July 15th: Cocoa Deli Fruit & Almond Clusters

Kcal 181 Fat 8.2g Fat(sats) 4.9 Carbs 24.7g (Per pack - 3 Clusters)

Last month I reviewed the Cocoa Deli 'Rocky Road Clusters' to reasonible success - they were hardly the most spectacular offering on the market but they certainly had merit for being a bit unique. Today whilst scowering the shelves at my local Woolies I came across these 'Fruit & Almond Clusters'...of course curiosity inevitably got the best of me.

These 'Fruit & Almond Clusters' had an on pack description of 'clusters of moist raisins and crunchy almond pieces set in smooth Belgian milk chocolate'. They came in a 40g pack which although not the biggest in size proved to be a substantial snack due to the dense nature of the raisins. Both the packaging and product were sound but unspectacular in appearance - the wrapper was coloured a slightly less feminine shade of purple compared to the pink 'Rocky Road' variant, though it still had a far from premiuim look. Again the inclusion of a cardboard sleeve notched up half a point in this category as it definately served its purpose and avoided the product from breaking up. The clusters had a nice fruity sweet smell that was quite distinctive compared to other more generic aromas that I have come accustom to whilst reviewing for Chocolate Mission.

Each of the three clusters were coated in Belgian milk chocolate with the bases having a heavier helping of coating than the upper regions of each of the bites. The chocolate was sadly weak in flavour apart from where thicker at the bases and lacked flavour against the more substantial fruit and nut elements. Where detectable the chocolate had a pretty enjoyable milky taste that was smooth on the tastebuds...it just simply wasnt proportioned heavily enough which was a shame.

Raisins made up the bulk of the product accounting for over 34% of the total constituants. As the on pack blurb suggested they were plump and moist and added a nice chewy texture to each bite. Raisisns are often implemented as flavourless filler in alot of bars but the raisins in question here had a nice sugary fruity flavour. The almonds were unfortunately not quite as well integrated - they were very finely chopped which meant they didnt quite add the desired crunchyness in texture that would have potentially contrasted so greatily with the softer fruit. Flavourwise the almonds were pleasant and provided a nice subtle nuttyness to the taste; I think the choice of Almonds was quite a wise one as I dont think the more woody flavour of hazelnuts or saltier peanuts would have worked quite aswell against what was already an overpowered chocolate offering.

Overall this was another solid differentiated product from Cocoa Deli, though I think there is certainly room for improvement. The raisins in this bar were fruity and flavoursome and certainly made for a substantial overall product. the almonds although not adding the best texture due to thier chopped nature were still relatively flavoursome and complimented the fruit nicely. Unfortunately this bar was seriously let down by its poor milk chocolate - it lacked flavour and simply wasnt just implemented generously enough. If you like the sound of these its probably worth you tracking these down - if its a chocolate hit your after though you will probably be left wanting.

7.4 out of 10