By: Aambar Agarwal
When I first saw an Enjoy Life chocolate bar sitting on the shelves of a long-gone Wild Oats, I was skeptical. Though the cheerful purple wrapping looked promising, even five-year-old me knew that I would probably be allergic to it: story of my life. Nevertheless, after scrutinizing its ingredients, my mom purchased the ricemilk chocolate bar.
The purple-and-brown color scheme of the wrapper was harshly interrupted by a bright red oval on one side, containing the stark white letters of “Enjoy Life” and light brown of “eat freely” underneath. In more thin light brown letters, the wrapper claimed to be dairy, nut, soy, and gluten-free: almost just like me! The ingredients, found on the back, were minimal: simply cane sugar, cocoa butter, unsweetened chocolate, dried rice syrup, and salt.
I decided to take the risk, popping one engraved rectangle into my mouth. In this instant, my life transformed. My tongue exploded with flavor, tingling as the sweet chocolate melted in my mouth. The taste was indescribable; I had never tasted anything so perfect. Unable to wait for it to disintegrate fully, I quickly chomped down, feeling the delicious goo coat my teeth. Craving more, I took another rectangle, repeating the process until I had finished off the entire four-piece bar.
Rather than ending as another forgotten food that I cannot have, the Enjoy Life ricemilk chocolate bar became my closest friend; in fact, I still eat them to this day, over a decade later. Somehow, despite its few ingredients, it manages to top any other manufactured dessert that I can have in the grocery store.
The company itself presents itself as an allergy-friendly brand specializing in sweets. All their products are free from gluten, wheat, tree nuts, casein, egg, sulfites, mustard, shellfish, peanuts, dairy, soy, sesame, lupin, fish, and crustaceans – basically, all of the major allergens – and are nearly as tasty as their ricemilk chocolate bar. Nevertheless, nothing comes close to their ricemilk chocolate bar: not even their snickerdoodles, chewy bars, sugar cookies, or dark chocolate bars.
Over the years, the wrapper has changed, quite unlike my undying love for the chocolate. Nowadays, the wrapper is a peculiar cyan, with only a sprinkling of a deeper purple, reminiscent of the old cheerful tone. The corner is still adorned by the bright red oval, and the back continues to list its ingredients: or rather, its lack of ingredients.
I’ve heard a lot of criticism regarding vegan chocolate: that it’s salty, gross, and just impossible. They say this until they try my chocolate bar, then only able to muster up one complaint: that it’s too sweet. However, this doesn’t bother me; in my myopic eyes, nothing can be too sweet!
Discovering Enjoy Life chocolate bars brought sugar to my bland life; hopefully, they can do the same for you!