It almost seemed a little pointless reviewing this marzipan bar from M&S, as I was 99.9% certain that it was never going to measure up to the sheer awesomeness of the Niederegger range. Having recently shown a massive interest in the rest of M&S's confectionery offerings though, I thought why the hell not and today took the plunge and tried this 'dark chocolate bar, with a soft marzipan centre, decorated with milk chocolate'.
This bar came in a small 36.0g size that I could tell wasn't fully going to satisfy my rumbling stomach. Small size aside I was reasonably impressed with the presentation. The wrapper constituted of a red, semi-transparent film material that allowed a clear view of the bar, whilst also appearing rather decorative. The product itself was about 10cm long (no I didn't measure!), and really quite thin. Despite its meager presence it looked quite appetising with a consistent dribbling effect of milk chocolate placed on top of the smooth looking dark chocolate. The smell of the bar set a reasonable expectation of the taste. The scents were predominantly cocoa led, though there was strong, sweet smelling undertone that could also be detected.
It won't surprise you to hear that this bar struck many of the same chords as the Thorntons Almond Marzipan bar .... what?? ... an M&S and Thorntons product tasting not to dissimilar ... I never! The dark chocolate was largely underwhelming, its melt was quite lazy and it took too long for the unsweetened, coffee like flavours of the cocoa to be substantiated in the mouth. Presentation aside the implementation of the milk chocolate was meaningless, as it brought nothing to the taste of the product, at no point could I detect an extra wealth of milky flavours. Obviously the dominating aspect of the taste was the marzipan that just as I thought it would be, was no where near the levels of the Niederegger products. I must admit it did differ slightly from the Thorntons bar as its flavours were more almond concentrated, but saying this it completely lacked the buttery smoothness of the Niederegger loaf etc. I was feeling really quite hungry before I ate this bar, and unfortunately after consumption I can't say I was all that satisfied.
Overall comparing this bar with the Niederegger range was always going to be a harsh as M&S are by no means marzipan specialists. However, given the nature of the product, comparisons are the name of the game and this simply just couldn't match up on any level. Truth be told the dark chocolate was lacking flavour, a place where if M&S were going to deliver a superior product this would of had to be it - unfortunately it wasn't the case. As expected the marzipan just simply lacked the quality of the Niederegger range, there is no other way of putting it. This product isn't a travesty, though I wouldn't recommend you buy it if find yourself in M&S with the munchies - frankly there are far better options available.
6.6 out of 10