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More often than not, dark chocolate is going to be vegan. It’s only when manufacturers add milk-based products to their dark chocolates that things turn non-vegan. Of course, many chocolate companies do indeed add milk to help give the usually bitter dark chocolate a more palatable taste.
Milk makes dark chocolate creamier, too, so it’s often preferred over straight dark chocolate. This presents a bit of a quandary, though. Instead of being able to pick up any old dark chocolate bar in confidence, vegans have to pay close attention to the list of ingredients on every package.
But we’re up for the challenge. That’s why you can count on Cook Gem to bring you the facts on which dark chocolate is vegan. We carefully researched various brands to ensure that we included the most popular entries for your consideration.
What Is Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is simply chocolate without milk solids added to it. Thus, dark chocolate’s basic ingredients include cocoa beans, soy lecithin, and sugar. Sometimes, vanilla or other flavoring agents are added to, well, add flavor.
When dark chocolate has more cocoa content and fewer sugars, it tastes quite bitter. That’s why many chocolate companies add milk-based ingredients. Even the smallest addition of milk — which is usually all it takes — helps give dark chocolate a creamier texture and more enjoyable taste.
Furthermore, eating a small amount of dark chocolate is considered to be a healthy snack. And its unique flavor makes it a favorite for baking and melting over various desserts.
The highest-quality dark chocolates are those with 70% or more cocoa content. And when you buy dark chocolate that has really high cocoa content, it is almost always guaranteed to be a vegan-friendly product. So the next time you grab a dark chocolate bar, double-check its cocoa content.
Vegan-Friendly Dark Chocolates
It’s now time for what you came to see. Below is our compilation of vegan dark chocolates, so you will know what to keep an eye out for as you search for quality, vegan-friendly dark chocolate.
Lindt is one of the finest chocolate makers in the world. As such, they produce a long line of chocolates that range from vegan to non-vegan. Admittedly, Lindt’s vegan selection is rather limited. But what they do have offers out-of-this-world taste and the highest of quality.
As mentioned, it’s best to buy dark chocolate with high cocoa content. Fortunately, that’s something Lindt offers quite a bit of. For example, you can find dark chocolates with as much as 100% cocoa or as little as 70%.
The good news is that even Lindt’s 70% cocoa offerings are vegan-friendly. As always, though, you’ll want to keep an eye on the ingredients listed on the package. There are simply too many non-vegan dark chocolates that it can be easy to accidentally pick one up instead of its vegan counterpart. See our full Lindt vegan chocolate list here.
Compartes is another quality chocolate company that offers something a bit different. Like Lindt, there are both vegan and non-vegan products. But what Compartes offers for vegans is truly delicious. For example, the brand’s vegan dark chocolates include flavors like Old Hollywood Smoked Sea Salt and California Love Pretzel.
If you’re not sure whether you have one of Compartes’ vegan options, just check the list of ingredients and look for anything made from milk.
Ghirardelli was actually purchased by Lindt back in 1998. To this day, however, Ghirardelli continues to pump out some of the best chocolates you’ll ever taste. There’s only one glaring problem: most Ghirardelli dark chocolates contain milk products.
Still, the few that are vegan-friendly are absolutely incredible, such as 72% Cacao Twilight Delight. With the absence of dairy, you can enjoy Ghirardelli in all its vegan glory.
Ritter Sport is a German-based chocolate company that actually focuses on vegan dark chocolates. They make plenty of milk-based chocolates, too. But Ritter Sport’s vegan offerings are truly delightful, including selections like:
- Marzipan (dark chocolate and California almonds)
- Nicaragua Single-origin 61% Fine Dark Chocolate
- Peru Single-origin 74% Intense Dark Chocolate
- 50% Dark Chocolate
If you want a bar of dark chocolate that’s not as bitter as others, try the 50% Dark Chocolate.
Trader Joe’s is known for its healthy food items, and vegan-friendly dark chocolate is no exception. With offerings like Pound Plus Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Lover’s Bar, you’ll have trouble getting your chocolate fix while staying true to your vegan lifestyle.
When it comes to sheer selection, Theo is one of the very best. Its dark chocolates total more than 20, ensuring that you’ll have plenty to choose from as you search for your favorite vegan dark chocolate. Flavors of Theo’s dark chocolates include Vanilla Cocoa, Seat Salt, and Mint.
What’s more, it’s important to mention that Theo thrives on fair trade. As such, the company works hard to source its ingredients from organic cocoa farmers at fair wages. The end result of Theo’s commitment to fair trade is delectable dark chocolates that every vegan is sure to love.
Is Dark Chocolate a Good Choice for Vegans?
Yes. Real dark chocolate avoids adding any additives or ingredients that come from animals. And the higher the cocoa content, the more likely it is to be vegan.
It’s nice to see that even the leading chocolate companies stay true to dark chocolate and keep it free of dairy and other animal products. Sure, there are some variations that include milk to help improve the texture and flavor.
But as long as you know what to look for in the ingredients, you are sure to avoid the non-vegan options and go with the vegan ones every time.
Now that you know which brands offer the best vegan dark chocolates, you can be sure to pick them up the next time you’re at your local supermarket. In the meantime, though, why not head over to our info page? We have a comprehensive list of vegan items that range from ingredients to restaurant menu items and more.