Suddenly, it seems as if it’s raining sugar free chocolates. Maine Cottage Foods has a wide variety sweetened with erythritol, which claims the lowest glycemic index of any other sweetener. They also add oligofructose, a probiotic fiber, enhancing your treats with the same fiber as a bran muffin and adding extra sweetness. I found this a very interesting strategy, as it makes their chocolates more filling.
Maine Cottage Foods’ chocolates are most obviously different from each other in the milk and dark varieties. The milk iterations are much creamier, as you would expect, with a chewier mouth feel, while the darks are very snappy, glossy, and crisp.
I was taken with their colorful foil-wrapped “Teenies,” also available in 1.1-1.5 ounce bars. I sampled 11 flavors. The five darks were: Cherry, Ultra Dark, Mint, Orange, and Raspberry. All were appealing and had good flavor. My favorite was the mint, followed by orange. The milk options were: Butterscotch, Butterscotch and Cinnamon, Crunch, Milk, Mint, and Raspberry. Of these, I liked the crunch best, with both Butterscotches next in line.
Since they sent me some dark chocolate “Jewels,” their larger version of faceted chocolate chips, I had to make some clusters. This batch was enhanced with an organic crunchy maple cereal and some tart dried cherries. A slam dunk with a group of friends who wouldn’t have known the chocolate was sugar free unless I mentioned it. The jewels come in different flavors, including: mint, orange, dark, milk, butterscotch, raspberry, and some seasonal offerings.
They also make big slabs of chocolate bark. I was surprised to see them weigh in at eight ounces, as they look huge. You can order all sorts of combinations from drop down menus, including different flavored chocolates and add-ins, including pistachios, almonds, Kona coffee beans, pecans, peanuts, wild Maine blueberries, and cherries. I am sure they are all delicious, as the three I tried (blueberry, coffee, and peanut) were satisfying, rich, full of flavor and appealing textures, and very generously packed with fruit, coffee, or nuts. The blueberries were dried, but still chewy and very fresh tasting, Kona coffee beans were roasted to their crispy apotheosis with no acidity and a super mocha intensity, and the goobers were wonderfully crunchy and a perfect ad-in for those seeking a snack food more than a confection.
The people at Maine Cottage Foods are so accommodating they will even split a one pound bark order into two different options; so, you could order half a pound of the dark with Kona coffee and half a pound with blueberries. In addition, they offer free shipping, weather permitting.