May 3rd: Ritter Sport Bio Kakaosplitter Nuss

Kcal 498 Fat 33.0g Carbs 42.0g (per 100.0g)

Despite the never ending procession of new flavours and varieties coming out of Ritter towers in Germany, it has been a long while since I last reviewed a bar from their 'Bio' range. For those who haven't come across the 'Bio' sub brand before, I can inform you that it is the organic part of Ritter's portfolio, and there are currently six different flavours on the shelves. Thanks to the ever so kind people at Ritter Sport, I today got the opportunity to try this new Kakaosplitter Nuss flavour, which translates roughly as 'Cocoa Nibs & Nuts' to us English speaking folk. It was recently reported in the UK that sales of organic foods was down 7.0% in latest year, driven largely by the fact consumers are tightening their belts because of the recession. Due to this fact, I have very little confidence of this range ever making it to the UK, but I was still very keen to give a try nonetheless.

In line with the rest of the Bio range, this Kakaosplitter Nuss bar came in a 65.0g size that was split into sixteen mini sized blocks. One thing that I have consistently said about the Bio range is that Ritter Sport have done a fantastic job of communicating the natural proposition of the product through the packaging. Once again the wrapper had a fresh look, and the on-pack pictures were clear in communicating the flavour at hand. The chocolate itself looked similarly appetising and it was noticeable that not only did the surface look particularly smooth, but the inner chopped nuts were generously portioned and dispersed well throughout. Having commented on how fresh and sparkling the chocolate appeared, it probably won't surprise you to hear that the product had a strong aroma that was laden with enticing cocoa and nut scents. Speaking from past experiences, I tend to find that products that look and smell good, often turn out to be better tasting than others that aren't.

Speaking of the taste itself I can thankfully report that this bar provided further evidence of my above hypothesis. In comparison to standard line Ritter Sport milk chocolate I couldn't really detect a massive difference in the quality of the cream based, sweet cocoa taste, though there was a noticeable difference in the pace and feel of the melt as it felt softer and smooth in it's transition from it's solid state. Although the additional cocoa nibs were more subtle than other cocoa nib enhanced chocolates I have tried previously, the product was still better off for presence, as they drove home a friendly cocoa flavour hit without bringing any question of bitterness to the taste. Normally I am not really one for approving of chopped nut pieces, however the fine particles of hazelnut still delivered the desired woody, savoury nut flavours, whilst at the same time also bringing a satisfying crunch element to each and every block. A minor complaint of mine would be that I still am not a huge fan of the mini sized, Ritter blocks. The 65.0g size is too much for one sitting, though half a bar isn't all the satisfying - I think an 80.0g bar compromise is needed.

Overall this Bio range has never set the world alight for me but this Kakaosplitter Nuss was yet another solid offering. Apart from appearing and smelling a bit fresher than some of the standard Ritter bars, I honestly can't tell much of difference in the taste of the normal milk chocolate compared to the organic Bio chocolate. Although I didn't perceive anything out of the ordinary taste wise, this is not to say that the quality wasn't high, and once again Ritter proved that a relatively average milk chocolate can be seriously enhanced with some wonderful added ingredients. As I have gone in to above the additional cocoa nibs brought a richer chocolate flavour hit, whilst the chopped nuts were delightfully fresh tasting and crunchy. I wouldn't rank this as among the best Ritter Sport bars ever, but if you are after an all natural, nutty milk chocolate this would be a great place to start looking.

8.1 out of 10