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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Fearless Hibiscus Flower Ginger Root

     
Fearless Hibiscus Flower Ginger Root 
Posted: 13 December 2014    5.0 
Fearless Hibiscus Flower Ginger Root from USA I wish I could write here that the Fearless' mix of organic hibiscus flower with organic ginger root took my taste buds in exotic new directions as it touched my tongue immersed in Fearless' organic 70% chocolate.  But there's a silver lining here, too. Fearless is now out of business. The real tragedy would be if I gave this bar a 9.5, claiming it was one of the best chocolate bars I'd ever eaten, and you'd now never have a chance to try it!     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.093   Cocoa %: 70  Size: 56.7g   
       


Way way back in September, OptoJay showed up in Bangkok with his wife bearing stacks of chocolates for me to review here.  To keep my waistline within acceptable ranges, I cannot risk reviewing several chocolate bars a week on a regular basis.  This Hibiscus Flower Ginger Root chocolate bar, manufactured by the Fearless Chocolate Company of Berkeley, California, is one of OptoJay's stash that got pushed back till the end of the year.          

It is with a bittersweet note -- no pun intended on this 70% cocoa solid bar -- that I write this review.  For the first time in the history of the Chocolate Republic, I write a review for a chocolate bar manufactured by a company which was no longer in business by the time I sampled it.  On December 1, just two short weeks ago, this tearful note appeared on Fearless Chocolate's web site:        

"It is with a heavy heart we share with you that Fearless Chocolate has closed its doors.  Unfortunately the cost of scaling operations has proved difficult to sustain this past year and thus far we have been unable to find a partnership to propel Fearless onward and continue the tradition.  For now we will be suspending operations and Fearless will hibernate as we seek new opportunities."        

This is all PR lingo for "We're f'd.  Sales sucked.  Story over."  Apparently, the story was really over in the fall.  OptoJay must've picked up one of the last few Fearless batches from one of his local stores in Colorado.   

Fearless sourced their beans from family-owned farms in the Mata-Atlantica Rainforests of Bahia, Brazil.  Amma Chocolate of Salvador, Brazil turned the beans into the bars Fearless sold.  The arrangement was not unlike that of another American operator, Madecasse, who sourced their beans direct in Madagascar and had a local chocolate manufacturer turn the product into bars for sale in the American market. The difference is that Madecasse is now the chic taste of the jet set and Fearless is no more real than the Easter bunny.         

Fearless started in a home kitchen in 2006 and produced over 50 tons of cocoa and 2.3m chocolate bars by the time it shuttered 8 years later.  The mission was laudable:  all organic bars, manufactured in a low temperature environment to provide as many raw food benefits as possible (without being officially a raw food), infused with ethically traded superfoods like hibiscus flowers and ginger.  Sony Betamax's mission was also laudable back in the late 1970's and early 1980's:  top quality videotape recording technology in smaller tapes.   Look what happened to them after VHS became dominant. What took place with Fearless is probably a sign of things to come, as more and more high quality chocolate manufacturers crowd the market place to grab the limited shelf space in natural food stores and supermarkets.         

I wish I could write here that the Fearless' mix of organic hibiscus flower with organic ginger root took my taste buds in exotic new directions as it touched my tongue immersed in Fearless' organic 70% chocolate. The final taste of these top quality ingredients in my mouth was decidedly average, made more so because I was expecting so much.  But there's a silver lining here, too.  Fearless is now out of business.  The real tragedy would be if I gave this bar a 9.5, claiming it was one of the best chocolate bars I'd ever eaten, and you'd now never have a chance to try it!        

I am impressed enough with Fearless' mission that I would have gladly gotten in line again to purchase other bars to see if their chocolate grew on me. Not only was every Fearless bar organic, Direct Trade, Kosher, gluten free, soy free, GMO free, vegan, and manufactured with  recyclable wrapper, the company gave a bite-size portion of their proceeds to Champion Changemakers nominated by their customers.  A changemaker was defined as an organization or individual "positively manifesting change through embodied action."  The changemaker Fearless really needed was a big pocketed investor loving organic Brazilian rainforest chocolate.          

I'll toast Fearless' memory as I bite into tomorrow's Italian chocolate. Even the fearless meet a bitter end sometimes.              

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Lotte Almond Choco Ball from Korea -- 28% cocoa solids
 Chuao Potato Chip from USA -- 41% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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