November 3rd: Marmite Very Peculiar Milk Chocolate

Kcal 540 Fat 32.1g Fat(sats) 20.2g Carbs 54.9g (per 100.0g)

In what must be one of the most requested ChocolateMission reviews of all time, I today have the grand pleasure of bringing you all my candid views on the much publicised Marmite Very Peculiar Milk Chocolate. Having read reviews on websites such as Chocablog (See HERE) and by pal Liz at Foodstufffinds (See HERE), I finally managed to get hold of this much sought after chocolate to try for myself. First things first, Unilever have to be congratulated for the 'buzz' they have created about this chocolate. This Marmite flavoured bar has received wide recognition across the press, with everything from the initial trade articles (See HERE), to the national press generating a great deal of consumer interest (for evidence of that all you need to see is my e-mail inbox filled with requests!!).

I bought this bar from BHS for the price of £2.99 for a 100.0g tablet. On the exterior packaging the product came described as 'The milk chocolate bar by Marmite - Marmite flavour milk chocolate bar', 'Peculiar' sounding indeed, but at the same time very intriguing. In my opinion, Unilever did a pretty decent job with the wrapper. I can't imagine for one minute that this was completely top of mind when putting together their marketing mix for this product, fundamentally I think the people who are willing to try the chocolate in the first place aren't going to be put off with a non-snazzy box in any case. With that in mind I wasn't overly fussed by the non-decorative pattern work on the bar, to be honest my mind was preoccupied with the chocolatey scents emanating from the foil packet, as they offered a much stronger suggestion of Marmite than I was first expecting.

If you are a reader based outside of the UK you may want to catch up with the backstory behind Marmite before trying to understand the detail of the taste test I'm about to describe ... See HERE - thanks Wiki. Now everyone is up to speed it is worth me flagging to you all that I firmly sit in the 'Love It' camp when it comes to my views on this wonderful yeast based spread - suffice to say there aren't many mornings that pass without me indulging in a spot of toast laden with Marmite.

So being a Marmite 'Lover', what did I make of Marmite's Very Peculiar Milk Chocolate??? Well it was an experience to say the least. At the basis of the product there was fair to decent standard milk chocolate that established a decent milky sweet cocoa taste in the initial few seconds of each mouthful. In my first few blocks the Marmite influence was very, very minor and only raised the slightest of salty suggestions towards the back end of the aftertaste. As I made my way closer to the centre of the bar, the texture of the chocolate changed somewhat with what felt like small little crystallised balls roughening the melt of the free flowing chocolate. As the grittier texture became increasingly detectable, unsurprisingly so did the Marmite element, and in some blocks the flavours were really quite intense. Mixed with sweet chocolate, the Marmite element tasted contrastingly spice like, and delivered what I can only describe as an awkward oniony, herby taste in the mouth. Frankly it was pretty horrible, and far from the salty flavour experience that I desired - it certainly didn't leave me wanting to reach back in to the packet for more.

Overall I could probably talk about why this Marmite Chocolate should of, yet didn't work for an endless amount of time, but at the end of things I would always come to the same conclusion that this chocolate wasn't that nice. Looking at the ingredients list it appears Unilever chose to use Marmite flavouring as opposed to real deal Marmite - a somewhat puzzling decision, however it does explain the spiced notes of garlic and onion that I detected in the taste as both were included in the flavouring in powder form. Although I was excited about trying this chocolate I can't say I was all that disappointed by it, as my expectations were realistic in that it was going to be something to taste for an 'experience' rather than one to compete with the iconic Hotel Chocolat 85% dark chocolate. For that reason I would probably still buy it for friends who like Marmite and hadn't tasted it before, but I would probably warn them that it isn't that nice. Unilever have created a chocolate that wont be renowned for it's chocolate tasting prestige, but one that is worth trying 'just to see what it's like' and I would recommend you do on that basis alone. I can't promise you guys will like this chocolate, but I can promise you will be glad to have at least given it a go and laid your mind to rest to what Marmite flavoured chocolate would actually taste like :D

6.0 out of 10