“ Brand: Nestle / Type: Dark „
Wikipedia tells me that Aero is "a milk chocolate bar filled with bubbles of air, made by Nestlé"
Wiki is, alas, mistaken.
In the past Aeros might have been only milk chocolate, but there's a new kid on the block.
We all know what Aeros are and the usual forms they come in - plain, orange, mint varieties in the flatter bar shape, and caramel topped in the chunkier form. You can get Aero mousse and, at this time of year, yummy Aero Easter eggs. However I was excited to spot this (Hungarian import!) Aero in my local cheap shop because it looked a bit different from the usual ones, but no so different that it might not be nice. That's the prefect amount of different, y'know. Like those Easter Kitkats - incicentally also made by Nestle.
The picture on the front suggests that the bar is a layer of bubbly chocolate topping an equal sized layer of bubbly Orange but that's not exactly the case (it's not just Wiki who lie!) and when you bite into it , you find the bar is made up as any other orange / mint Aero, with a thin layer of chocolate all around, and the flavoured / coloured filling making up the vast majority of the bar.
It still isn't, however, your average orange Aero, because the chocolate on these is dark and rather bitter, rather than the quasi-creamy milk chocolate you normally get. Some people don't like change - me, I'm quite ok with it as long as it's an improvement or at the very least not a deterioration. So, is this a worthy addition to the Aero range or a silly off-shoot they could do without? I had to find out.
This bar take the flatter, tablet shape and comes with 6 pieces already scored. It looks, as you unwrap it, like a normal Aero that has just returned from a month long trip to the sun - the shape is familiar, but the colour is significantly darker. Breaking off a piece, I saw the inside of these is a ludicrous fake orange colour - I couldn't figure out whether it looked worse than normal because it was set against a darker chocolate coating, or whether Hungarian food manufacturers wear sunglasses in their factories and therefore would see this as a normal food colour. I've been to Hungary. I wouldn't put it past them. I know their fashions.
If it were any other product, the colour would really have put me off, as it is so bright and so unnatural, but given that it was an old, trusted name, I decided to give it a go.
The bar has the trademark Aero make up of a bubbly centre which is really the selling point for Aeros: the chocolate is quite standard, but the texture makes it stand out. The bubbles are larger than those in Wispas, and give a much lighter, fluffy texture than solid chocolate though you are then left asking the question of whether you've been short-changed, conned into buying a bar that contains a lot of empty air at the expense of chocolate. Maybe they should rethink the name - "Air? Oh..." with a disappointed sigh comes to mind.
The chocolate coating is quite thin, and contains no bubbles itself, but was well formed and covered the bar evenly. One Aero feature I do like is that they are quite neat and easy to eat, and don't splinter or leave too many crumbs as you bite into them as some products can. They also don't melt all that quickly, meaning that your fingers stay nice and clean, and you can savour the pieces for ages if you just sit one in your mouth rather than chewing it.
This bar has no smell whatsoever - I expect things to smell a little, either of chocolate, or of a flavoured filling, but this smells of neither which was intriguing. How had they managed to make a bar that to my eyes appeared to be a yummy, scrummy chocolate treat but to my nose might as well not exist?
Eating the first (of several) bars, I decided the lack of scent could be overlooked somewhat. The flavours complemented each other well with the bitterness of the dark chocolate set off by the tanginess of the orange. However, I didn't think it was as orangey as it could or should have been - in fact, the centre's flavour was quite slight and a bit bland really. Maybe that explains the colouring - they over compensate on that just so you're left with absolutely no doubt that this is supposed to be an orange flavoured chocolate. It was a bit like the Stroop effect, though, and I did wonder whether I would think it was an orange flavoured chocolate if, say, they'd coloured the centre blue or pink or something totally different.
I thought there could have been more chocolate on the outside, and that this could have been creamier - milk chocolate usually trumps dark chocolate in this respect anyway, but thinking of, say, the dark Lindt bars there was simply no comparison, and I found the chocolate on this almost powdery at times, and not smooth and creamy.
I ate up my bar - poor chocolate is still better than no chocolate at all - and then ploughed through another couple, but I wasn't convinced by it. If you're a fan of dark chocolate, you might prefer this to the normal Aeros as it is much less sweet and does have a good dark, bitter taste, but otherwise I see no real reason to switch. The dark chocolate mixed it up and gave it a bit of a different taste, but this is one case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and I don't think it comes close to being an improvement on the original. That said, it was edible, and it's nice to know that, should I visit the place again any time soon, I'm unlikely to go hungry in Hungary.
Buy from AprovedFood, or try your local pound shop - I've spotted these in a few local ones (usually on 4-for-£1)