July 25th: Thorntons Summer Bars 2010

Lemon Smoothie - Kcal 205 Fat 14.3g Fat(sats) 8.1g Carbs 17.4g
Raspberry Burst - Kcal 195 Fat 14.1g Fat(sats) 8.0g Carbs 14.0g

Summer is in full flow now and I have been keeping my eyes peeled for all the different summer offerings from all the UK brands. Whilst browsing the shelves of my local Thorntons last week, my eyes came across these Lemon Smoothie and Raspberry Burst bars pictured above (no prizes for guessing which is which!!).

Both these bars came in the familiar Thorntons impulse bar format, priced at 49p and both weighing 35.0g. Neither of the two really struck me as that innovative given that there have been very similar offerings from Thorntons in the past - See 'Thorntons Sicilian Lemon Truffle Bar' & 'Thorntons Winter Fruit Crumble' but in terms of packaging, presentation and product concept they both struck me as attractive and fitting with the summer season.

Lemon Smoothie - 'White chocolate bar with a lemon mousse centre'
This was certainly the better out of the two bars. I have always been an advocate of Thorntons' white chocolate so I was little surprised by my enjoyment of the creamy vanilla tones of the tones of the exterior layer here. Remembering back to my review of the Sicilian Lemon bar a few years ago I recall finding the lemon flavours over powering and dominant but thankfully Thorntons had obviously attempted to address this issue. This time around the fluffy, light mousse centre was sweeter and creamier, yet it still produced a citrusy lemon flavour offering. The centre tasted like a cream based lemon curd filling and produced a pleasant, flowing flavour experience. On the whole it was pretty delicious, and I loved all the different textures delivered by the outer chocolate, mousse and crisp chocolate base.

Raspberry Burst - 'Dark chocolate bar with a raspberry mousse centre'
I don't even know where to start with this one - it was absolutely fowl!!! Taste wise the outer dark chocolate was fine tasting, and the 60% recipe established a decent set of unsweetened cocoa flavours in the mouth. Unfortunately within seconds the dark chocolate became a complete non-factor as the gaudy looking raspberry mousse took centre stage. The mousse can be best described as totally disgusting. I don't know what happened at Thorntons HQ but whoever thought that replacing the tasty red fruit Winter Fruit Crumble filling with a artificial, lip gloss tasting 'mousse centre' needs to be fired now. I can't think of any better way of describing the taste other than cheap kiddie lipstick - it was just so fake tasting I ended up throwing it away after only a few bites.

Overall Thorntons have delivered a real mix bag of Summer offering with these bars. To be honest I'm a little dumbfounded as to how one of them could be so genuinely tasty in it's fruity flavours, whilst the other was so ridiculously bad. What really impressed me about the Lemon Smoothie bar was the way Thorntons seemed to have adapted the recipe from the Sicilian Lemon to allow the white chocolate to have more of say in the taste with the lemon being slightly less dominant. The Lemon Smoothie is a fine example of how to integrate fruit flavours in to chocolate, on the contrary the Rapsberry Burst sits on the other end of spectrum. Although the Raspberry Burst looks the part, when it comes to taste it has to be classed as one of the worst things Thorntons have served up for awhile, and of course it's not a bar I would recommend any of you buying. If you try one of the two this summer I strongly suggest you make it the Lemon Smoothie.

Lemon Smoothie - 7.9 out of 10
Raspberry Burst - 4.9 out of 10