Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Find Premium Chocolate



photo courtesy 123rf.com
I remember as a child waiting to wake up on Easter morning and ripping into my basket of goodies. Nothing, nothing beat that chocolate bunny that would be in there. You know, the one that (for some reason) you always eat the ears off of first before anything. So when I had my son and started to put his Easter baskets together,I realized that his baskets would require a bit more effort past the local pharmacy for that little hollow guy. Food allergies and candy are not as magical as the Easter bunny is.

For many years, I have followed and been told about an allergy-friendly chocolate producer called Premium Chocolatiers. I will admit that until this year, I have not ordered anything from them so when I contacted them and asked if I could try out one of their bunnies, I was overjoyed that they took me up on it. If you go to their website, you will be amazed at all of the different selections that are available for holidays, special occasions and just for down right munching. They also offer many allergy-friendly versions of the candies that you wish you could eat while having a food allergy, such as chocolate bars, covered pretzels and candy-bar like treats. It's like you died and went to food allergy-friendly heaven. I could just imagine a real-life "kid in a candy store" in their store- oh goodness!

I was lucky enough to receive Mikey the Magical Milkless Bunny. Check out how cute this little fellow is-
He's dotted with some non-dairy white chocolate and he's hollow, just like the bunnies that you used to get when you were younger. Not only is he cute but he is free of dairy, peanuts/tree nuts, egg, gluten and he is vegan. That's one tall order for such a small, yummy guy. But I have to say that he lives up to his reputation. Even though this chocolate is dairy free, it tastes just like a milk chocolate. Their is no strange after-taste that you sometimes find with allergy-friendly products. I am willing to bet that if you put him next to your run-of-the-mill chocolate bunny that you can find anywhere and asked who could tell which was which, there would definitely be some splitting of hairs (get it- hairs, rabbit...never mind). What I did find out is that there is a  magic ingredient inside little Mikey that made the dark side of my child appear (chocolate, dark- another one..it's funny, come on!). As with many sweets and goodies, beware- when you least expect it your child will defy you and all that you have told them and eat the last piece of poor Mikey! Mothers will gladly give their last bite of food to their children but this is not the same thing at all -

  

Do you see the ferociousness? The pure intent?

I did want to mention something else that happened as well. I wasn't going too but I think it's a necessary reminder to us all. During our taste-testing, my son began to have a small reaction. This being said, I want to clarify that I don't believe it was due to anything in the chocolate. The representative from Premium Chocolatiers was on the ball and was very fast at responding to my email of questions and concerns. Re-accessing the situation, I (believe) what happened was due to something that I overlooked, meaning I stupidly used a napkin to break up the chocolate that I thought had been replaced after my lunch of shrimp and pasta (my son is allergic to shellfish, among other things).

Why am I telling you this? For a few reasons. First- I want to reiterate how the situation was handled by the company, letting us know that they don't take food allergies lightly. This is key in finding safe products.

Secondly, that even the best of us can make a simple mistake at anytime.  Looking back, I even remember questioning myself as I went to grab the napkin if I had gotten a new one or not and I didn't listen to that little voice, as I should have. Always, always be cautious and double-check (triple check if you have too). I feel horrible and guilty for allowing that to happen to my son but it put me back on guard to always be ready for anything. I have to say, the calmest person when it happened was my son which tells me that he has been educated about his food allergies. That gives me comfort but I owe him for failing him this time.

photo courtesy of Premium Chocolatiers.com

A big thank you to the folks at Premium Chocolatiers for allowing me to try out their product and (again) for the reassurance that they care about their customers and what they eat. Please visit their website at Premium Chocolatiers to view their complete catalog of goodies as well as their Facebook page to say hello and see what their latest news is. I have also listed them as an allergy-friendly product in my book The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies which can be seen at AllergyPhoods.com because sharing is caring.




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