“Made using only the finest local and organic ingredients, internationally and ethically sourced”
“Brought together by our passion for chocolate, the Nova Team’s mission is to create delicious tempered temptations that are offered in a variety of taste sensations.”
These are statements made by Nova. Steep to live up to, I thought.
I met Dylan Johnsson at the Good Food & Wine show, as he brandished a jar of smudge at me. After chatting briefly he asked if I would be interested in doing a review on a few of his products, and of course as a food blogger, I said yes! Nova makes strong claims about being sugar free, ethically sourced and creating quality chocolate products. After loving the teeny taste sample at the show, I was ready to try some proper tasting. I love chocolate and as a new mom am trying to balance that love with losing the baby weight so a sugar free alternative peeked my interest. I also employed the taste buds of 2 other chocolate lovers, to ensure that we got a fair opinion of the products.
WHAT I WAS GIVEN TO REVIEW (at no cost to myself):
Balsamics @ R71.25 per bottle
We tried the Chocolate ml Balsamic; Pinotage Chocolate Balsamic with no sugar; Chilli Chocolate Balsamic; and the Lemongrass Chocolate Balsamic.
Well balanced and not over the top chocolaty flavoured, they are delicious. We tried them with different cheeses, meats, on salad and in olive oil, as well as also used them in cooking. Trust me. Make a burger, top it with any one of these and you have got a champion!
The Pinotage was the top favorite but they are all smooth and just delicious. These would be ideal for the middle of the table at your next dinner party...or as we did it, just at dinner.
Slabs @ R50 per 100g slab
A couple of things make these slabs special. First there are the flavors: Dark Chocolate; Dark chocolate with Peanut butter; Roasted Cacao; Dark chocolate with Espresso. What we all noticed was how easy eating and smooth this chocolate is. They are all 54% dark, which is not overly bitter or hard. The slabs have a lovely balance between the dark chocolate and their fillings and are decadent eating material. They are all sugar free, using Xylatol as the sweetener, but what really surprised us was the lack of artificial taste. They were simply delicious and as good, if not better, than any regular chocolate slab. (The dark chocolate also comes in a smaller Kj controlled size slab)
Price wise they are around R10 more per slab, than something like Lindt, but definitely worth it if you are looking to cut down/out your sugar. If I didn’t know about the product, I may have passed it over out of lack of knowledge, but it definitely has a quality taste and packaging the would make it a wonderful gift for someone special....or just a guilt free midnight snack for yourself.
Smudge @ R69 per 250g jar
Oh boy! If you thought this was a biased post before this, hold onto your hats. Be warned... Smudge is addictive. Very, very addictive!
Now this product I was very sceptical of. I detest Nutella...or any other sweet spreads. I have hated the idea of chocolate anything on bread or toast and cannot stand the taste...
Well all I can say is I have tried Smudge on EVERYTHING. From toast to biscuits, on toasted banana loaf: to even smearing it in the cup when I made hot chocolate! EVERYTHING. I finally had to keep it in the fridge because every time I walked past a jar (we had the plain and the hazelnut) I would eat a spoonful. Keeping it cold made it harder to get out the jar!
This stuff is insanely good...and also sugar free. It’s so creamy, smooth, silky and tasty that it is totally irresistible. I could honestly eat an entire jar with a spoon in one sitting!
WHAT WE DIDNT TEST:
Nova do a diabetic hot chocolate that, while I didn’t get in my box to try, I did taste a little bit at Good Food & Wine. It is unbelievable and if you weren’t told it was sugar free, you wouldn’t have known.
I was very impressed by the Nova products that I was sent. I found them to all be of very high standard and quality, and definitely competitive with other established brands. The packaging is just beautiful, and you can taste the love and care that goes into their products.
Would I spend the money to enjoy the taste, knowing that it was sugar free and lower in guilt, as well as being of a high standard using ethically sourced products? Yes I would. We always complain about value for money, well value also means that what you paying for you get, and with Nova I can say I found the quality of the product in line with the pricing.
At this point the products are available online or at 2 locations in Gauteng. This is a definite yes to go into your loved ones Christmas stocking....but go order yourself some early Christmas cheer... you really should test the products before buying as gifts for others!
Check out their facebook page: www.facebook.com/NovaChoc/ and website: www.novachocolate.co.za/.
VERDICT: I would definitely recommend Nova Choc-oh-late products.
Editor in Chief by day, freelance copywriter, amateur photographer & blogger by night. I love finding new adventures in food and life and sharing them with my readers.