Given our society’s dual obsessions with wellness and designer foods, it seems inevitable that a product would come along to capitalize on the health benefits of dark chocolate. A company called Phytobase has come out with a dark chocolate known as Amoriss
that contains red wine extract, heart-healthy fruits, and nutraceuticals like resveratrol.
The Health Claims
Phytobase claims that the combination of fruits and red wine extract provides a number of potent antioxidants and anti-aging compounds that promote cholesterol wellness, balance the immune system, and support the cardiovascular system. (Even though the chocolates contain red wine extract, they do not actually contain alcohol). Each .42-ounce chocolate contains 1200 mg of a proprietary antioxidant blend, including extracts from pomegranates, acai berries, goji berries, mangosteen, and red wine. Note that the health claims associated with Amoriss chocolate have not been evaluated by the FDA.
The Taste Test
I’m a little reluctant to grade Amoriss on taste alone, since the chocolates are obviously intended to be consumed for nutritional as well as recreational use. That being said, the taste of the chocolates is quite good. They have a nice fruity flavor with strong notes of berry. The taste is not dissimilar to other dark chocolates with fruity undertones, like Scharffen Berger. They have a robust chocolate taste without the bitterness or acidity of some dark chocolates, and are a little sweeter than many of the popular ultra darks on the market now, but are not too sweet or cloying.
What stops me from giving this chocolate top marks is the texture. When biting into the chocolates or chewing them, they are perceptibly gritty, which I found disconcerting and unpleasant. If you are used to eating grainy chocolates (like Mexican chocolate) you might not mind, but I prefer a smooth mouthfeel, and didn’t enjoy the grittiness. I found that if I just let the chocolates dissolve in my mouth they were actually quite smooth, but I am often too impatient and like to chew my candy, so I kept revisiting the texture issue. Also, the chocolates are fairly substantial and are shaped like a small ingot, so they were too large to eat all at once, and it was necessary to bite them several times. It’s too bad that the texture bothered me so much, since I found the flavor addicting.
I think Amoriss is a good product if you are looking to get a nutritional boost along with your already heart-healthy dark chocolate. The small pieces are only 56 calories each, yet they’re a substantial 3-4 bites of chocolate, so it’s possible to fit one or two daily chocolates into a healthy diet without a major calorie splurge. I also liked how they were individually packaged for built-in portion control and portability.
The makers of Amoriss also suggest melting down a chocolate and using it as a face mask to nourish your skin with the same healthy antioxidants. I have yet to try this, as the thought of smearing chocolate on my face instead of in my mouth seems counterintuitive and wasteful, but it could be fun as part of a pampering beauty ritual or a girl’s night—first make face masks, then eat the remaining chocolate.
The price for a 28-serving container of Amoriss chocolates is $39.95 on their website (the chocolates are also available at Whole Foods). At roughly $1.40/piece, this makes Amoriss chocolates more expensive than most chocolate bars three times their size. Are the potential heart-healthy benefits worth the extra cost? Obviously, I can’t answer that for you. In my opinion, the quality of this chocolate is inferior to premium chocolates that are comparably priced ounce-for-ounce, but if you have been looking for a way to boost your antioxidant consumption or to give your chocolate habit a healthy justification, Amoriss might be a great solution.