. Should portion control be a concern, then the mini batons are an excellent choice, giving you a satisfying taste without the potential to overindulge.
To get a good baseline on the flavor profile of this chocolate, the Ultimo Dark bar made of pure cacao, sugar, and little else was the obvious initial pick. Solid and snappy, this very smooth chocolate is incredibly rich and intense. More bitter than sweet, it’s definitely a “mature” chocolate. The slightly burnt, woodsy notes make it somewhat sharp in flavor, but it is still has a well-rounded and powerful taste. Though it is something that could only be eaten in small doses, I bet it would add some incredible contrast to sweet baked goods as well.
What really sets Verē apart from other chocolate makers is their willingness to try out more adventurous flavors. One of these highly unusual pairings is found in their Anise and Espresso bar; two completely different tastes that I would have never thought to put together. I was very curious about what the results might be. The smell of warm, roasted espresso beans hit me first, followed by the taste of an intense cup of mocha. However, as the piece finishes dissolving the aftertaste of spicy anise brings a finale with a kick. Somewhat gritty from whole ground beans, this may be more of an acquired taste… But even as a self-professed anise detractor, I found this flavor grew on me, and the bar was gone before I knew it.
However, anise isn’t their spiciest offering. For all you chili-lovers and hot-heads out there, the Cayenne and Cacao Nib bar is the one for you. Immediately after taking a bite, the heat hits your tongue with jarring impact, so be careful not to bite off more than you can chew! The explosive spice is nicely tempered by the intense dark chocolate, but nothing could take away from that fire. Crunchy cacao nibs keep the texture exciting enough to match the flavor, making for one unique chocolate experience. If you’re bored of the same old chocolate, this bar will shake things up and get you out of that rut for sure.
Bringing some whimsy back into the picture, this Banana and Macadamia Nut bar is unlike any I’ve tried before. Lighter and sweeter than the previous offerings, this tropical delight is sure to please those seeking a more candy-like treat. Although the banana flavor is very faint and somewhat difficult to detect, the essence still adds a certain something to the overall flavor profile. A scant handful of mac nuts give you an occasional morsel to crunch on, but I wouldn’t say that this one is particularly mind-blowing.
My favorite of this whole assortment was the Raspberry and Lemon bar. While it wasn’t lemony, perse, there was an additional acidic kick to it that heightened the bitterness of the chocolate. Tart pieces of raspberries dotted the whole piece, adding color and interest, and a slight chewiness too. This isn’t your standard sweet, easy to eat chocolate- it’s much more intense than what you might find in the candy aisle of your average grocery store. Anything with raspberry will get my vote, but the smoothly melting dark chocolate really made this an incredible combination.
If you’re looking for something a bit less bracing than pure, powerful, dark chocolate, I would highly recommend Verē’s clusters. I had the good luck of sampling both the almond and coconut clusters, and both of their featured ingredients were impeccably fresh and flavorful. The chocolate seems like more of an afterthought in these, allowing the nuts to shine through and steal the spotlight. Each thin disk is pleasingly crunchy, crisp, and refreshingly uncomplicated.
Speaking of simple, their line of wafers provides a number of flavor sensations while appeasing your inner chocoholic. Ranging from cacoa nibs to pink peppercorns, espresso beans to tamari almonds, there’s something here that everyone can enjoy. Snappy and smooth-melting, the chocolate supports whatever topping may adorn it, and those add-ons are naturally as fresh as can be. My only criticism is that I wish they were more plentiful and evenly distributed, but I’ll still happily eat every last one without complaint.
Looking for a gourmet, vegan gift to give this holiday season? Verē has you covered, providing a number of specially arranged gift boxes that will accommodate your dietary needs, and give you a good sampling of a number of different chocolates. They even have a page listing all of their vegan items to make things easy.
Since many chocolatiers don’t bother to limit the dairy, I was excited that this gourmet name would care enough to do so, and I think that this decision has definitely paid off.
[Written for Go Dairy Free]
35 thoughts on “Verē Decadent”
Now it’s 9am and I want chocolate… thanks
OMG! Now that’s orgazmic! You’ve made my morning. thanks!
Awesome review! The banana and macadamia nut bar sounds like heaven. Oh, and the clusters too.
I agree with teddy, now I want chocolate! That’s awesome that they have such a large assortment of vegan flavors. I have only managed to find one here in Brazil and it’s plain dark chocolate ( although I love dark chocolate, sometimes it would be nice for something a little bit different!)
wow, that post is seriously making me drool!
I love trying out adventurous chocolates. I recently bought myself a “Peach, Apricot, and Apple” chocolate bar. All the bars and wafers an goodies look amazing. For some reason, I’m especially interested in the peppercorns, even though it’s not even 8 am yet and I just woke up!
Oooh, looking at your chocolate pictures makes me drool…
Great review! Your photos are stunning.
OOOOH, my parents (the chocolate lovers – you KNOW I’m a carob girl, haha) would LOVE those bars!!
Wow – some really stunning looking chocolates. The raspberry and lemon sounded right up my street and the little red pieces looked awesome against the chocolate.
I guess you are in the US, so probably can’t get hold of these (they’re from the UK), but interested in what you think of the look of http://www.mychocochic.com – they were at the Fancy Food show in New York a few months back but not selling in the US yet…
Well, those look delicious. Of course, most things on your site (except your crafts – and even some of THOSE) look delicious! :)
Dear Hannah…I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful comments on VERE. Your photographs are beautiful….and I am so happy that you’ve given our vegan chocolates such a terrific presentation. Kathy Moskal / Founder
Each and every flavor you reviewed sounds scrumptious!
oooh! i want a coconut cluster, asap. great review, i’ll have to try some of this lovely sounding chocolate soon!
You’re killing me with this post! All I want is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, and every flavor. And more chocolate!
This is my kind of chocolate!
I’m drooling! Fabulous photos. I’m eagerly looking at their website hoping, nay – praying, that they are available in Aus….
nope – so sad.. :(
The gift box is lovely. You made all the samplings sound delicious, but I think those clusters would be the first thing I would try. I love dark chocolates and I think they should all be vegan.
that looks HEAVENLY. dark chocolate is my greatest vice. thanks for the reviews!
I would love to try the Banana Macadamia chocolate!
oh goodness those wafers look fantastic. so does the raspberry/lemon bar.
voges also makes so really neat dark chocolate combinations.
That chocolate looks divine! Such amazing flavours – Anise and Espresso! Yum!
Ooh, I like the clusters & wafers! Banana and Macadamia Nut & Raspberry and Lemon sound best to me!
I blame the snow it looks to much like sugar (and flour for baking) and it’s a constant subliminal message LOL
I do like the look of that chocolate but it is way to early in the morning ^_~ *munch munch* What?!?! lol
Hugs and Kisses
I have serious chocolate envy right now.
You know it’s good if it has a weird accent in the name! :-) Joking aside though, sign me up for those wafers and the chili chocolate. Yum!
I am a huge fan! Especially of the tiny bars-just the right amount!
What amazing chocolate! I would love the espresso one!
Convenient sample size bars would not keep my chocolate consumption in check – it would just conveniently make my chocolate consumption more bite-sized as I devoured the entire assortment! Chocolate and will power just don’t add up for me.
Wow those clusters look amazing.
Vere is on my wish list!
Um, hello. That all looks amazing.
woah, if I ever order chocolate it’ll definitely be from these guys. for some reason that banana bar looks really good!
I had wanted to try vere chocolates when I was in NYC this summer but didn’t get the chance. Now that temps are dropping, I think it’s time I ordered some! Your photos are amazing.