Top4ChocsWant to treat yourself or that special vegan in your life to a bar of unbeatable chocolate this Christmas?

Well, in the interests of science, Veggie has been diligently testing New Zealand–made chocolate over the past few weeks and we’ve discovered four companies making melt-in-your-mouth chocolate in a range of fabulous flavours. We only researched chocolates that come in tablet form, partly for ease and partly because—ever since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—nothing beats the sensation of unwrapping a bar of chocolate (especially if it’s wrapped in gold foil).

In no particular order, here they are:

  1. Schoc Chocolates | All Dark Tablets | 75g | $12
    Schoc Dark Chocolate Earl GreySchoc has an extensive range of chocolates, including milk and white, but all of their dark tablets are suitable for vegans. We really struggled to pick just one flavour, and settled on Earl Grey. The texture is smooth and creamy, and the flavour is rich. There’s no nasty aftertaste, just pure indulgence. Special mention must be made for their Pineapple Bites. If you never thought you’d have Pineapple Lumps after going vegan . . . well, try a Pineapple Bite and the inferior Pineapple Lump will be a distant memory.
  2. Polka Chocolate | Selected Dark Tablets | 50g | $9
    Polka Chocolate SesameWe fell in love with Polka Chocolate the moment we saw their packaging and their innovative, artistic flavours. Their Sesame Toffee, Salted Hazelnut, Coconut Chip and Original bars are all suitable for vegans. At 72 percent cacao, Polka Chocolate’s tablets are not for the faint hearted. They pack a very solid wallop of bitter, dark chocolate flavour, complemented by the sweet toffee or creamy coconut embedded within. So if you know someone for whom nothing but dark will do, try Polka.
  3. Devonport Chocolates | Selected Dark Tablets | 80g | $11.90
    Devonport Chocolates Raspberry CrushDevonport’s dark chocolate tablets have been long-standing favourites of Veggie’s, ever since we tried their Raspberry Crush bar. Of the four manufacturers on this list, Devonport’s Raspberry Crush, Chilli Lime and 70% Dark Chocolate (their vegan-friendly bars) taste the closest to milk chocolate. They’re only 56 percent, so if you’re a vegan that’s been missing creamy milk chocolate, you won’t want to pass these up.
  4. She Universe Chocolates | All Mayan Bars | 120g | $12.90
    She Universe Ginger Mayan BarThe team behind She Chocolates, creators of the Chocolate Bus in Christchurch, are all about spreading the love. And what better way to do that than with the comfort of chocolate? We tried their Ginger Organic Mayan Bar, with 56 percent cacao; it’s one gigantic slab of creamy, mellow chocolate (56 percent seems to be the sweet spot) encrusted with huge pieces of sugared ginger. This is definitely a winning combination from a very innovative New Zealand company. Plus, all their chocolates are fair trade and organic.