“ Brand: Thornton's / Type: Dark „
I received a bar of Thornton's dark chocolate with balsamic as part of a birthday present recently. The 90g bar was wrapped in a silver foil bag and packaged in a contemporary designed, flat, dark red box that is 10cm square. Inside the chocolate bar is divided into 12 squares and two oblongs (the equivalent of two squares). It uses cocoa beans that are exclusive to Tanzania, and is 75% cocoa. I have to say that I didn't expect balsamic vinegar to go with chocolate. As I tore the foil I did get a balsamic scent first of all, before a good, close sniff revealed the sort of smell that I associate more with dark chocolate.
The chocolate contains all natural ingredients and no added vegetable fats and is suitable for vegetarians, as well as being gluten free and alcohol free. It may contain traces of nut or milk. The chunky squares snapped easily when I went to break the bar up. The bar is approx 10mm high, which is higher than the Venezuelan milk chocolate bar I also recently had from Thornton's.
Since opening the foil, I no longer smelt the balsamic, it just smelt of dark chocolate. First bite was just like any typical dark chocolate, and it is only as you finish the piece that you pick up the balsamic flavouring. It is unusual and offers a distinctive flavour but I am not sure I would necessarily identify it straight off if I hadn't of known that balsamic was an ingredient - mainly because I would never have expected it. I have to admit that I am not a dark chocolate fan, I prefer milk. Certainly this is not the bar to change my mind, the cocoa flavour is just too strong and intense for me. Texture wise, it was pleasant enough, if slightly powdery. It made me cough a bit after eating, and there was a cocoa after-taste, that lasted longer than most dark chocolate.
Thornton's are a well known chocolate brand and claim to take their social, ethical and environmental responsibilities seriously - well they would say that - they also claim to use sustainable ingredients and are against enforced or child labour. This chocolate does not carry the Fair Trade logo, although Thornton's do sell a Fair Trade range for those who would prefer it.
If you are concerned about the nutritional information in this bar, such as sugar, fat or calories then I suggest that it is probably best to avoid this bar, in fact avoid the whole shop!
I would recommend trying this if you enjoy dark chocolate and like to try different flavours, at £1.79 a bar it is not cheap so is definitely aimed for a special treat or gift. You can also buy it in a bundle with other dark chocolate bars or a mixed bundle, starting at £14. I have to say I won't buy this again myself, but that is not a reflection on the quality of the product, but only because I prefer milk. I would say this is not an eat-in-one-go bar either, due to the chunkiness and intense flavour, you could certainly make this little box last.