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I have long held concern for the German peeps. I mean, they are a little nuts aren't they? Let's not dally around the fact. For example, they think leather trousers (lederhosen) are acceptable casualwear. Really. That alone doesn't bode well where their mental state is concerned. And, German ladies find it reasonable, enjoyable even displaying hairy...lady parts at any available oppurtunity, with flagrant disregard to those around them who may be of a nervous disposition (they do! I have seen it myself). Also, while I'm being abusive, what is with the language? I suppose it does hold a certain angry charm, but really, they say things like "mannschaft" and "funkelnagelneu" (yeah, I know some German people!) and don't even slightly titter...it's like they're playing a hugely elaborate and long-standing practical joke on the rest of the world, but no. Seems they are quite serious.
And yet, I adore the Germans. I would clasp them all tightly to my bosom if I only could, and that is for one reason and one reason alone. RITTER SPORT CHOCOLATE! They are the creators of the some of the most addictive and most creative chocolate bars ever to grace the planet, and is my numero uno in chocolate land. Yep, more than Cadbury, Galaxy..the blasphemy!
Frustratingly, of the hugely varied portfolio of chocolate Ritter create we get an extremely measly selection here in the UK, and as such I have often resorted to ordering online/stocking whenever abroad to keep myself sane. I haven't sampled all the Ritter varieties, but let me tell you it is one of my main aims in life to do so (such aspirational ambitions I have, ma&pa would be proud!)
It is indeed mass-produced chocolate, but before you get your hoity-toits on it should be noted that this is mass-produced chocolate of an extremely high standard (and we need only look to the likes of Lindt to gage just how fine mass-produced chocolate can be). Comparative at least to what we are accustomed to in dear Blighty. Germans, well Europe in general actually, have some stricter guidelines relating to what can be marketed as chocolate (don't ask me what they are exactly though, I'm not the freaking chocolate oracle!...yet) and therefore mass-produced chocolate tends to be of a higher standard anyways. Good for them! How sophistacted.
Specifically to Ritter, the chocolate used is fantastic. The white is sweet, vanilla-ry heaven, but not harshly sweet. The milk is rich, creamy perfection, with a good cocoa-hit to it and a luxurious melty texture. I probably haven't tried enough of the dark to give a good opinion on it, but I must admit if you're the kind of '80% cocoa solids' purist type of loony then it may not be quite up to the par. They are honest folk at Ritter though, you will know if the chocolate is going to be of the Bournville-esque variety because it will state "plain chocolate" instead of dark (or "halfbitter" to use correct terms), again I'm thinking it goes back to that chocolate-policing they've got going on over there. It's perfect for me though, I don't enjoy bitter darks so this is kind of like eating an extra-chocolatey milk chocolate. Vair gut.
Have I rambled enough yet? Probably, but I shan't let that stop me.
So the bars mainly come in 100g blocks (there are also mini assortments, and a few varieties in 250g blocks), and I hate to be a girl about it, but they look sooo cute. Each is in a neat and tidy 4x4 square shape, somehow more pleasing to the eye than those wontan rectangles you often find, so that is sure to please you lovers of symmetry out there (don't be shy y'all!). They all have jaunty coloured wrappers, with consistent logo-ing and whatnot but in an array of colours to differentiate between flavours.
To avoid you all smothering yourselves and/or nearby loved ones with boredom, I shall breifly explain the flavours I have tried to give you the general gist. I'm going to be a cliche female and add calorie content per 100g too, just to ruin your fun. I hope you appreciate how organised I am being with this ;)
Starting with the bars you will likely find in UK (Tesco or Waitrose is your best bet, they'll be around the £1 mark):
MILK WHOLE HAZELNUT (552 cals)
This is a fresh and crunchy delight! These babies are absolutely packed with beautifully flavoursome and toasty hazelnuts, satisfyingly crunchy yet yielding when munched into. Mixed with the sweet and creamy chocolate, it's kind of like eating nutella in its purist form. A simple treat, nuts+chocolate is a tried and true combination, but this has just been executed perfectly.
This one also comes in white and dark chocolate versions, none of which I've sampled, so you'll just have to shut your eyes and pretend.
MARZIPAN (484 cals)
Ooh yeah baby, this is where it's at. Clearly marzipan is a love or hate thing, and for the lovers this bar is the chocolate equivalant of heroin. The smooth, lightly bitter (but still creamily sweet) halfbitter chocolate with the grainy, nutty-buttery marzipan is just gorgeous.
PEPPERMINT (488 cals)
I haven't tried this one, due to my personal belief that mint in chocolate is an abomination and MUST BE STOPPED but I have heard it is an enjoyable experience by those strange mint-lovers. Dark chocolate with a fondant minty filling, this (apparantely) is like an extra delicious, super-chunky aftereight. Refreshing, was another word being thrown around. Whatever, you're all weird.
BUTTER BISCUIT (556 cals)
The last in the measly UK range. But y'know what they say, save the best til last! I initially thought this sounded rather dull. I mean, biscuit, woohoo I can have biscuit any ole time of day, my cupboard practically gives birth to biscuits. But this bar is crazyyy good. A whole, buttery and crisp biscuit resides within the bar (yet it's still easy to snap into chunks), which is then topped off by a thick layer of the softest, creamiest, most velvety cocoa cream, and then smothered in a huge chunky amount of sweet, sweet melty milk chocolate. The biscuit somehow enhances the chocolate, it seems extra buttery and rich and contrasts with the crunch of the biscuit to perfection. The biscuit is no bland filler either, if left to 'melt', or disintigrate in the mouth you get it's comforting, wheaty-bakey taste. It was a (quite unexpected) rich and intoxicating mix. I was blase before I tried it, now it is one of my top faves. This bar is epic. You cannot resist its charm, so do not try!
Other flavours, that the swines won't let us have in the UK:
YOGHURT (569 cals)
Yes, this really is yoghurt and chocolate! Calm yourselves, it is actually brilliant. Sweet, creamy chocolate that thickly coats the tongue swiftly followed by cooling, lightly sour yoghurt creme is a hell of a combination, and so mouth-watering. The dense yoghurt layer is silky smooth, and contrasts with the milky, thick chocolate so well. I am in love. Another favourite!
STRAWBERRY YOGHURT (564 cals)
Those crazy kats! Strawberry yoghurt! How awesomally awesome is that?! Sweet and slightly tangy strawberry-yoghurtiness encased in milk chocolate= mega addiction. The yoghurt layer has extra-nibbly bits of freeze-dried strawberry and whispers of crispy rice to give a delicate little texture. Super sweet and satisfying.
Ritter are so extreme and next level, they also release limited edition 'seasonal' varieties of fruity-yoghurt chocolates, such as blueberry, peach and mango, raspberry etc etc. Kids today, eh?
CORNFLAKE (525 cals)
Oh the genius! Everyone will be familiar with puffed rice in chocolate, but this is just super. The cornflakes add a denser, crunchier experience than those pansy puffed crispies, and an almost nutty, malty flavour to the thick creamy chocolate. Imagine those crispy cornflake cakes you used to make in your youth, imagine it on steroids and imagine your child-like sense of wonder maginfied by ten. It's basically the perfect comfort food.
CAPPUCCINO (574 cals)
Thick, truffley and buttery cappuccino filling resides within the delicious milk chocolate shell, ready to ooze seductively on your tongue as you let it gentley melt. This one is so rich and creamy, completely decadant.
PRALINE (544 cals)
I fully endorse nut pastes. If you are a nut paste, you will go far and succeed in life. This bar is stuffed with it. The chocolate and hazelnut goodness melt together in glorious fashion, creating a seamless melty, soft taste experience. A little sticky, a lot rich and super-satisfing. For those who enjoy eating pure nutella spread with a spoon (I know you're out there! Don't be ashamed!) this is one you simply must try.
Thus concludes all the flavours I have personal experience of. But there is yet more! I know! When will the madness cease?! These include:
Dark and Extra dark chocolate
Milk and Alpine milk chocolate
Dark mousse a la chocolat
Raisin and hazelnut
Along with seasonal editions, such as 'spekulatius' (traditional German cinnamon-y, gingery biscuit), some boozy ones like orange liquer truffle and Williams-Birne truffle, 'olympic' editions (I know, blimey) such as honey nut yoghurt, maple and walnut, espresso crunch. And yet more that my tiny mind has not yet fathomed/comprehended so far.
Now that is some serious variety. Tell me you're not impressed! I am in a state of continual awe.
Now I obviously cannot comment on the flavours I haven't tried (yet, damn it, give me time!) but I can vouch for the ones I have and they have all been absolutley supreme. Quality, it seems, is consistent across the board, and I'm fairly sure there will be at least one variety you will want to harbour in your nest of life. If not, then frankly you are deranged and should be flogged in the public square until you realise the awesomeness that is Ritter Sport.
So, in sum, this chocolate is amazing. If you have yet to try a Ritter, then by gum what are you waiting for?
As previously stated, some enlightened supermarkets stock a limited range, but I have heard of random newsagents or individual shops selling them so be alert at all times, you may be rewarded. If not, have a looksee on the internet, there are quite a few reputable sites that will ship some ritter-goodness your way for a reasonable price.
P.S. I hope I haven't offended any German people with my light mocking, I love you all really!
I got a bar of this in the service station the other day, I fancied some nutty chocolate when I went in there but not Whole Nut and when I saw this Dark Whole Hazelnut chocolate I thought it would be ideal. The chocolate bar was £1.39 for a 100g bar and it's a big square with segments that you break off to eat it.
The name of the brand is Ritter but really it should be BITTER because the dark chocolate is so crap! lol
There's quite a few hazelnuts in the bar and they're all whole so the chocolate has got a lovely bumpy texture. The nuts have got a wickedly fresh texture as well, they're nice and crunchy with a nice moist texture. I think they've got a nice taste as well and do taste as fresh as they feel.
It's the chocolate that lets this bar down big time and even though I ate it all I didn't enjoy it that much, it's not creamy or rich at all and I thought that it tasted a bit like the cheapo chocolate topping that you get on own brand chocolate cakes. It's not hardly got any sweetness in it at all only what comes out of the nuts and has got a proper bitter aftertaste.
It was only because of how tasty the hazelnuts were that I finished this chocolate bar because the chocolate tastes mega cheap.... I was ripped off AGAIN in the service station!!! lol
Deffo NOT recommended..... you're better off with a Whole Nut even if you really want dark chocolate. You could get a bar of Lindt Dark Hazelnut if your finances will stretch to it, get that even if they can't because it will deffo be more of a treat than this mega crap Ritter stuff!!!
The phrase "Quadratisch, Praktisch, Gut" is understood by all German children, even when chocolate is not mentioned. For "Square, Practical, Good" signifies the kind of quality only to be found in Germany.
Since 1912 when Alfred Ritter GmbH was founded, Ritter has only ever used Cocoa from Africa and Papua New Guinea together with 100% Alpine whole milk to create it's unique chocolate flavour. Quality is also a vital factor in Ritter Sport fillings. For example there are more nuts in "Ritter Sport Voll-Nuss" than in other chocolate bars. Furthermore Ritter uses hazelnuts with precisely defined ideal dimensions - between 1.1 and 1.3 cm in diameter.
Ritter has made the square chocolate part of its identity, and gained its large market share though its innovative packaging design. The chocolate was made thicker so it is was less breakable, and offered a wide variety of flavours, only found in ice cream at that time, such as coconut and fruit yoghurt.
Despite the obvious dissruption in the 1930s and 1940s, Ritter Sport has remained popular until the present day, with its format largely unchanged.
Today, the various flavours are packaged in striking colours, a pop-art approach which has turned the packaging made from shiny synthetic material into a cult object.
During my months in Germany, I was perminantly reasured that when I walked into the underground station, a vending machine packed full of Ritter Sport was waiting for me. As for many German commuters, a chocolate bar was often my breakfast too. Ritter Sport is available in the UK but in fewer flavours.
For me the most plesurable moment when enjoying a Ritter Sport is the "knack" when the chocolate is broken lengthwise whilst keeping the packaging intact. This, for me is what makes this chocolate perfect and therefore one of my most favorite things ever. You can't do that with a Kit Kat, believe me, I've tried.
Ritter SPORT 100g chocolate squares are available at Tesco, Waitrose, Selfridges, Budgens, certain Sainsburys, Fenwicks, Makro, WHSmiths Travel outlets, Makro, certain Martins / Forbuoys / More / McColls.
11 variants are sold in UK.
Marzipan, Whole Hazelnuts, Peppermint, Cappuccino, Rum Raisin Hazelnuts, Alpine Milk, Praline, White Whole Hazelnuts, Chocolate Creme and Plain Chocolate.
The Ritter SPORT Mini bars in an assorted tray are only available from Selfridges and Fenwicks.
Ritter SPORT is very well represented in the food wholesale trade who supply independant retailers.
Prices vary from 69p to 95p depending on outlet.
Square. Handy. Good.
A product has reached the pinnacle if its advertising slogan becomes part of colloquial speech, the German equivalent of Square. Handy. Good. (Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut) has done so and is also known to and used by people who never eat chocolate or prefer a different brand, in fact 98% of the German population know it.
Ritter Sport Chocolate is sold in more than 50 countries including GB where you can find it, for example, at Sainsbury, Co-Op, Waitrose and Beatties Department Stores.
What is special about this brand? From the business point of view: the Ritter family from a small town in the south west of Germany has produced chocolate since 1912, the firm is still owned and run by them, no merging with an American mega food chain here, small is beautiful is the motto, nevertheless Ritter Sport covers nearly one quarter of the German choccie market. The management prides itself on following strict ecological rules when it comes to packaging using only recyclable material.
The homepage of www.ritter-sport.de (which also has an English version) informs the world that the raw material used for the different sorts is of top quality and the end products undergo an extensive quality control. Three different kinds of cocoa are used: two cocoas from Ghana plus a cocoa from Papua New Guinea, out of these cocoas eight different chocolate masses are produced which are then blended to suit each type of ingredient.
What is special about this brand? In 1932 Clara Ritter was struck by a stroke of genius when she suggested to produce a square bar of chocolate, Lets make a bar thatll fit in any sports jacket pocket without breaking, and still weighs the same as the normal long bar of chocolate. The family approved and the new square bar was given the name Ritter Sport Chocolate; up to now the family havent had a reason to regret their decision.
The sorts available in Germany are: Alpine Milk, Chocolate Créme, Corn Crisp, Yoghurt, Plain, Whole Almond, Coconut, Peppermint, Praliné, Olympia, Marzipan, Butter Biscuit, White Whole Hazelnut, Raisin Hazelnut, Milk, Rum Raisin&Hazelnut, Whole Hazelnut, Dark Whole Hazelnut, Muesli-Crunch, Mousse au Chocolat and Cappuccino. Then there are special offers only for a restricted period of time, at the moment these are: Truffle Whisky, Irish Coffee and Vanilla Liqueur. Around Christmas Ritter Sport comes with fillings that have a Christmassy flavour, for example bits of cinnamon biscuits.
The most successful sort is Alpine Milk for which only 100% pure whole milk from cows in the Alpine region is allowed, and theres an extra large amount of it, too, about 30% more than prescribed by laws relating to food and drugs. This sounds all very well, but I dont like milk chocolate very much, so the extra portion of Alpine milk doesnt impress me too much, I know, though, that other people are very happy with it.
I havent eaten myself through all the sorts yet, as I dont like milk chocolate very much, the sorts containing it dont appeal to me, Ive tried yoghurt which is good, of course, to those who like it, but besides the problem with the milk chocolate theres the whiteness of the yoghurt. I just dont like white chocolate or chocolate with white fillings! Chocolate must be brown, dark brown for me. Not very rational, I know, but there you are.
Mousse au Chocolat is a dark chocolate and I should love it but I dont, its too sweet, even one little square is too much for me, Id call it sickly sweet-
Im going to introduce you to my favourite sorts now: Dark Whole Hazelnut, chock-full with hand-picked freshly roasted Turkish hazelnuts, precisely between 1.1 and 1.3cm in diameter (according to the info on the web) wrapped in fine, dark richly flavoured 50% chocolate. I havent measured the diameter of the hazelnuts but the thickness of the bar, its 1.1cm (like all Ritter Sport Chocolate bars). Its quite hard and it needs some strength to break off a small square, a child wouldnt be able to do it, so we have an adult choccie here! One bites it more than one sucks it, it becomes soft in the mouth only after some time. Its very substantial, I sometimes buy it when I have to quench a little hunger.
When I bought a bar of this sort in summer, the shop-assistant in the supermarket said that if I detected a fine whitish layer, I could bring it back, this sort could get one in warm weather, but it didnt affect the taste, it was only an aesthetic thing. I did detect it but thought that the substitute bar wouldnt be any different as the weather was warm for all bars and then, I dont look at the chocolate, I eat it!
When Im not hungry and in a soft, chocolaty mood (Im sure you know what I mean), I opt for Cappuccino (the only milk chocolate I like) filled with a delicious cappuccino cream, its much softer than the Dark Whole Hazelnut variety and melts in the mouth right from the beginning, in summer its advisable to keep it in the fridge.
I also like Peppermint, dark chocolate with a (white! bah!) filling containing (not surprisingly) peppermint oil and vanilla flavour, if you like After Eight, youll like this sort, too.
From the three sorts that are currently on offer in Germany for a limited time only, Truffle Whisky, Irish Coffee and Vanilla Liqueur, I like the last best, for me the taste of alcohol is too strong in the first two, the Vanilla Liqueur, though, has just the right amount of alcohol (2.8%) and a wonderful creaminess, the type of chocolate is called edel in German meaning noble, sorry, I cant tell you what that means, but whatever it does mean, its good! All the different sorts of Ritter Sport Chocolate bars have their individual colour so that you can find your favourite sort on the shelf in the supermarket quite easily.
On all packets you find the remark that traces of nuts can be found in the chocolate no matter which sort you have, this is because the producers cant clean the machines so well after producing sorts containing nuts that they can guarantee no traces will be found in the other sorts. Just to make sure not to get into trouble with people allergic to nuts they think its best to warn them.
What is special about this brand? Ritter Sport Chocolate comes in a unique, handy snap-pack which you can easily snap open and reseal. For the sake of research I opened and resealed some snap-packs several times and found out that the resealing works, but why anyone would like to reseal a pack is beyond me!
Thanks to the new sugar substitute Maltite there is now also a diet variety on the market, the sorts Diet Bittersweet, Diet Yoghurt, Diet Nougat and Diet Whole Milk are available.
You feel chocolaty but dont want to buy a 100g bar because you dont want to eat so much but know that once youve started you cant stop? Then you may be interested in Ritter Sport Mini, each square weighing 16.67g, an odd weight you may think, but nine bars are packed in a box and that amounts to 150g, the sorts are Crispy Flakes, Hazelnut, Yoghurt, Nougat, Marzipan and Crispy Biscuit.
As I didnt know in which shops you could find Ritter Sport Chocolate in GB I contacted the British distributor and got an immediate and friendly reply, here is an excerpt:
Not all stores sell all variants. If you have any difficulty in obtaining this product please let me have your U.K. postcode and I could let you know your nearest stockist.
Jenks Sales Brokers Ltd
Tel: 01844 293615
Fax: 01844 293689
If * YOU * have questions, contact her! Of course, the good woman didnt know that * I *live in Ritter Sport Land and dont have to inform myself where I can get all the treasures! Ms McMinn has informed me that the UK price varies between 69 and 75 p, in a German supermarket you pay only 44 p! Why not come over and stock up on Ritter Sport Chocolate? With the money you save you could go to the Ritter works in Waldenbuch (between Stuttgart and Tübingen) and visit the exhibition in the new museum there (open until 26th February, 2006) concentrating on the SQUARE (what else?) in modern and contemporary art.
…is the Ritter Sport slogan, but it does sound an awful lot better in German. Ritter Sport is a chocolate brand well known on the continent and becoming more widely available in the UK. It’s no “normal” chocolate because it doesn’t come in usual sized bars as Dairy Milk might. Instead the two sizes available are mini (25g, 4 tiny squares, definitely just a small snack) and large (100g like the outsized Galaxy available). They’ve recently launched a new 40g size which would be perfect for a proper snack or pudding, but this size is so far limited to some new flavours only just on the market, not those like milk which have been around for ages. The other issue concerns the shape: while most chocolate bars are tablet shaped (Mars bar, Toffee crisp, Dairy milk and Galaxy again), Ritter Sport comes in squares. The pieces are square rather than rectangular (or cubes rather than cuboids) and the whole bar itself is, well, square. For eating this presents no problems whatsoever, but if you were to use it for cooking you would soon notice that it melts quicker (and is therefore more likely to burn) due to the smaller surface area of the chunks, and it can also be tricky to grate because it’s wider than most bars, and in many cases will exceed the size of the grater. Each flavour comes in a different coloured wrapper, and the milk chocolate one is a rich, sort of royal blue. So now you know what you’re looking for, what does it taste like? The milk variety is a simple bar. There is no filling to confuse you, or funny coating for decoration - the entire bar is nothing but pure milk chocolate. It’s not all that creamy, more silky (heading away from Dairy Milk, towards the Galaxy end of the scale) and the taste isn’t quite as sweet as normal milk chocolate, which leaves you with the problem that you can eat more in one sitting that you really should. The packs are designed to be re-sealable, and though
this always works, my will-power sometimes fails. The bar is a strong brown colour – light enough to show you it’s milk chocolate rather than the verging-on-black dark chocolate stuff, but without the grey tinges that scream “low quality cack”. The surface is also smooth – none of that cheap powdery feel for these Ritter Sport chaps, and the pieces snap off when it’s been refrigerated, or bend off when it’s been in my desk draw for a few days. A slight problem with the square design means you almost always need to touch two pieces to break one off, unlike with something like Galaxy where you can just break off one chunk at a time – since every square is parallel to at least one other, unless you want the whole strip, it involves some touching, and on hot, sticky days this can get a bit messy. If such a thing is possible, it tastes more expensive than bog standard bars of chocolate. While not quite being up to Lindt’s rich standards, it does have a sort of classy feel to it, which makes it more of an adult bar than a children’s one (and since Ritter Sport do some other “children’s only” flavours, this isn’t a problem). The flavour has a hazelnutty tinge to it, and though it doesn’t contains nuts as such, it’s produced in a factory that makes the versions that do, so they cannot ensure it will be nut free. It’s a good chocolate to eat if you can only get your hands on the tiniest packets because it is very slow melting. Yes, you can bite it if you want, but put a piece on your tongue and let it melt away, and you can make the 4 cubes last a good 15 minutes. They’re also nice for when you *need* chocolate but can’t justify eating a whole bar. If you’re hungry, though, you end up buying 2 or 3 or 4 of the little ‘uns which is never good. Ritter Sport also do a “diet” version of the chocolate – meaning one which I suita
ble for diabetics. This is not as sweet as the normal variety due to the sugar substitute they use – Maltite, instead of the usual fructose – but it tastes almost as good. Though the recipe has African and Papa New Guinean influences, the chocolate is still made solely in Western Europe, so it’s not one you can eat to alleviate your conscience as with the fair trade and other similar set-ups. www.ritter-sport.de/en/index.html is the English language version of the German website, and can tell you more about the varieties available. The 100g bars cost about 60p in the UK, and 66 cents on the continent. Though none of the online supermarkets seem to have it on their sites, I’ve seen it for sale in various branches of Tesco and Safeway before, and in smaller, specialized chocolate shops, so keep you eyes open for it, and you’ll probably find some somewhere near you. It’s a simple bar, but it is just a smidge nicer than run-of-the-mill milk chocolate. A way to get better quality chocolate without the price tag, it’s certainly worth trying if you have a sweet tooth.
Since 1912 the Ritter family has committed to the high demand of quality which has always been one of the main secrets of Ritter Sports success. Hence our raw material and end products undergo an extensive control regarding security and quality. With one of the most modern quality management systems we ensure that we can garanty our standards of quality at anytime.