Friday, 13 March 2009

March 13th: Emerald Chocolate Caramels

Kcal 190 Fat 8.5g Fat(sats) 5.5g Fat(trans) 3.0g Carbs 28.0g (per 43.0g - 5 pieces)

These were another product sent to me by the delightful fellas at 'The Irish Shop', and although never having heard of the manufacture Oatfield before I was very open to trying these 'Chocolate Caramels'. These didn't carry an on pack description though this bothered me less than the quite worrying 3.0g of trans fat stated in each serving ... to be honest I don't think I have ever seen a product have such a high amount. Despite my initial predisposition I still decided to give these chocolate coated caramels a try.

I received a 96.0g bag, which contained about 15 or so pieces. The presentation cut quite a classic look, the outer packaging and individual wrappers communicated their Irish heritage well with their dark green colour scheme, the additional gold element added to what was a relatively sophisticated look. The chocolates were about the size of the comparable Cadbury Eclairs, though obviously differed in that these were chocolate coated rather than the chocolate filled. I was a little bemused by the smell of the product - it radiated scents that I would neither describe as cocoa led or caramel ... it was more of a burnt , treacle like aroma that was pleasant but just not entirely fitting.

What with the lack of product description and startlingly high trans fat content I was quite taken aback by the taste when I first placed one of the pieces in my mouth. The outer chocolate had a slight graininess to its texture, and the reason why was revealed as the melt progressed. Dispersed in both the chocolate and the inner caramel were small pieces of dessicated coconut - for me this brought both its benefits and its drawbacks. I thought it was beneficial in the fact that it added interest to what was a very mild mannered outer chocolate - it certainly brought some extra milky nuttiness to the quite subtle cocoa flavours. Unfortunately I didn't like the texture it added. Given the nature of the product, sucking on the pieces to enjoy the buttery, sweet flavours of the caramel seemed the most appropriate way to eat them. As I said before though the coconut pieces added a slight roughness to the texture, which didn't make this as pleasurable as it should have been. Much like the chocolate the inner caramel was neither that forthcoming in its flavours, which overall didn't make for the most satisfying or fulfilling of products.

Overall I guess I did get some degree of enjoyment out of these 'Chocolate Caramels' as the proposition of the coconut with the milk chocolate and chewy caramel did make for a unique offering. However, there are just a few things that bothered me about this product and I must admit these worries were rooted in the trans fat content. I personally don't think there is an excuse for a product to contain such a high level, especially when the taste was not truly special. The coconut element certainly brought a degree of uniqueness in comparison to Cadbury Eclairs - but for my money I recommend you stick with the Cadbury's and give these a miss ... if only for your health.

5.8 out of 10

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