“ Brand: M&S / Type: White „
A few days before Valentine's Day I read a review of a young lady who was raving about some chocolates.
Now, these were not just some chocolates, but they were luxury white chocolates with blueberries.
I've always liked white chocolate much more than the dark versions and blueberries happen to be one of my favourite fruits.
Well, she also mentioned that these particular chocolates were extremely hard to find, but I still dropped a hint in the direction of my husband. As it turned out she was right, he couldn't find them and he swears to have checked nearly every shop in Central London, I got something different and all but forgot about it...
Until a few weeks ago, when a new branch of Marks & Spencer supermarket opened in our town. Knowing I wouldn't be able to do our weekly shopping there without breaking the bank I still decided to go and have a look.
While I was queuing up to pay the few items in my basket I had a good chance to check the items placed at the check-outs, as the lady in front of me seemed to have bought half of the shop, and to my delight I found an assortment of sweets next to me.
Usually I am not that delighted with sweets at the check-outs, but on this day I didn't have the kids with me and these sweets didn't look like the usual sweeties they place at the check-outs to drive poor parents potty, as their offspring certainly will start to beg and wail as soon as they are spotted.
They were rather sophisticated looking little bags in brown or cream which contained chocolate covered nuts and fruits. I already had one of the brown bags that promised me "Belgian Chocolate coated Brazilian Nuts" in my hand when I spotted, in the middle of the cream coloured ones, what I had been hoping for at Valentine's : Belgian White Chocolate coated Blueberries (with a blueberry dusting). So onto the conveyor belt back they went to join the Brazilian nuts. They cost me £0.99 for a small bag, containing 65g.
So, I have found what I was looking for, now lets take them for the test.
When opening the packet you are immediately engulfed with the rich aroma of white chocolate. It is a very, very strong aroma and quite mouth-watering.
At the moment an open packet is lying in on the dining table, about 2 m behind me, and I can easily smell them until here.
They are more or less round little balls, more or less as they contain whole dried blueberries and as these naturally vary in size and shape they are neither perfectly round nor all the same size either.
Especially when it comes to size there are a lot of variations, some are tiny while others are nearly as big as a Malteser.
They are purple, as they are covered in a mixture made of maltodextrin, cornflour and concentrated blueberry juice. The colouring looks very uneven and pale, a bit like marbled and you could say that they don't look like much at all. The teachers at the school our daughters attend make play-dough themselves and this little blueberry chocolates remind me of the little balls of play-dough mixture that the girls bring home sometimes.
When bitten in two halves they will reveal that the chocolate coating is relatively thick, around one mm I would say, and this seems to be the standard thickness for all of them, no matter what size. So the size really only depends on the blueberry, the chocolate covering is always of the same thickness. The berry inside just looks like what it is, a dried blueberry, nice and purple.
Not too appetizing so far, if it wasn't for the smell. Well, lets not be deceived by the looks and turn towards the most important:
The first thing that will hit you ,will definitely be the taste of the chocolate. It tastes as sweet and rich as the aroma promises, without being sickening.
The chocolate is very creamy and starts to melt straight away and then the taste of the blueberries kicks in. The berries themselves taste very strong and it is easy to detect which fruit it is.
The flavour of the blueberries is really intense and they are slightly sour, especially if you have licked of the whole chocolate and then start to chew on the fruit only. They do not leave any aftertaste behind though and also no stinging feeling on the tongue.
The coating, if being licked of, doesn't really taste like anything. It is much to thin to leave a taste behind, especially with the strong chocolate right underneath. As the dusting also doesn't do very much for the looks and certainly won't protect the chocolate from melting if being held in the hand it is, in my opinion, rather unnecessary. If it was meant to make the little balls to look more like a blueberry so it fails in this aspect too, as the colouring it provides is much too pale and too purple to resemble a real blueberry.
All in all they are a very well balanced combination where one aroma doesn't overpower the other, but both compliment each other well.
My final verdict :
Would I buy them again ? Yes, why not, occasionally.
They are nice, but I am certainly not as ecstatic about them as the young Lady with her luxury chocolates in her review was.
But then, this might be a bit unfair, as these are supposed to be a chocolate snack, sold in the suitable packaging for this reason, and not exactly something that I would recommend anyone to buy as a present.
As a snack they are nice and if compared with similar chocolate snacks on the market like Maltesers, Smarties,... they are most certainly different and much more grown-up in appearance and taste.
So if you like the combination of chocolate and berries, then go and give them a try - you surely won't be disappointed.
If you are currently on a diet then I would recommend you to stay far away from them, as a packet with 65 g of these little goodies contains 340 kcal.
They also contain 36.2 g of Carbohydrates of which 34.1 g are sugar.
The recommended daily intake of fat for a woman is 70g, so more than a quarter of your whole daily intake would be made up by one packet of this, assuming you finish it in one go, as they contain 20.2 g of fat (men are allowed 95g - lucky you, guys !).
Fibre 1.8 g and Sodium 0.05g.
The drying process destroys more or less all of the vitamin C in the fruits so you won't be able to take your daily fruit and veg intake for an excuse to eat them either.
Not exactly the healthiest snack, but if opting for anything but fruit for a snack this is probably always the price you'll pay.
They do contain cow's milk, soda and are made in a factory that also handles nuts, so if you are sensitive to any of these you might want to give them a miss.
Marks and Spencer plc
PO Box 3339
Chester CH 99 9QS
Thanks for reading, Sandra