July 4th: Trader Joe's Swiss Milk Chocolate

Kcal 230 Fat 15.0g Fat(sats) 9.0g (per 42.0g)

I've been saving this bar for ages now, ever since Esther sent me the package full of Trader Joe's products a couple of months ago I'd been waiting for the right time to review this bar....with this weeks latest wave of milk chocolate bar reviews (see Hotel Chocolat 40%, Milka Alpine & Lindt Excellence Milk) I thought that there was no time like the present and it would be great to benchmark this bar agaisnt the rest.

As with all Trader Joe's products there was a real feel good feeling on the on package blurb...the bars ingredients were all fair trade and of course as with all TJ's stuff contained no artifical colours or flavours. The wrapper was nice and colourful in appearance and also included an inside foil layer. The bar itself was not branded though as you can see above was sectioned nicely and had a pattern etched into the surface that was pleasant on the eye. The bar came in 100g form which I ate across two sittings...for reasons I will go into it didnt fully satisfy me in both instances.

Looking at the back of pack the bar stated it had 33% cocoa solids and 22% milk solids...these are both relatively higher than most mass confection bars but still paled in comparison to the Hotel Chocolat bar.

Dividing the bar into its sections it had a nice fresh crisp cracking sound which is always nice. When smelt up close the bar had a cocoa scent that had a small note of nut - it wasnt overly impressive but was pleasant none the less.

After the first few blocks it was quite evident the bar had a nice fresh texture. Like when splitting it by hand, when bit into the chocolate had a fresh crispness and once left to melt on my tongue it melted at a nice rate. On the wrapper the bar described itself as richy, creamy milk chocolate...in truth....rich - no .... creamy - sort of. The initial flavour really wasnt that strong and it wasnt until the bar had fully melted in the mouth before it released its smooth sweet cocoa flavour. The taste was neither strong enough to be described as rich and wasn't overly creamy due to the aftertaste being slightly smokey and caramel tasting. With the smoothness of the texture and the lack of real hard hitting flavours the bar seemed to just pass me by a little.

Overall the taste of this bar was a bit of a let down. In comparison to the other milk chocolate bars I have reviewed recently its favour just seemed to lack real depth and lacked the richness of flavour in comparison to the Lindt, Hotel Chocolat etc bars. This may be slightly harsh as its not as if its a bad bar: it looked good and its taste certainly was no where near unpleasant...it just lacked the depth when compared to the real standard setters I've tried recently. This is by no means a bad milk chocolate bar...its not as if your going to throw it back in someones face if they give it to you as a gift...its just at the end of the day theres better tastier milk chocolate offerings out there.

7.1 out of 10