Heart shaped boxes of chocolates and truffles, kisses, and messages made from candied hearts are symbols we come to recognize for Valentine's Day. Why? If Valentine's Day originated to honor Saint Valentine, why do we give our sweethearts sweets and chocolates? Although the history of Valentine's Day goes back to the Romans, it is not mentioned in association with romance until Chaucer's writings in 1382. Still gifts were not as luxurious as chocolate until the 1800's. In the 1840's, Richard Cadbury, from a British chocolate manufacturing company, found that the method of making chocolate that his company used, left an excess amount of cocoa butter, which allowed him to expand the varieties of “eating Chocolate” his company could provide. He realized this was a great marketing possibility and began to sell them in fancy boxes. So now, lovers had additional choices to shower their sweethearts.
Chocolate has come along way since the 1840's and not all chocolate is gluten free. Actually, more often than not it may be difficult to find gluten free chocolate, especially if you are a chocolate connoisseur and want high quality chocolates. Listed below are some of the most popular brands of chocolates and their gluten status.
• Dove Chocolate– Dove Chocolate is division of Mars Chocolate. They make all of their Dove chocolate bars and other products gluten-free to 20 parts per million. Always should check labels, since production timing might require the company to use an alternative processing facility that has a cross-contamination risk. Dove discloses any potential gluten cross-contamination on its label.
Endangered Species–makes all-natural and organic chocolate bars which are certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). This company tests and ensures products contain fewer than 10 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. They have several varieties to choose from such as dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate raspberry, dark chocolate espresso, and milk chocolate with cherries.
Enjoy Life– This company makes an excellent dairy free, gluten free chocolate chips. They also have dark chocolate, rice milk, and rice milk crunch bars. Enjoy life has a dedicated gluten free facility. It is also know for being allergen free, so many of the common allergens are not found in their products. It is also certified by the GFCO.
Hersey's– Hersey's says that only tow of their products are gluten free- 1.45 oz. milk chocolate and 1.45 oz. milk chocolate with almonds. all other sizes and flavors of chocolate bars have a risk of gluten cross-contamination due to shared facilities or equipment. Several of the kisses are gluten free including the milk chocolate, kisses filled with caramel, and kisses filled cherry cordial creme. None of the other Hershey's kisses products are gluten-free.
Ghiradelli–Ghiradelli makes only one product which contains gluten, but all of their chocolate bars are produced in the same facility. The one that contains gluten is Luxe Milk Crisp singles and bars. If you have just a gluten sensitivity you may be able to tolerate this, but for those with Celiac Disease, I suggest avoiding all of their bars.
Godiva– Godiva's own statement about their chocolate is
ALL of our products including solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products.
Green and Blacks Bars– Although most of their bars do not contain gluten here is their statement on allergens in their bars.
“We take into account scheduling of products and we clean the lines by flushing chocolate through until there is no notable trace of the previous lines’ chocolate in the new batch. We are confident that the cleaning procedures are robust and eliminate traces of nut, cereal or dairy ingredients, but the only certain guarantee of absence is by manufacturing in a nut, cereal and dairy free site.”
Lindt- All of their chocolate bars contain no gluten ingredients but are made in a facility that shares equipment that also produces gluten containing products. Their Lindor truffles all contain barley malt.
Toblerone– It does not make any bars that contain gluten ingredients but they are also not certified gluten free and there is no message on the bars as to whether they are produced in a dedicated facility.
Because these boxes generally include mixed varieties of smaller candies, most contain some gluten-containing candies. Even if you can pick out the individual gluten-free pieces and leave the gluten ones behind, you'll be risking cross contamination.
Cella's Chocolate Covered Cherries- These are produced by Tootsie Roll Industries. Their products are entirely gluten free.
Fannie May- None of their variety gift boxes are gluten free. Some of their individual chocolates are gluten free and they do have a create your own option. You may should call to find out which of their chocolate are gluten free. The selection is small, but if you are determined to give a box of chocolates, this maybe an option.
Russell Stovers– They say that their ingredients are gluten free, to the best of their knowledge but give this statement,
“Be aware that products containing wheat are produced on equipment that's also used to make other products. So we can't completely rule out the possibility of cross-contamination, despite efforts to prevent it.”
Ferrero Rocher – This is a very popular chocolate gift box brand, unfortunately it is NOT gluten free. They contain wheat flour.
Mrs. Fields – This popular brand also contains wheat flour and is NOT gluten free.
Hopefully this helps you find safe options for your Valentine. Of course you can always skip the worry and give flowers, cards, or take them out on an adventure date. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Valentine's Day.