Saturday, 29 September 2012

Pret A Manger - Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

Happy Saturday! 

And they size isn't everything and Pret's dark chocolate bar with sea salt only weighs in at a mighty 25g and I quote, 'full of melt-y, chocolate-y loveliness'.  It is even made in a tiny chocolate kitchen, images of Oompa Loompas spring to mind as they beaver feverishly away in this little cuisine of chocolate.



If you're not aware of Pret A Manger then I can only assume you've been living in the Outer Hebrides for many years!  To my surprise they do have an outlet in Aberdeen so it is likely that they will have a shop in the Outer Hebrides in the not too distant future!  Pret provide a quality range of handmade sandwiches, salads, soup, porridge, and much, much more, using natural ingredients. They originated in London (circa 1986) and have been slowly setting up outposts across the land and even Chelmsford can boast of having a Pret!  Essex will never be the same. Hong Kong, Paris and New York also have a Pret. 

Their sandwiches and snacks are not cheap but even in these harsh, must watch the pennies times, you very rarely see an empty shop.  Customers just can't seem to get enough of them and I suppose they are the Whole Foods of the sandwich world. They have high ethical values when it comes to ingredients and imaginative sandwich fillings seem to hit the spot with their clientele.  Their only achilles heel for me is their coffee which has a very strange aftertaste.



Obviously, Pret have a genius or two working in their marketing department and their products always have a great look and feel with a particular message or passion fact.  According to Passion Fact No.10 and I quote. 'Having seen the ruthless buying of commodity crops (like cocoa) firsthand, our chocolatiers are passionate about trading fairly '.  From the sale of every bar a donation is made to organisations that support West African farmers.

This 54% dark chocolate gives up a good but certainly not overpowering aroma of tobacco as the silver wrapping is removed. A very 'liquid' and smooth dark chocolate that melts quickly to reveal the salt. The idea of mixing salt and chocolate always sounds weird to me but the combination is fantastic.  The salt will certainly set tongues a wagging!  The cocoa flavour is not all together lost as it hides in the background playing second fiddle to the salt.  Overall this is a tasty piece of chocolate ideal for that mid-day snack. This little bar of deliciousness will set you back a pricey £0.99 for 25g. A deserved 7/10.

Chocolate News:  Chocolate Week (8-14 October) is only a few days away and you can check out some of the great events taking place by following this link, Chocolate Week.  The main event Chocolate Unwrapped  takes place on 13 October will attract a lot of attention so book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!  This year's event has moved to the Film Museum in Covent Garden. All the great names of chocolate will be attending including Paul A Young, William Curley, and Duffy Sheardown from Red Star, to name just a few.  Interesting to see that Bakeries and Delis are now included in the line up this year. The power of the Great British Bake Off indeed! 

In other news Mars has distanced itself from deep fried mars bars a well known  Scottish snack that apparently originated in Stonehaven, Aberdeen.  Lovers of this snack even prefer their batter to be made with Irn-Bru. Mars argued that this product does not fit the companies promotion of healthy living. Need I say more. On the plus side Mars have opened a dedicated Research Centre in Slough at a cost of £6M and employing 100 people. Since 1932 Mars Bar have been made in Slough producing 2.5 million bars a day from their Dundee Road plant. Staggering!

At Barry Callebaut's factory in Banbury, Oxford workers have gone on strike. As profits have steadily increased bosses have been topping up their wage packets and given themselves pay rises of 79%. Whilst their hard working employees only receive a 2% rise. Naughty, naughty....

More about Pret chocolate read one of my previous reviews.. http://chocchick.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/prets-milk-chocolate.html