THIS week we are happily returning to the subject of vegan chocolate.

Strangely, when we are fortunate enough to receive consignments of vegan chocolate to sample here at the Adver offices (it's a tough job but someone's got to do it), my non-vegan colleagues are decidedly more enthusiastic than when another vegan 'cheese' arrives.

Last week, we put several little bars of vegan Ombar chocolate to the test - and it's fair to say they all proved popular.

As long as you like dark chocolate, it's not actually hard to find vegan chocolate as high-cocoa varieties made by mainstream manufacturers and supermarkets often do not contain any dairy ingredients. Nonetheless, the specialist chocolate makers do come up with a greater variety of vegan chocolate, including some with a decidedly more milk chocolate flavour.

Ombar uses organic, fair trade ingredients, and makes its chocolate from raw cacao. Cacao? A little investigation and I learn that both cocoa and cacoa start from the same raw ingredients - cacao beans. If these beans are roasted at high temperatures before being processed, then they’re called cocoa.

If the beans are not roasted, and are instead left to dry naturally in the sun before undergoing a similar processing method, then the ingredient going into the chocolate is called cacao rather than cocoa. Apparently this has become the generally accepted term to refer to the raw ingredient. Cacao is thought to be better for you as it contains more nutrients, such as flavanols, which have a variety of health benefits.

I have absolutely no idea if this is has been scientifically proven, but I am more then prepared to go along with the concept of chocolate being good for you, and that consequently I should eat more of it - particularly when it tastes as good as Ombar's Keep it Raw chocolate bars.

They make a variety of flavours, including the tasty Mandarin and the Coco Mylk, both made with Ecuadorian beans, Ombar Coconut, Coco Almond, Ombar centres chocolate bars, fruit chocolate bars and chocolate buttons.

These are not the first raw cacao chocolate bars I have tasted, and you can tell the difference. The chocolate tastes softer, richer and with a more complex flavour. My Adver colleagues seem similarly impressed - vegan label notwithstanding.

You can buy them online ( or in Waitrose, with 35g bars at £1.99.