Saturday, February 16, 2013

vegan love from across the pond

Clockwise from top left,  Mini Moos Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate with Banana Chips,  Chili and Lime Extra Dark Chocolate, Booja Booja Truffles and Mini Moos "Milk" Chocolate with Honeycomb,

Part of the fun of traveling is sampling new vegan treats that you can't get at home. Thanks to my friend, Sue, who lives in the UK, I only had to travel as far as my mail room to access a  box of British plant-based yumminess. Doing a vegan food swap was Sue's idea. She had been dying to try Peanut Butter and Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams [my personal favorite], which she can't get in England. And every time she mentioned Booja Booja Truffles, my mouth would water all over my keyboard. And so our swap was born.

My favorite item in Sue's box, hands-down, though, was the Mini Moos Dairy Free Milk Chocolate Bar  – creamy vegan milk chocolate studded with dried banana chips. On paper, it sounds "meh," and I never even liked non-vegan milk chocolate. But this bar was surpringly luscious with a depth of flavor and texture lacking in dairy milk chocolate. The crunchy banana chips were a fun alternative to nuts. The Booja Booja Truffles were also winners – silky, rich and decadent.

More chocolate! A Free From Belgian Dark Chocolate Tiffin and an OM Bar Probiotic Coconut Chocolate Bar. The Free From chocolate squares reminded me of fudge – cloyingly good and a little bit goes a long way. And of course, I love anything coconut, especially with a side of gut-loving probiotics.

Sue also sent a whole slew of Nakd products. The flavored raisins taste eerily candy-like; it was deliciously strange eating a lime-flavored raisin. [Finally, an all-natural Frankenfood!] I loved the cherry especially and would buy them if they sold them in the US. The bars are made with fruits and nuts and are reminiscent of Larabars. Rhubarb Custard was the best of the bunch.

On the savory side, Sue included a Sea Salt and Cider Vinegar Nut Mix, spicy Reggae Reggae Peanuts and Cashews and a tin of Shiitake Pâté. You can't go wrong with any flavored nuts or vegan pâtés – all were quite tasty.

Of course, Sue also sent "food" for my face, via 3 masks: Anti-Stress, Hot Chocolate and Very Berry. I was tickled to get these; I love a good facial mask but am usually too to indulge, but this is a good reminder to take time to pamper yourself. Masks a great way to relax and give your skin a thoroughly good cleanse.

Sue, your package is on the way, complete with Dark Chocolate Dreams and some other American and Pennsylvania surprises. I hope you like my choices!

Chocolate love from Taniwha's Nadège
The universe must have known I was desperately in need of indulgence. As if getting a box of British vegan sweets was not enough fun, later in the same week, my friend Nadège from France sent me these 2 luxurious chocolate bars. Nadège runs the fabulous Francophone ad agency, Taniwha, and she does work for both French- and English-speaking clients. More importantly, Nadège is truly an angel for the animals. She has rescued countless dogs and cats, and does much on the Taniwha blog to promote animal welfare and veganism. [Check out her interview with me in English and French]. Nadège, you will be receiving an American surprise in the coming weeks!

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coconutandberries said...

All v.familiar to me as I'm in England too. I've never tried a few of those things though, namely the banana moo-free. I am a fan of their honeycomb flavour though. That coconut ombar is one of my favourites too! And of course nakd products.
I'm with you on the Dark Chocolate Dreams- so good. They used to sell it in the Wholefoods in London but alas I haven't seen it in a long time :(

Amey said...

yay! international swaps are the best... especially when they are FILLED with chocolate!! You've clearly got some good friends. :)

Andrea said...

Wow. Good thing you're in serious training mode with all these sweets to sample! What a wonderful assortment of sweet and savory treats. The shiitake paté looks interesting, along with all the fab chocolate.

Dawn said...

Jealous! The milk chocolate with banana bits and probiotic coconut bars are of particular interest :-)

James said...

And let's not forget that Booja Booja are Nigella Lawson's favourite truffles! I think Moo Free is probably the best milk chocolate we get in Australia: the other rice milk ones just aren't as nice. Maybe we just need to make a vegan island in the middle of the Atlantic so we're an equal distance from both the US and the UK's vegan treats... (I'm very jealous of your food swap; sounds awesome).

Joey said...

Your friend Sue has definitely done some good work there. Booja booja truffles are whatever I pull out to impress anyone who gives it the old vegan chocolate/dessert skepticism. Lazy Day is also reliably good - I can't say enough good things about their tiffin.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you liked your package Dynise! I can't wait to get mine and try that Choccy peanut butter and everything else, excited muchly!!

Sue x x

talisma said...

Good range of UK products... I live in London and as you can realize, it is easy to become a vegan-choco addict!