March 18th: Thorntons Milk Chocolate with Banana

Kcal 549 Fat 32.9g Fat(sats) 19.7g Carbs 55.3g (per 100.0g)

Before I launch onwards with the review today, I must first thank ChocolateMission reader Rosa who sent me this bar just before Christmas 2010. What with the wealth of samples I get, I always feel awfully guilty taking chocolate from readers but it has to be said this was a very pleasant surprise considering I hadn't clocked it's release. Indeed, this Milk Chocolate with Banana bar wasn't one that I hadn't seen in my local Thorntons shop. As a lover of all banana flavoured things, whether it be sweets, tea, milkshakes or chocolate, I was looking forward to trying this 'organic milk chocolate with dried banana'. Those of you who have concerns for this sort of thing may also wish to know that the bananas used are Fairtrade - a point Thorntons felt they needed to mention on more than ten occasions on the packaging :D

This banana flavoured bar came in a 80.0g form that I ate over the course of two sittings. Aside from the over the top communication of the Fairtrade and organic contents, the packaging was suitably coloured, whilst the chocolate was kept in a silver foil packet which assured a nice freshness. On the eye the chocolate looked attractive, with the darkened spots of dried fruit seemingly well dispersed. When attempting to break the chocolate in to smaller chunks, it broke with a fresh sounding snap and radiated some fragrant fruity scents.

If you have read any of my several Thorntons reviews of this square bar range you will have seen that the majority of the milk chocolate bars have used a 35-40% cocoa recipe (See HERE). Just as I found with those offerings, the milk chocolate here was again of a decent quality and generated a friendly creamy cocoa taste that grew in character as it's melt developed. Just as it appeared looking at the bar, the additional banana pieces were well portioned and dispersed throughout the chunks. These fruit pieces had a nice caramel like fruitiness to them, and created a very true, real banana taste with their chewy texture. The end note of the chocolate melt was a delicious hint of vanilla, which further added a positive complexity of flavour development. As a whole the taste was very sweet, but the half bar serving size felt like a sensible size and settled my chocolate needs.

Overall this was a delightful chocolate that I took great pleasure eating from the very first piece to the last. The pairing of milk chocolate and a sweet fruit like banana I guess didn't come without risk, but the greater emphasis on the cream flavours in chocolate as opposed to the the sugar content meant this wasn't a problem in the slightest. With that said I would love to know what a darker chocolate could do with the quality of the banana constituents displayed in this bar. I think the combination of the sweet fruit and a really earthy cocoa chocolate could be really quite special - lets just hope it is something they will put together in the future. For the minute, if bananas are your thing then you will be wanting to check out this bar for sure. It certainly gets a ChocolateMission recommendation and thumbs up for sure.

8.0 out of 10