July 13th: Zentis Belnuga

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

A little over a week ago I took my first look at the Zentis range and was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it. I have not made my disliking of marzipan a secret on this site - aside from the Niederegger brand I generally find it far too sweet and on the dry side. Well as just mentioned last weeks Zentis Belmanda broke this cycle and in my estimation came pretty close to Niederegger. Given that success I was very much looking forward to trying todays offering from the Zentis brand - the 'Belnuga'. This bar was pretty much the same proposition as the Belmanda but had an additional hazelnut nougat layer running through the centre of the almond marzipan ... this was going to be interesting.

Just like the Belmanda this Belnugat bar came in a very fulfilling 60.0g size. The wrapper was also very similar, incorporating the same style of fonts and design but just with a bronze coloured background. The bar itself looked particularly intriguing - the darker hazelnut nougat contrasted well with the lighter marzipan whilst the outer chocolate had a very smooth and unblemished surface. The aesthetic prestige of the product was certainly not let down by the delightful mixture of nutty smells that were released from the foil packet. They smelt as fresh as they did tempting so I didn't hang around before getting stuck in.

I thought one of the greatest features of the Belmanda was the quality of the outer chocolate - this is a department where Niederegger suffer quite badly. The milk chocolate implemented here was superb and had a delightful smooth, thick melt that the unruffled surface suggested. The cocoa flavours were relatively strong but were more playing robin to the batman cream and milk flavours. The marzipan below seemed just a touch moister than in the Belmanda and this was obviously due to the hazelnut nougat that lined the centre. The marzipan was stilling lacking the bready, dough flavours of Niederegger though brought some magnificent sweet almond influences to the party. The hazelnut nougat came into play during the latter stages of the melt and delivered not only a nice bit of lubrication to the marzipan but also some fine extra nut and cocoa flavour bursts. The texture wasn't silky smooth and had a bit of grit to it but I preferred this as a soft truffle filling would most likely have got lost in the denser marzipan. The extra hazelnut and chocolaty influences brought to the aftertaste were very welcome and ended each bite with just a little bit extra interest.

Overall this bar has ended Niederegger's dominance of marzipan and has proved that other manufactures can get it as equally as right. What I especially loved about this bar was the progression of the different flavours influences in the taste. From the creamy chocolate, to the sweet almond to lastly the chocolaty hazelnut paste it was delicious on so many different levels. At 60.0g a bar this would cure any hunger pang known to man - its rich yet ridiculously moreish and would certainly be a bar I would pick up again in the near future. If you enjoy your marzipan I urge you to get hold of one of these bars - move over Niederegger you now have company!

8.8 out of 10

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