“ Brand: Asda / Type: Dark „
Asda Smart Price Dark Chocolate is just about the lowest you can get in the big spectrum of dark chocolate, price wise anyway. Asda Smart Price also offer white and milk chocolate at the same price, so you can mix and match when you feel like it! At only 35p per bar (though each bar is only 100g, it is enough for most recipes) it would be hard to find prices as low as this. However, it is said that you get what you pay for; and though this is not always necessarily true for everything, I am afraid that I would have to agree on this case.
This chocolate is packaged quite simply to match its price, which I think is a good thing as it is what is in the inside that counts. It has a simple paper covering, bearing Asda's symbolic colours of green and white, which can easily be removed. Underneath that is a foil cover- probably to keep the chocolate fresh. This can easily be ripped off; however, I like to keep it intact as it is unlikely that I will be able to finish a whole bar in one go. The chocolate itself is a little bit thinner than I would have liked, but this is not a big deal. Each chunk is marked with an emblem of a star, which I find a little random, and the chunks can be easily broken of the bar, normally without snapping themselves.
Dark chocolate is supposed to be the healthier option; that is, if you wish to consume chocolate in the first chocolate. This is probably because there is more cocoa content inside them instead of sugar, and possibly because dark chocolate can become sickly more quickly than milk chocolate and white chocolate so you want to eat less of it in a go. However, this chocolate does seem to contain quite a bit of sugar, judging on the taste, so I am not sure about the health benefits! The good thing (or bad thing, depending on which way you look at it) about this is that it does become quite a bit sickly after just a few chunks, more so than other dark chocolate brands I am familiar with, so I only usually eat up to two rows per sitting.
The taste of this chocolate is not good, but I would not go as far to say that it is disgusting. It is, as I mentioned above, a little too sweet for my liking. No, it is not extremely sugary, but I prefer my dark chocolate to be rich and dark, instead of sweet and sugary, but of course this depends on your taste. However, this chocolate is very bitter, without being rich, and leaves a horrible aftertaste- the worst possible combination. The texture is also not up to my acceptable standards- it seems to take an age to melt in your mouth (it is very crumbly) so you usually have to chew the chocolate; but who wants to chew their chocolate? There is not an element of thickness, smoothness or richness in this at all, unlike with luxury brands of chocolate.
This is the last thing I would want to call a luxury product, but then, you usually have to pay for luxury goods in order to receive them. This dark chocolate may be OK for eating a few squares after a long hard day to give you back some energy, but I would not really recommend it as an eating chocolate because of tis taste.
So, fortunately for us, chocolate is not JUST for consuming straight out of the wrapper. You can bake a big variety of things from it, and Asda Smart Price is the perfect baking chocolate because:
a) You don't need completely excellent quality chocolate in most recipes, because you are adding so many other ingredients on top of it, and anyway, it all gets melted down in the oven anyway!
b) This chocolate is very cheap, so it is a great investment (it goes a long way). Some recipes require a huge amount of chocolate, and if I decided to buy luxury brands each and every time, I would be broke.
I have completed many delicious baked creations with this chocolate; using it melted down in brownies to make them extra dark and decadent, chopping it down into large chips to add a dark twist in cookies, and so on. Somehow, this chocolate tastes so much nicer when it is melted down or incorporated with other ingredients. It's just a shame that it doesn't taste very good when eaten straight out of the packet. If I was just reviewing the chocolate as something to be eaten raw, from the packaging, I would probably give it one star out of five, two if it was lucky. However, taking in account the very reasonable price and the usability in many recipes, I am happy to give it four stars.
Asda Smart Price is a value range of products that are available at Asda stores and online. The products are generally of an acceptable quality and are very affordable in price. Usually I prefer to purchase brand name products but occasionally I will try out the cheaper supermarket own brands mainly out of curiosity. One of these products was the Asda smart price dark chocolate as I am a fan of chocolate in general and dark chocolate makes a nice change from milk and white chocolate.
This chocolate is sold in 100g bars and has the standard smart price packaging consisting of a very simple design which is white and green in colour. There is basic information about the product and also a picture of the chocolate itself. The chocolate is a solid bar which can easily be broken into squares. Each square has a rather nice star shape embossed into the centre and the whole bar is wrapped in foil and paper.
The chocolate looks like you would expect dark chocolate to look. It is much darker in colour compared to milk chocolate. It also smells quite rich and chocolately. My preferred brand of dark chocolate is usually Bournville but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of the Asda Smart Price version. It does have quite a strong taste which is typical of dark chocolate and the consistency is very good. I do find that it is harder than milk chocolate but is easily bitten into and melts in the mouth. Sometimes cheaper chocolate can taste quite plastic but this certainly isnt the case with this. The only problem is knowing when to stop.
Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Lactose (Milk), Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins), Natural Flavouring.
Energy kCal 496kCal
Energy kJ 2,070kJ
of which sugars 46.8g
of which saturates 16.8g
Salt Equivalent Trace
If you are a fan of dark chocolate I would have no problem recommeding this product. At 30 pence for a 100g bar it is exceptional valur for money and definitely worth trying.
**Also on Ciao under the same username**
One of the latest additions to ASDA's 'Smart Price' value range, this dark chocolate bar comes in a suitably plain wrapper and at a bargain-basement price. At only 30 pence for 100g, it tastes every bit as good as more expensive alternatives. So if you enjoy a medium dark chocolate on occasions, why pay more?
~~An unexpected treat~~
I was sceptical at first when handed this recently as a quite unexpected treat. Previous experiences of cheap chocolate had not been encouraging; some seem positively unpleasant, and recent experiments with higher-percentage-chocolate bars have sometimes left me quite disappointed too. So many more varieties are available nowadays with cocoa solids sourced from beans grown around the globe. I'm no chocoholic (honest!) but I do appreciate the occasional indulgence and I've sampled many of the widely available offers over the years, at home and abroad. It came as quite a surprise, then, that this product compared perfectly well, to my taste at least, with the best of them!
~~Quality at the right price~~
With a cocoa solids content of around 50%, the taste is strong but not bitter. The bar seems modestly sized but a reasonable 100g. I'd best leave the finer points of taste to the real gourmets, and the nutritional/dietary considerations to the experts. From my perspective, as an occasional plain and simple chocolate afficionado, this latest offer from ASDA just strikes me as exceptional value-for-money for anyone you shares my taste in treats. The money back guarantee, while perhaps a statutory requirement, probably says it all : Who can really complain at this price anyway? So, absolutely no apologies for keeping brief and to-the-point this time!
At this price, if you like dark chocolate - but not too dark - why not give it a try? It's readily available at your local store. I've even read somewhere that a little bit of dark chocolate from time to time might have some health benefits - but that really does seem just too good to be true(!?)
Thanks for reading.
[A version of this original review may appear on other review sites. (c) SteveS001]