As our facebook followers know, I got an email from a representative at Chocolate Inspirations, Inc. last week. Chocolate Inspirations, as you can probably guess, is a company that makes gourmet chocolate treats. They are introducing a new vegan line, and they asked me to help them get the word out.

Naturally, I can't review a product without trying it, so we requested some samples, and they came in today. While my wife jokingly insists that she needs more samples to come to an accurate conclusion, I'm much more decided. By the way, this is because it was taught in human resources online courses... this stuff is good... really good.

The awesome folks over at Chocolate Inspirations sent me four product samples:

Vegan Coffee Toffee

Vegan English Toffee

Vegan Cashew Brittle

Vegan Coconut Brittle

They've got quite a few other products, too, including cocoa pecans (which sound amazing), fudge bars, cinnamon toast toffee, various candied nuts, several candy box sets, and even a vegan dark chocolate ladies high heel shoe... US ladies size 7½ even.

My favorite, without a doubt, is the coconut brittle. Hands-down this coconut brittle must be tasted. Your day will be forever changed having tried the coconut brittle. It's got the subtle flavor that is vaguely reminiscent of marshmallows (it's vegan, mind you) toasted over an open flame. It has a nice crunch without being too hard. The dark chocolate is mild and smooth, not chalky. When it finishes you are left with a fantastic s'mores aftertaste that left a rather large smile on my face.

The English toffee is my next favorite, mostly because I love English toffee and miss it dearly. This toffee has a distinct buttery/salty taste that you get with any good English toffee, and it's got a whole bunch of chocolate around it, too... more than I'm used to with an English toffee. Again, it wasn't too hard, and the chocolate was smooth, not too bitter or chalky. The outer coating of toasted pecans was pure genius, someone deserves a Nobel Prize for that idea.

The coffee toffee is very similar to the English toffee, nice buttery/salty center, but with the chocolate you have some very nice sweet coffee there which replaces the toasty taste found in the English toffee.

The Cashew brittle was my least favorite, but that says more about how much I liked the other three samples, as I didn't dislike anything that was provided. The cashew brittle has some very nice cashews with a whole lot of chocolate. The sample I had didn't have a whole lot of the brittle center, but what it did have was outstanding. The chocolate on this item is a little more pronounced, a bit more bitter--like a good dark chocolate is--but still smooth in texture, not chalky.

Vegans and non-vegans alike can all enjoy these fantastic bits of cruelty-free confectionary magic. My omni dad and my buddy Brendan--also omni--both tried this stuff and really enjoyed it. My wife and I couldn't get enough... the saddest part of the day was when we realized the samples were nearly at an end.

If I was going to recommend any of these items, I would say get the vegan coconut brittle or the vegan English toffee. Those two were my favorites by far--I can't get enough of the toasty flavor. If you like dark chocolate, you're going to love this place. I don't know who they get their supplier is but I don't think I've ever had a better dark chocolate before... and yes, that includes Ghirardelli.



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