“ Brand: Thorntons / Type: Milk „
I received a bar of Thornton's Venezuelan milk chocolate as part of a birthday present recently. The 70g bar was wrapped in a bronze foil bag and packaged in a contemporary designed flat turquoise box that is 10cm square. Inside the chocolate bar is divided into 12 squares and two oblongs (the equivalent of two squares). This chocolate was a bronze award winner in 2009 from the Academy of Chocolate.
Although this is a milk chocolate, it contains 38% cocoa and has no artificial colours or flavours or added vegetable fats. It is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. First impressions is that this chocolate is something a bit special and a bit different and I was excited to try it as I rarely treat myself to 'posh' chocolate. As I tore the foil I was greeted by a lovely, sweet chocolatey smell. It is stronger than a conventional milk chocolate, which I suspect is due to the higher cocoa content. The smooth piece (about 7mm high - yes I did measure!) tasted absolutely delicious, it was quite rich for a milk chocolate, and was smooth and creamy. Quite frankly it was in a different league to your standard choccie bars such as Dairy Milk. Due to its richness, I would say that a quarter of the box at a time would be more than sufficient, I certainly would struggle to eat more than that. The packaging claims that the chocolate contains natural hints of honey and vanilla and I don't think I could pick that up particularly. It is made with criollo cocoa bean which is not widely available, so something a bit special. Doing some of my own research it seems that this bean is quite sensitive to climatic change and can be challenging and risky to produce. The chocolate is not made in Venezuela, this is just where the bean is farmed. The chocolate is manufactured in Switzerland and packaged in the UK.
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, so obviously there is room for improvement. Thorntons do sell a Fair Trade range for those who would prefer it, and there are no doubt more ethical companies out there. At £1.79 for 70g this is not an everyday bar, but would make a nice small gift for someone and a lovely treat for yourself. I do recommend giving it a try sometime, because as I have already said, you will not need much to satisfy your craving and could make the box last several days. I am not going to list the ingredients or nutritional information. Believe me, if you are concerned about fat, sugar or calorific content then this is not the bar for you!