June 22nd: Thorntons Milk Chocolate with Strawberry

Kcal 536 Fat 32.7g Fat(sats) 19.7g Carbs 53.5g (per 100.0g)

What with Wimbledon kicking off today I thought it rather fitting that we start the week with a strawberry based chocolate. As I mentioned yesterday in the '7Days of Chocolate Reviews' news section, Thorntons have just released a new line of bars to add to their already quite expansive 'blocks range'. Included in this new selection was this Milk Chocolate with Strawberry variant which was formed of '32% milk chocolate with dried strawberry pieces'.

One of the first things I noticed about the new bars I received from Thorntons was that some of them didn't conform to the usual 90.0g size that I have mostly commonly seen across the range. This bar for instance only weighed 80.0g, I guess this was down to the nature of the light yet largish dried strawberries. In regards to presentation I was all round pretty impressed. Again I thought that the outer packaging could have done with a little jazzing up, however I did like the look of the chocolate which had distinct red berry pieces dispersed evenly throughout. The only thing that tempted me more than the look of the chocolate was the smell. A divine plethora of sweet fruit and milk really set the mood for the taste and provided a nice insight to the chocolate at hand.

An all too common downfall when mixing milk chocolate and strawberry is that it is often a little on the sweet side. Indeed having survived a few throat burning over sweetened strawberry chocolates in my time I was hoping that Thorntons would get the balance right here. One thing that you can often be assured of with Thorntons is that generally their base chocolates are pretty good. The milk chocolate here was exactly that and had a very smooth melt with an eccentric set of flavours. A constant cream flavoured undertone lined the soft cocoa taste though there were intermittent acidic tones that were doused well by small notes of honey. The constant development of the taste of the milk chocolate was only to be outdone by the dried strawberries which brought some tangy berry flavours to most bites. Although the strawberry flavours were on the whole very short lived their acidic nature meant they left a lasting impression in the mouth. As noted already the fruit pieces were evenly distributed throughout the entire block with most chunks at least having one strawberry piece - personally I regarded this as quite important as it made the experience consistent. Although I admittedly would have happily eaten more the 40.0g servings I ate this in were both pretty satisfying.

Overall the area of milk chocolate and strawberries is often a haphazard one but Thorntons can be very proud of their efforts here. The milk chocolate was of a great standard with a really clean cut and variable taste. The dried freeze strawberries were a little unsubstantial though their tasty red berry flavour credentials were definitely up there as one of the better fruit implementations in chocolate I have tried over the last few months. As far as summer chocolates go I would recommend this one highly - it provided a fresh, light tasting fruity chocolate in what I found to be a pretty satisfying manner. I have had my ups and downs with Thorntons but I am pleased to say this was an obvious high and certainly worth tucking into the Wimbledon hamper along with the champagne!

8.5 out of 10