Saturday, 23 August 2008

August 23rd: Marks & Spencer Swiss White Chocolate Mountain Bar

Kcal 580 Fat 37.7g Fat(sats) 22.6g Carbs 54.3g

My second dip into the Marks & Spencer range has come at the request of Chocolate Mission reader Martin, who very much recommended this 'M&S Swiss White Chocolate Mountain Bar'. My initial reaction at seeing this bar today was that it was a 'Knock-Off Nigel' version of the 'Toblerone White' - after eating it though I believe that description to be a injustice.

The bar did indeed come in a 100g serving, with a familiar sounding description 'Extra fine Swiss white chocolate with honey and almond nougat'. The bar was packaged superbly with a smart looking cardboard sleeve in addition to a foil wrapping covering the bar. The bar itself was sectioned quite awkwardly; the pieces were a nice bitesize mouthful though were a real pain to break away from each other. The product had a nice smell once released from the foil packaging; it wasn't the sweet creamy smell I was expecting but more of a slightly edgier yoghurty one.

I think its quickly worth mentioning the nutritional information and ingredients. The ingredients list was surprisingly small with only eight listed, one slightly wired one was 'butter oil'...I haven't come across the term before but im sure it had something to do with the 580 kcal and near 40.0g of fat in the bar. One thing I did appreciate was the lack of artificial colours or flavourings - its not often nowadays you find chocolate that isn't packed full of chemicals and all sorts to make it's shelf life longer - good stuff.

I ate the bar over two separate 50g servings, both of which provided very satisfying helpings. Despite the blocks being awkward to seperate they were nicely shaped for the mouth and had a nice smooth melt on the tongue. The nougat pieces added a pleasant chewy aspect to the texture that made for a far more interesting chew. The chocolate had a fine flavoured milky flavour that thankfully avoided the common white chocolate pitfall of being overly sweet. The taste didn't develop during its course in the mouth, but it's flavour was delightfully creamy which made this largely acceptable. Despite the almond nougat pieces being quite prevalent in the texture they added very little to the taste - I found them largely flavourless though could still appreciate them for what they added to the texture. The honey enhancement wasn't overly detectable - this wasn't the greatestof surprises as it was hardly portioned generously at only 3.5%.

Overall this is a good standard white chocolate offering that although largely resembles the 'Toblerone White' is actually quite different in its taste. The 'Toblerone White' has a far sweeter, vanilla heavy taste, whilst this M&S offering focuses far more on a silky creamy milky flavour. Personally I preferred the milky flavour of the M&S though still believe it could further develop its flavour with the development of another layer to its overall taste...it could do with a minor vanilla or stronger honey note to its aftertaste if only to mix it up a little. Another way this could be resolved is by making the almond nougat more impactful in it's flavour. As I said above it's hard to label this a 'Toblerone White' copycat; its true it looks similar and contains very comparable ingredients, but the taste is very much different. If your're a 'Toblerone White' fan or just a generally enjoy white chocolate fan this is a bar very much worth checking out.

8.3 out of 10

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