What is REAL Chocolate? Want Some? {GIVEAWAY–NOW CLOSED, over $200 value}

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White chocolate used to be my ultimate favorite candy before I was a label reader. Once I realized that even fancy stuff from chocolate shops had labels like this one, filled with more sugar than anything else, trans fats, and no actual chocolate, I started raising my standards and usually choose dark chocolate for my indulgences. (Which happen daily, by the way, lest you think I’m some sort of real food superhero!)

This week when we’re challenging you to ditch the trans fats once and for all, I’m very excited to share a company who makes white chocolate with cocoa butter, of all things, no trans fats, and no high fructose corn syrup. What a breath of fresh air!

box of chocolate arrives

Santa Barbara Chocolate Company sent me a big old box of chocolate so I can experiment to my heart’s content. I warned them my recipe might just say, “Insert into mouth. Allow to melt. Savor,” and they agreed that whenever they’re baking with chocolate, somehow some seems to disappear before getting into the recipe.

So not only is their chocolate simply made better:

Our pure chocolates are specially designed to be lower in sugar, made with pure pressed cocoa butter for healthy skin and retain natural cocoa antioxidants for an active lifestyle of vigor and glowing health.

But the company is run by real people with real personalities, a factor I just love. Here’s some fun info about the head chocolate maker:

Jason Vishnefske is the Maitre Chocolatier and cofounder of the original Santa Barbara Chocolate Company which was established in 1992.

His ancestors started in the Chocolate business over 100 years ago in the city of Prague, Czech Republic.

Jason’s passion for fitness and love of cacao gave him the idea to combine California fresh ingredients that promote health and vigor with the highest quality, all natural, private reserve chocolate he was importing from his family in Europe. By merging the high standards of European chocolate craftsmanship with a fresh and vibrant California lifestyle approach, Jason has helped elevate chocolate from a “junk food” to a healthy delicacy.

I don’t know if I’d put chocolate – except for very dark chocolate – into the category of “healthy,” but getting it out of “junk food” is a huge step in the right direction!

Why Santa Barbara Chocolate is Better

Although I’d love to accept samples from every company that emails me offering candy and chocolate, 95% of the time I read the ingredients and turn them down. (I tell them my readers are too strict! Ha!)

Here’s why I was pleased to work with Santa Barbara Chocolates:

  • no trans fats
  • no high fructose corn syrup
  • no GMOs
  • organically grown – better for the environment
  • ethically traded – better for small farmers in other countries
  • doesn’t negatively impact the rain forests

Read more about sourcing, their super strict economic justice standards, and the close relationship Santa Barbara has with their suppliers on their About Page. It’s impressive!

But How Does it Taste?

I knew you’d want to know. It’s a rough job, reviewing all this stuff, really!

I generally try to keep my reviews separate from the paid giveaways to make sure I don’t give the impression that my opinion can be influenced by a nice fat check (it can’t; a nice fat box of chocolate, however, ahem…).

Someday I’ll post a recipe using the chocolate and talk more about how we enjoyed it, but for now, let’s just honestly say that this:

white chocolate covered salty sweet snack mix (2) (475x356)

and this:

white chocolate covered trail mix (10) (475x356)

and this:

white chocolate white trash remake (6) (475x356)

and these:

raw coconut cookies drizzled with chocolate (5) (475x356)

are all gone now. Evaluate that as you like!

Wait a second…there was one of those coconut balls forgotten in the box. I had to eat it so I wouldn’t be lying to you all. Oh, the sacrifices I make to be morally upstanding!

Want Some?

Santa Barbara Chocolate Company is offering some very generous prizes today!

For everyone: Use the code SWEET5 for 5% off any order all month long.

If you enter the giveaway, be sure to check the very last page/fine print, because there’s an exclusive code in there for TEN percent off, which is obviously better than five. Winking smile

Grand Prize: 6 pounds dark & white chocolate {$83.95}

3lb Cameroon Manjo Dark Chocolate

The Cameroon Manjo is a favorite bittimageersweet dark chocolate couverture used by chocolatiers and dessert professionals world wide. These dark chocolate medallions are approximately 1″ in diameter, contain 100% cocoa butter and are ready to eat.

A harmonious chocolate whose flavor profile starts warm and mellow then journeys into notes of almond and berry with a clean bittersweet finish.

Made using ethically traded, rain forest grown cacao from the Manjo region of Cameroon, West Africa. This is an all natural couverture grade chocolate which contains 100% pure cocoa butter.

PS – I don’t know what couverture means, but it sure sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Winking smile


3lb Organic White Chocolate

These white chocolate medallions are approximately 1″ in diameter, contain pure cocoa butter and are ready to eat.

*All Organic Ingredients
*No added vanilla. No added soy.
*Fair Trade
*Rain Forest Alliance Certified Ingredients

The Santa Barbara Chocolate White Chocolate is made with pure pressed prime grade AA cocoa butter. This is not common in the chocolate industry because it is more expensive to do this.

Cocoa butter is a pale-yellow, edible cacao fat obtained from cocoa beans, having a mild chocolate flavor and aroma…It is fundamental in confectionery for its melting characteristics, remaining brittle at room temperature but melting just below body temperature. One of the most stable fats known, cocoa butter contains natural antioxidants.

1st Prize: 6 pounds dark & white chocolate {$77.90}

3lb Cameroon Manjo Dark chocolate

The Cameroon Manjo is a favorite bittersweet dark chocolate couverture used by chocolatiers and dessert professionals world wide. These dark chocolate medallions are approximately 1″ in diameter, contain 100% cocoa butter and are ready to eat.

A harmonious chocolate whose flavor profile starts warm and mellow then journeys into notes of almond and berry with a clean bittersweet finish.

Made using ethically traded, rain forest grown cacao from the Manjo region of Cameroon, West Africa. This is an all natural couverture grade chocolate which contains 100% pure cocoa butter.


3lb Rio Tigre White Chocolate image

Our Rio Tigre White Chocolate is professional grade couverture. These white chocolate medallions, approximately 1″ in diameter are made to the highest standards using only ultra-premium all natural cocoa butter.

Clean, aromatic hints of vanilla and citrus compliment its nutty undertones to strike a perfect balance of sweetness and milky flavor.

With no added oil or fillers, Rio Tigre White Chocolate contains only pure cocoa butter for the chocolate connoisseur.

*Pure pressed cocoa butter

2nd Prize: fancy box of chocolates {$26.99}

1lb California Collection From the grassy rolling meadows of imageHumboldt County to the Santa Barbara Riviera, the great state of California is a rich land growing fresh fruits and nuts. Our California Collection Gift Box brings you the chocolatier’s best in the realm of crunchy, chewy and silky smooth, each united with extraordinary chocolate of the highest quality.

Enjoy toasty almonds enrobed in milk and dark chocolate, walnuts dipped in dark chocolate, soft orange nougat, crisp buttery toffees, chewy caramels, soft butter cream truffles, dark chocolate cranberries and more.

Help us support American farmers while enjoying the spirit of America embodied in this scrumptious California chocolate box.

3rd Prize: 4 Organic chocolate bars {$21.95}

4 Organic chocolate bars image

4 Assorted Organic Chocolate Bars – large sized bars (7.25″ x 3.63″ dimensional size). 100 grams each – 3.5 oz each.

  • Dune Bar – Organic Milk Chocolate Mocha with 41% cocoa solids
  • Willow Bar – Organic Dark Chocolate with 70% cocoa solids
  • Marsh Bar – Organic Extra Dark Chocolate with 85% cocoa solids
  • Upland Bar -Organic Milk Chocolate with 41% cocoa solids

Certified USDA Organic by ISDA, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Gluten free, GMO Free


Giveaways at Kitchen Stewardship are run via Rafflecopter form, which means comments on this post do not count (and will be deleted). In the long run, this is quicker for you if you go for extra entries.


There are 8 possible entries! Here’s what you can do to win:

    1. *Mandatory entry: Choose a product from Santa Barbara Chocolate’s website and tell me what you would make with it (in the form!). If you don’t want to visit the sponsor’s site, type “no thanks”…but of course it’s polite to visit our generous sponsors and see what they have to offer.
    2. Tell me if you “Like” Santa Barbara Chocolate Company on Facebook.
    3. Subscribe in a reader or via email to Kitchen Stewardship (or tell me if you already do).
    4. Tell me if you “LikeKitchen Stewardship on Facebook.
    5. Email 5 friends about this giveaway along with the link to it. (Email subscribers can forward their message.)
    6. Follow @kitchenstew on Twitter

and also @SantaBarbChoc.

  1. Tweet this: Yes, I need to get back on the healthy horse after Dec…but I still want to win high quality chocolate from @kitchenstew! [ENTER URL HERE]
  2. Pin this post on Pinterest. (I made sure to include the sweets pictures if you have a desserts board, and I’ll share the full recipe later!)

Remember, comments here DO NOT COUNT. You must use the survey form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will use random.org’s integer generator to choose the winner, who will be announced on the blog and will receive an email. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, January 14 and I’ll post the winners later in the week.

Disclosure:  I received products for my review at no charge, which of course did not affect my opinion in the least. Seriously, this is chocolate, people! Giveaways are paid advertising and a great thing for my readers, so I’m happy to include them at KS. See my full advertising disclosure here.

Official rules and small print stuff: 1) No purchase necessary to win 2) must be 13 or older to enter and have a mailing address within the sponsor’s boundaries (see above) 3) only one survey entry per person 4) odds of winning depend on number of entries 5) employees of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC or sponsoring company not eligible for participation 6) contest sponsored by Santa Barbara Chocolates in CA. 7) prizes must be accepted as is and are not redeemable for cash 8 ) Kitchen Stewardship, LLC and sponsoring company are not liable for any injury or damage to persons and/or things as a result of the acceptance of the prize offered. 9) This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Click here for my disclaimer and advertising disclosure - affiliate links in this post will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price.

52 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. M. Lillian Hughes says

    Well, if I could afford it, I would want it ALL, but I would be likely to order the package organic milk and dark chocolate bars. Some would just go into my mouth directly, some would be chopped for use in baking, as chocolate chip cookies, or French pan au chocolat, or even in cinnamon rolls

  2. Sara D. says

    I would buy the chocolate hazelnut spread and dip some partially-frozen slices of banana in it. And maybe at a few walnuts as well for some crunch.

  3. Karen H says

    I chose Rainforest Red Cocoa Powder 2.5lb, and I would use it when I make my homemade eggless chocolate cake

  4. Terri Gossage says

    I would choose the Organic Extra Dark Chocolate(85% cocoa) and melt it with milk to make my favorite drink. Top it with real whipped cream! YUM, YUM!!!

  5. Carol G. says

    I would opt for the Cacao 100% Chunks 3lb. Made with Organic Ingredients. I would make my spiced drinking chocolate with my own blend of spices. I would also make my Java chocolate chunk muffins.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I can see it right now – are you on a mobile device? It doesn’t play nicely with mobile. :( You have plenty of time to get in! :) Katie

  6. Noelle says

    Oh my goodness the choices! I would use the milk chocolate bars to make a sweet treat and then save one to savor all by itself!

  7. Laura From SC says

    Just as a FYI .. couverture .. is a french word that means “covering”. My daughter and her friend have just finished “making” their first chocolate bars and came by my house to wrap and label them. She was very familiar with the term in the chocolate world.

  8. Stephanie V. says

    White Chocolate 3lb. Made with Organic Ingredients and would make white chocolate covered organic peanute butter balls

  9. Margaret Smith says

    I’d love to try the Cameroon Manjo Dark Chocolate. I would make Chocolate covered coconut with it. Thanks so much.

  10. Brittany Ardito says

    I would love to try the white chocolate since it is so hard to find quality white chocolate without a bunch of processed crap thrown in.

  11. amber says

    i would buy either of the white chocolate bulk varieties…because a) bulk is always better 😉 and b) white chocolate without the uncessary ingredients is amazing.

    I would make white chocolate cheesecake; truffles, fudge, white chocolate macademia nut cookies, dessert hummus, fruit dip, and the list goes on…yum!

  12. says

    Wow – this looks incredible! I didn’t know of this company before, so thank you for showing it to me!

    I would buy dark chocolates, as the richer the chocolate ‘flavor’, the better! And some of the cocoa.

    I would definitely eat some of the bars plain… but then I would want to use the cocoa for brownies (probably black bean) and cookies!

  13. gabriela says

    I would like the chocolate hazelnut paste and use for pastries, or just in bread, I also like the dark chocolate bulk 100%

  14. Chrystal Shelley says

    I would buy the Camaroon Mango Dark Chocolate and use it to make homemade chocolate (or perhaps Mocha) ice cream!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      It’s working fine right now – if you’re on a mobile device, try at home. The form doesn’t play nice with mobile, sadly. Katie

  15. Susan says

    I don’t have a blog – thinking of starting one, but don’t know what I would write about, or how to even go about it.

    Dark Chocolate 60% 22lb. Made with Organic Ingredients

    This is what I would buy and make my own DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT PATTIES!

    I love choc. and mint – but it has to be DARK CHOCOLATE. YUM… I wish I had a peppermint patty now.

    Entering for the choc. giveaway

    MOTTO: You can NEVER have to much chocolate!

  16. Mary DeBorde says

    I would love to use their Chocolate Hazelnut Paste to make my favorite layered Devil’s Food Cake recipe with Hazelnut Icing! *drool* 😀

  17. Michelle Tucker says

    I’d like to use the Ecuador Rainforest Organic Milk Chocolate Block 11lb and make chocolate covered bacon.

  18. Laurie Emerson says

    I would get the Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Chunks and make a Marzipan frosting with it for my chocolate chip cake I like to make.

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