June 29th: Zentis Belmanda

Kcal 307 Fat 18.7g Fat(sats) 5.2g Carbs 30.0g

I feel sorry for all marzipan bars that get rated on this site as they are all naturally compared to the quite simply awesome Niederegger range. Saying that it isn't often that Dean-German-Grocery send me a duff product so I was hoping for good things from this Zentis Belmanda bar. I hadn't heard of the Zentis brand before but a little research on the net revealed that they actually had a website that was in English. A quick skim read of their company history told me that they are traditionally a jam making company and are still relatively small in terms of size in Germany. If your interested you can read more about them HERE -but for now lets get down to the important stuff ... whether they can make a good chocolate bar!!

This product came in a pretty huge 60.0g size that certainly left me feel very fulfilled having tucked it all away in one sitting. On the whole I thought the presentation was pretty good. The wrapper was made of a two tone gold foil and included a cardboard piece inside that made sure the bar was kept in fine condition. The chocolate itself was a little less spectacular in that it had no markings or patterns on its surface- that said the marzipan had a nice golden tinted colour that looked rather appetising. Of course with the foil wrapping the product not only looked smart but also maintained a nice freshness that was evident through the nut and cocoa smells that were revealed when opened.

As I mentioned in the opening the paragraph this product was always facing an uphill task given the incredible standards set by Niederegger. I will reveal now that although this Zentis offering wasn't quite as good but by its own merit was still a tasty chocolate bar. One area where this bar was superior to the Niederegger equivalent was in the quality of the chocolate. The dark chocolate that coated the bar here had greater strength in its cocoa flavours and just created more of an impression on the resulting taste. Despite the cocoa flavours being rather strong they were never bitter, though I guess this was largely down to the sweetness from the marzipan. The marzipan at the centre of this bar provided some adequate almond and sugar flavour bursts but just didn't quite deliver the same pastry like dough flavours of the Niederegger. What was notable was that the texture was equally as good - the marzipan had a nice moistness and avoided being dry and crumbly; I think this is essential for good quality marzipan.

Overall if it wasn't for Niederegger I would probably be singing the praises of this bar to the hills. This was fundamentally a great tasting chocolate and marzipan combination but unfortunately for Zentis the Niederegger factor stops this bar from being as celebrated as much as it should. The chocolate was of a great quality and the marzipan was also very good - it is just a bit of unlucky that Niederegger make marzipan that is simply out of this world. Despite this I still think that if you like your marzipan you should really give this bar a go - I am sure you wouldn't regret it.

8.4 out of 10