Here’s something that sucks about being allergic to nuts: the desperate search for quality chocolate.
I read ingredients on absolutely any food in a package (even frozen veggies and cans of coconut milk), so I can confidently proclaim that 99% of good chocolate has a warning label on it that says it was “processed in a facility that also processes tree nuts and peanuts.” Damnit! It’s like the good chocolate people all got together and, in the name of efficient operations, decided to make all the good chocolate in one place. While they were at it they threw nuts on every conveyor belt just to make sure I was freaked out enough to not eat any of it.
A couple clarifications. When I say “good” chocolate I mean high quality, real ingredients (cacao should be listed first). So Hershey’s and all that other mass brand garbage is out. Also, I recognize that it is unlikely that the products with these manufacturer’s warnings would actually cause me to have an allergic reaction. But the warning scares me just enough to not give it a try. I like chocolate, but it’s not worth the anxiety or the risk.
So for the love of chocolate I have spent no fewer than ~54 total hours reading ingredients lists on chocolate at every grocery store I go to. If my boyfriend reads this he will laugh right now because he might be the only person who knows 1) how true this is and 2) how many grocery stores this entails.
I love grocery stores. Actually I am freakishly obsessed with wandering any kind of food aisles. The weirder, the better. Asian markets, organic produce stalls, carnicerias, hot sauce shops, gas station stores filled with faux food…I just love seeing what’s available out there.
As a result, I’ve read a lot of chocolate labels. When I find a brand without a nut warning, I break into a happy dance, buy as much as I can consume and/or carry and on my way out I one-click some more to my door via Amazon Prime if I find a good price.
So today I’m going to share with you my safe chocolate finds so that all you nut-free, quality-seeking chocolate lovers out there can enjoy this (questionably “Paleo”) indulgence.
I’m linking to Amazon, but you can find these brands in many grocery stores. I have good luck at Whole Foods and more high-end regional grocers. Most of these brands have sites with a “where to buy” page, too.
Disclaimer: Chocolate companies change their labels to reflect changes in their manufacturing situation. Be sure to read the label before you buy to make sure they didn’t join the rest of the companies’ nut-zone operations.
My Favorite Nut Free Chocolate Suggestions
Scharffen Berger 62%, 70%, 82% or 99% dark (not the tasting squares but rather the regular, 3-oz bars)
PASCHA Chocolate: (updated 9/8/2013) I just read about PASCHA Chocolate. I haven’t tried it yet, but the company is pretty serious about being free of the top eight allergens, including nuts and peanuts. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some! (updated 1/10/2013) I got my paws on some PASCHA chocolate and it is amazing. Check out my review, then find some and enjoy it yourself.
Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (not super high quality, but nut and soy free)
Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks (same note as above)
Any additions? Please share!
For the record – no, I don’t work for or have any affiliation with any of these companies, they didn’t give me anything for free and they don’t know I’m writing about them. They just make awesome chocolate that’s totally free from nuts and I thought you should know about it.