Thursday, 3 February 2011

NERO & BIANCO

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Just returned from a lovely lunch at The Anchor in Hullbridge, Essex. Good food, friendly service and at reasonable prices. Battered Cod followed by Sticky Toffee Pudding which was delicious but my slimline figure is spreading somewhat. So I certainly should not be eating chocolate after all that but I promise it will be salad, salad and more salad from now on....maybe. 


I finally have my hands on three bars of chocolate from Nero & Bianco a relative unknown as far as I'm concerned. The chocolate is made in Italy but the company has a base in High Wycombe. Recently introduced by Peros a company I was highlighting a few days ago in a previous blog. 


The packaging is funky and has a 60's psychedelic feel about it. According to the information provided on the packaging this their cocoa is selected from a number of grower co-operatives from the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador and sugar from Paraguay. Interestingly 67.67% of the ingredients used to make the chocolate are certified to International Fairtrade standards. This product is also organic including cocoa butter, milk powder and cane-sugar.


Funky Fairtrade and Organic!


Their website talks about where their cocoa is sourced from and mentions Criollos, Trinitario and Forastero in the same sentence which may lead you to think that these bars are made from all three. Can you be more specific please!


The Chocolate: A milk chocolate with a 39% cocoa content should have some character about it. The presentation is very good, it's bright, light and the chocolate has a good snap. However, the cocoa content although fairly high does not come through in the flavour. I was expecting something stronger and longer lasting. Instead you get this creamy, malty and caramel flavour coming through which is ok but not what I was expecting. It's very similar to Swiss chocolate in my opinion. There is a lot of sugar in this bar but it doesn't come through as being overly sweet.




I would describe this bar as being middle of the road in terms of flavour and it will suit the English palette. However, in terms of ethical credentials it ticks all the right boxes and I can understand why Peros have gone with this bar. I have no idea of the selling price for this bar as it will probably turn up in office restaurants around the country instead of in the supermarkets.


Nero&Bianco are running a Valentine's Competition at the moment, click here for more details.



Louise, from Nero&Bianco kindly contacted me to confirm that they use 100% Trinitario beans in their chocolate depending on the situation at harvest time.


Thanks for the quick response from Nero&Bianco!