August 06, 2020
Until recently, almost everything we made included dairy. Our flagship item, the ganache chocolate truffles, was how we started in the industry of chocolate. We made something unique: dark chocolate, cream, and an infusion of flavor from many unusual ingredients. By last year we had over 400 (!) recipes. (These truffles are available seasonally now. Be sure to join the newsletter to get the heads-up when the are available).
Because we had to close our kitchen and office when the Viaduct came down in Seattle, we shifted our focus to our craft chocolate line, and to expanding our spiced chocolate bars and our cocoa mixes. This, it turns out, means that we have many vegan chocolate options now!
What is “Vegan Chocolate”?
Chocolate comes from a roasted seed, from the cacao pod fruit. You’d think this would make all chocolate vegan, correct? Well, that is as long it’s just the chocolate and nothing else. A 100% chocolate, or no sugar added (and we have a few of those options), would be vegan. But if you add more ingredients there are additional questions that must be answered.
Many of our customers ask specifically if the chocolate is vegan before purchase, to be sure that what is added doesn’t conflict with their ethical stance on food. Sugar for instance is a very complicated subject for the vegan diet. Most white sugar goes through a process that uses bone char filtration, for instance. That's a bonus reason why we use a less-processed cane sugar.
Dairy is an obvious no-no for the vegan diet. Did you know that for a confection to be called a “white chocolate” it must contain milk from a cow? That essentially rules out all white chocolate for vegans. Don’t worry if you are vegan, though, because we have some options.
Our standards for vegan chocolate:
Let’s talk first about dairy. Although our truffles and our “goat milk” chocolates contain dairy, everything else in our store does not. This includes our vegan hot cocoa (aka vegan hot chocolate). We decided that our cocoa mix would not include powdered milk - unlike most cocoa mixes - to give you the choice of milk or alternative you would enjoy most.
Honey and white sugar are still sometimes allowed under vegan diets, however we some exclude the items from their diets. Therefore, we have chosen to include them in the vegan collection, but announce that the ingredient is present and not include these items the chef's assortment. We use an alternative to white sugar in all our confections: Demerara cane sugar, similar to Sugar-In-The-Raw. No animal products are used in refining, and much of the natural nutrition and flavor are retained. Honey is one of the chef's favorite foods, so we use the best local honey we can find, from keepers who love their bees and are proud of their honey.
We also offer a vegan version of a white chocolate we call “Vanilla White”. Where a white chocolate must *always* contains cows milk according to the FDA, we work around this by eliminating the dairy and using an undeodorized cocoa butter that helps to maintain a complex flavor, Demerara cane sugar for a hint of caramel, real vanilla beans, and the tiniest pinch of sea salt.
Vegan Chocolate Options
We offer vegan options in all of our categories. Check out the new Vegan Chocolate Collection to see everything that will make your vegan day!