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Caleys Plain Chocolate

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Brand: Caleys

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      24.08.2009 20:11
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      Everyone has heard of Cadburys, I'm sure.....but have you heard of Caleys? Well, put your bar of dairy milk to one side for a little while and try a bar of this instead.

      Caleys were a family firm producing chocolate in Norwich from 1883. They produced chocolate for the Troops during the First World War - aptly named as "Marching Chocolate", as well as a range of confectionary for enjoying at home. Royal Warrants were granted for many of their products, so that indicates how good they were.

      Caleys, like many family firms, was sold out, and the factory in Norwich became the Mackintosh factory, to be taken over by Rowntrees, and then by Nestle. So the smell of chocolate was lingering over Norwich for over 100 years, with many families enjoying employment for several generations. Everyone seemed to either work at Mackintosh's or knew someone who worked there. In the early 1990s, in order to fund my mortgage payments which were at 16% APR, I worked an evening shift on the production line - 5 nights a week, after my day job, and I can still say with honesty that it was one of the best companies ever to have worked for.

      In the mid 1990s, the factory closed down, and we all thought that Norwich had lost its connection with chocolate making for ever. A shopping centre was built on the old factory site, and everyone moved on.

      But.....some of the redundant employees decided to get together, pool their redundancy money, and buy some of the equipment from the factory, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Caleys was reborn.

      Caleys offer a range of milk and dark chocolate bars, using fair-trade ingredients. They can be found in many local shops in and around Norwich, but also in Waitrose and Sainsbury.

      At the moment, Caleys have named their milk and dark chocolate "Heroes", and are giving 5p for every bar sold to the Help the Heroes charity - a nice touch from their "Marching Chocolate" roots.

      So, onto the actual bar of chocolate. This is a 55g bar of dark chocolate, with 70% cocoa solids. No vegetable fat is used in the production of this bar, so the quality is very good indeed. As I mentioned above, the cocoa is Fairtrade, as are 99.5% of the entire products, so you can feel good about what you are eating as well as simply enjoying it.

      The bar is divided into small squares, so you can break off a bit at a time and enjoy its richness. For a high-cocoa content chocolate, this is very smooth. In my opinion, this is every bit as good as some of the more famous dark chocolate products such as Green & Blacks, or Lindt. It smells delicious - and for those of us that live in Norwich, it is an instant journey down memory lane as soon as the wrapper is torn - the scent that used to waft over the City, is wafting right up towards my nostrils!

      This has a firm texture, and if you put it in the fridge, you will need to make sure your dentures are in place before you bite into it. For me, this is good - I dislike "woolly" chocolate, which coats the roof of my mouth, and this just feels good quality as I eat it.

      Nutritionwise, a bar provides you with 277 calories and 10.2 grams of saturated fat. This may seem high, but for good quality chocolate it is worth every single calorie, and of course, because it is dark chocolate, some will only want a square or two at a time. I, however, find it difficult NOT to eat a whole bar in one go - but that's me!

      It might be difficult to find, but if you are a chocolate lover, I would certainly recommend that you hunt this brand out.

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