A dark and fruity zero-waste chocolate bar from nibs etc. in collaboration with Meredith Whitely
Image: Meredith Whitely
“How to (mindfully) taste chocolate” reads the card that accompanies nibs etc’s latest addition, the granola dust chocolate bar. “Before you eat, use our eyes. Take a few moments to look at your chocolate,” it tells us. “What do you see?” We stop, and look. The hard, dark slab is the shade of Brazil nut shells and impossibly smooth but for shards of oats, nuts, seeds and the ‘dust’ of nibs etc’s fruit pulp granola. Though beyond the name this dust bears little similarity to that of Philp Pullman’s imagination, its constellation across the dark, sheen of chocolate does remind us vaguely of stars.
We touch the surface of the chocolate, as instructed by the card, and see how it feels. It’s like a pebble dashed wall, in miniature. We smell it. There are nuts, overtones of dried fruit and malty undertones. “Next, listen. Break off a piece to hear the snap.”
We’re getting impatient. Our mouth is watering, our tastebuds tingling in anticipation. We want to eat it, now, in three large mouthfuls. But this is the whole point, Chloë informs us, of ‘slow’ chocolate: to taste chocolate slowly, and with care. “It’s made by my friend Meredith, who makes fantastic chocolate using Pump Street bean-to-bar chocolate. She buys their chocolate wholesale, then tempers it and mixes it with infusions.”
The ethical cherry
Based up in Suffolk, Pump Street sources its beans direct from the growers, and prides itself on paying handsomely for them. Trade doesn’t come much fairer than theirs. “I had this idea of collaborating with Meredith and incorporating my granola into her chocolate,” Chloë continues. Her fruit pulp granola mixes the pulp of juiced fruit with organic oats, sultanas, honey, almonds, coconut flakes, seeds of all hues, cinnamon and a touch of salt. The pulp is sourced from juice bars around London and would otherwise go to landfill. It’s the ethical cherry on top of an ethical bar.
Finally, we eat it. We let it melt on our tongues. We crunch it between the teeth, enjoying the rubbly bits of baked oats and seeds amid the bittersweet smoothness of chocolate and the chewy tang of the fruit pulp. And as the last morsel slips lusciously down our throats, we agree with Chloë and Meredith. Some things are worth taking slow.