I found this 100g bar of ‘Gardening’ milk chocolate by Bramble Foods at our local garden centre. I rather feel as though the decision to stock it was based on the name, rather than the taste.
The packaging was cute. It had a home-made feel about it, from the paper wrapping covered in gardening themed hand-painted objects to the sticky tape holding both that and the gold foil in place. The bar had a good weight to it and seemed quite thick.
As soon as I unwrapped a tiny corner, I knew that this chocolate wasn’t going to blow me away. It had the aroma of cheap chocolate: supermarket-own-brand-chocolate-coins sort of vibe. The segments snapped off satisfyingly enough, but for me, that’s where the satisfaction ended. The texture was a little waxy, and the taste was hard to describe. I tried to identify flavours with my limited tasting vocabulary, but could only muster ‘sweet’ and ‘plasticy’. It was really sweet, the sort of sweetness that sticks to your lips and stays at the back of your nose for quite a while.
But what do I know? When I asked hubs what he thought, he replied “it’s alright” and scoffed half the bar!
Bramble Foods Gardeners Milk Chocolate
I paid £1.99
Ingredients – sugar; cocoa butter; whole milk powder; cocoa mass; fat reduced cocoa powder; skimmed milk powder; whey powder (milk); cream powder (milk); lactose (milk); emulsifier (soy lecithin); natural vanilla flavouring
Chocolate contains cocoa solids 36% minimum, milk solids 15% minimum
Nutrition (per 100g) – 553kcal; 34g fat (21g saturates); 52g sugar
The first thing that struck me about this 70g bar of dark chocolate from Belgian chocolatiers Dolfin, was the packaging. Dusty pink with mixed fonts with a pencil-like drawing of the cocoa plant on the front, it certainly gave a classic and classy feel to the slab. But even more than that, the way it’s wrapped is something I hadn’t come across before. Rotating the bar in my hands, I noticed that the packaging is reminiscent of the tobacco pouches I used to buy as a student. As you peel away the best before sticker, the wrapping unfolds to reveal an envelope, containing the bar of chocolate wrapped in plastic. As beautiful as it is, I am disappointed at the amount of plastic that is used to wrap it, as the outer pouch is also encased in clear plastic (adding to the tobacco feel). This is integral to the design of the pouch though, the plastic keeping the pouch together. Handy if you plan to take your chocolate out on a rainy day!
It may have been because I already had tobacco on my mind, but when I opened the inner plastic, I could smell rich tones of tobacco, along with a fruity and spicy aroma. The bar is made up of six long fingers, each spanning the width of the bar, decorated with a diagonal linear pattern. The chocolate snapped sharply when broken both along the dividing lines and halfway across the finger.
I noticed first the subtlety of the flavour, something that took time to come through when a piece was allowed to melt on the tongue. The flavour is more intense and quicker to arrive when one bites on the chocolate. The chocolate was dry in the mouth, with no oily residue, and took time to melt. I noticed a metallic taste and a little acidity, but notes of vanilla ice cream also came through. It warmed the back of my throat.
This chocolate has a subtle but deep flavour and when taken slowly, I found that one finger was enough to satisfy me for a few hours.
Dolfin 70% Dark Chocolate
Made in Belgium
I paid £2.89
Ingredients – cocoa mass; sugar; low fat cocoa powder; emulsifier (soy lecithin); natural vanilla flavouring
Nutrition (per 100g) – 535kcal; 38g fat (23g saturates); 27g sugar