November 12th: Green & Black's Ginger

Kcal 501 Fat 29.1g Carbs 53.0g (per 100.0g)

I think we are all aware by now that Green & Black's chocolate isn't one of my favoured ranges here in the UK. Apart from the odd bar like the Espresso, it is range that I have often found unremarkable and it has often disappointed me with it's not so special taste but over inflated price. In an effort not to be swayed by my previous experiences I thought I would give a few more of their bars a chance on the ChocolateMission rating system and picked up a few more flavours from their selection. The bar in the line of fire today was this Ginger variant which came billed as 'dark chocolate with crystallised ginger'. As previous experiences have shown dark chocolate and ginger can be a matched made in heaven when done correctly.

As you can see from the photo above this was another bar from G&B's standard 100.0g range and was split into the usual small sized blocks. Although this isn't exhibited by the wrapper above I have noticed recently that G&B's have started to change their packaging across some of their flavours - with the primary brown colour and indicative secondary flavour colour swapping round. I seem to remember writing about exactly this in a previous review so as you can imagine I view this packaging reformulation quite favourably. Unfortunately though the ugly looking, brown dominant packaging is still prominent across many of the flavours in the range, including this Ginger bar. On more of a positive note the chocolate itself smelt pretty glorious with a nice spicy ginger element evident amongst a strong current of bitter dark chocolate scents.

I will resist to rant about the ridiculously small sized G&B's blocks as I have touched upon this point so many times in the past, but even with the nature of the dark chocolate this was still a frustrating problem. If I was G&B's I would make their bars smaller in length, thicker and divided into bigger blocks. I think this would not only make the chocolate look better but it would also help the taste of the chocolate as each piece would have more time to develop flavours in the mouth. With the chocolate smelling as bitter and strong as it did I was really quite surprised when I placed the first piece in my mouth as I was met with some very languid and quite meagre cocoa flavours. To be honest I was expecting far greater strength from a chocolate billed as 60% cocoa min and I was a little disappointed with the volume of the dark chocolate taste. With the dark chocolate offering little more than a mild, unsweetened cocoa flavour set the ginger was thankfully a lot better and brought a bit of life to what was really a quite dull tasting chocolate. Unlike billed the ginger wasn't crunchy or crystallised in form but was actually quite soft and chewy when left to melt on the tongue. The ginger element wasn't particularly fiery or hot but brought a pleasant note of mild spice and warmth to the mouth. Out of all the dark chocolates I have had recently this wasn't the most satisfying but a 30.0g serving certainly did a reasonable job and went well with a cup of coffee.

Overall this was yet another G&B's offering that I would have to describe as 'nothing special'. At the heart of it's averageness the actual dark chocolate base was pretty underwhelming and didn't measure up in terms of it's 60% cocoa billing or it's strong smell that emanated out of the foil wrapping. On reflection the poor quality dark chocolate was really quite a shame given that the ginger element of this chocolate was actually pretty good. As I have described above this wasn't a really strong or hot ginger flavoured chocolate but the volume of the spice was nicely controlled with a sweet, syrup like undertone which took the edge off the normally quite harsh flavour edge. It is true that I do like the stronger flavoured dark chocolate but as previous reviews have shown I do have an appreciation for the slightly milder ones also. This was by no means a horrible bar of chocolate but having tried a fair few G&B's products now I am quickly coming to the opinion that they are too reliant on the flavours they incorporate into their bars and are not taking enough care with the actual chocolate. I have a few more G&B's bars to review in the coming weeks so time will tell whether this is a valid conclusion.

7.2 out of 10