Wednesday, 19 August 2009

August 19th: Hotel Chocolat Orange Tangs

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

All I can say was that it was going to happen eventually! After 42 reviews I have finally come across a Hotel Chocolat product that I really didn't rate. As ever I was very kindly sent these to review by the marketing team at Hotel Chocolat and having really liked both the Ginger Tangs and more recently Mango Strips from the same range my hopes were just as high for these Orange Tangs. Described as 'pieces of orange jelly enrobed in dark chocolate' I was immediately disappointed to find that these were not chocolate covered pieces of orange fruit and instead contained orange juice and peel. Despite this I was still excited at the prospect of trying these, as were my family who have also recently discovered the delights of my free samples from Hotel Chocolat.

The Orange Tangs came from the same 150.0g tubs range than the Ginger Tangs I reviewed in January and contained around 20 or so pieces insider. I thought that the tub itself was nicely presented with the label clearly communicating the inner product with both the description and on pack pictures. At first I was also impressed with what lay inside as the pieces looked to be a nice size and had a pleasant chocolaty fruity smell. On closer inspection though the pieces were bloomed and had dusty, scuffed surfaces that certainly didn't look all that fresh or appealing - this is probably the first Hotel Chocolat product I have ever said this about. To say either my family or myself were put off by the blemished appearance of the chocolates would be far from the truth; it didn't stop us digging straight in with great enthusiasm.

I may as well get straight to the point reveal that these did not live up to expectations in any sense whatsoever. At first I couldn't quite put my finger on what the taste reminded me of, but then with a little assistance from some very fellow samplers we managed to pin the taste down. I guess you will all be none to impressed to learn that these tasted very similar to upper portion of a Jaffa Cake ... yes a Jaffa Cake. Normally I like to take you all through my experience of the taste step by step but for this product that won't be necessary as the taste showed no progression of any note. The taste both started and ended with the orange jelly centre which had a strong orange fruit flavour that at times I would describe as being tart and almost sour. The dark chocolate really didn't factor into the taste all that much and its thin implementation meant that the cocoa flavours were mostly entirely lost in the context of the taste and failed to make an impression of any note. Maybe it was just that they tasted so similar to Jaffa Cakes but out of the four people that tried these (including myself) none of us were that impressed by what we tasted. They neither tasted that appealing or were what I would describe as fulfilling - they wouldn't be my choice of snack.

Overall the only word I can use to describe these is disappointing, but I guess every product range has its duds. I generally think that the better Hotel Chocolat products are the ones that focus on the actual chocolate and not the filling - it is their core competence after all. I think it says it all when I can tell you that the tub of Orange Tangs in my household is still half full after a week. Normally Hotel Chocolat products are gobbled up within a matter of days but these just seemed to completely lack the appeal that so many of their other products have in abundance. I really like Jaffa Cakes ... but even I couldn't quite get my head around the uncanny resemblance that these showed; if anything their sourer nature made them a far less appealing option when you consider they cost £6.75 a tub! I can't go as far as recommending these for anyone due to Hotel Chocolat have far, far better products across their range - one to avoid in my opinion.

4.9 out of 10

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