Sunday, 15 May 2011

Dark Chocolate French 70%

I met a Frenchman a few days ago and we were discussing the wonders of chocolate and why some countries like certain types, for example the majority of British people enjoy sweet milk chocolate with little cocoa content having been weened on Mars bars and Curley Wirlies. He said, with great authority that the French do not like strong chocolate, that is for the kitchen, for the patisserie, croissants and other delights. Apparently the French like their everyday chocolate to be of a low cocoa content, as low as 60%. Sacre bleu! Thorntons state the French like their chocolate strong! Ok, I only spoke to one Frenchman but he seemed to be speaking for the whole nation.

In the Pink!
Unlike their colourful packaging Thorntons is finding trading difficult. Some of you may have read in the papers that Thorntons blamed their poor trading on the hot weather. Obviously, they were caught out and the ice cream freezers were still in storage. Perhaps they should invest in some ice cream hawkers? Apparently 'own store' sales declined by 13.9% to £31.4 million. That's still an impressive amount of chocolate to be selling in such difficult trading conditions. To read more on their trading position click here. Overall their sales increased by 2.9% on a 'like for like' basis. Also interesting to read that they closed 12 stores but did not open any new ones. A sign that things are not that rosy in the chocolate industry?

The Chocolate: Ok, enough about financial woes lets talk about this little hunk of chocolate. According to Thorntons this bar of chocolate has an intense cocoa flavour and is slightly bitter that contrasts with the fruity floral bouquet. I don't believe I've ever been disappointed by the presentation of a Thorntons chocolate bar. Whoever runs their production line should have a pat on the back. The aroma is full of that fruity floral bouquet with hints of blackcurrant and wood. Shut your eyes, breath deeply and think tobacco. Even though this is a 70% chocolate it is not overpowering or bitter in fact it has a touch of sweetness about it that I was not really expecting. What annoys me about Thorntons is that they do not tell you anything about where their chocolate comes from. They talk about everything else but not this?

Overall a fairly middle of the road dark chocolate which is not as intense as they say and for this reason I'm awarding a score of 6/10. This block cost me £1.89 for 90g. You can buy it for £1.20 on line with a Best Before Date of April 2011?

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