I’m not a huge white chocolate fan. Don’t get me wrong, I still get the same occasional craving for it as I did when I was 8 years old, but it isn’t something I buy regularly.
Yet when I saw this Lindt Excellence Strawberry Intense in Sainsburys last week, I bought it without much thought. Why? Well I really trust Lindt to start off with. It is very rare that they put a bad product out. Secondly, I saw the word ‘new’ on the packaging which suckered me in. And thirdly, it seemed perfect for the warmer, sunnier weather we’re experiencing as we move into the summer here in England.
The bar was billed as ‘fine white chocolate with strawberry pieces’. Hmm. From my experience, there isn’t too much white chocolate out there which can be described as ‘fine’. If any readers know of any, please point me in the direction of it!
Lindt normally deliver the goods with their products though, so my hopes were high for a lovely combination of ‘Eton Mess’ flavours.
The time of year demands a bar like this really- Wimbledon is just a few weeks away; the summer Olympics have arrived on our doorsteps in the UK; it’s time for our football team to disappoint us at the European Championships this summer once more and finally I’ve been able to crack my barbeque out for the first time last weekend. It is summer. Summer doesn’t need heavy, gloopy chocolate- it needs light and refreshing stuff.
I opened up the foil inner-wrapper as Charlie Bucket did in the original Willy Wonka film- just sneaking a peak. I didn’t expect to find a golden ticket, but was hoping for something good.
The smell was incredibly powerful. I only picked at one corner of the foil, but the strawberry aroma could literally be smelt from across the other side of the large room I was in. Thankfully, the strawberry scent was genuinely fruity. I shudder at the thought of the strawberry chocolate that you get in a tin of Roses. That stuff should be banned; it must contravene some law somehow. Whereas this smell was delicious; almost like fresh strawberries. Nicely done Lindt.
It looked inconspicuous from above, but as with the Butlers review I did last week, the underside of the bar showed the true story. As you can see above, it was packed with strawberry bits.
That doesn’t mean anything if they don’t taste right though. I remembered at this point eating Country Crisp cereal from Jordans which smelt fruity and contained freeze dried strawberry pieces. When I actually ate them, they tasted like cardboard. Anyway, that rant is for another time perhaps…
Thankfully, Lindt didn’t let me down like Jordans the cereal makers did.
Firstly, this white chocolate is very nice. And I won’t say that too often on this blog! Instead of that horrible sweetness that cheap white chocolate provides, Lindt offer a really smooth creamy chocolate with lovely vanilla notes. Sure, it’s sweet, but in an enjoyable way- not in a way which makes you feel sick after half a bite.
The strawberry pieces are great in two ways. Firstly (and importantly!) they taste excellent. Very fruity, but not in an artificial way. They are little nubbins of strawberry goodness. Secondly, they are a great texture too- offering a bit of crunch to the bar. That’s crucial for any good chocolate in my opinion; there has to be a contrast in textures. In this instance, the soft and smooth chocolate works wonderfully with the crunch of the strawberry pieces.
The Excellence Strawberry Intense is a very nice bar of chocolate from Lindt. With combinations like white chocolate and fruit, things can become cloying and sickly very easily. Lindt have beautifully balanced the flavours in this bar though, with the emphasis being on the natural sweetness of the strawberries and the vanilla notes of the white chocolate.
It’s a lovely summer bar of chocolate. Light, smooth and fruity. My desire for chocolate tends to disappear for a lot of the summer; being replaced by a fancy for ice cream instead. However I can confidently say that if I want some chocolate whilst cheering Andy Murray on to Wimbledon glory, or the England football team to their first trophy in 46 years (a guy is allowed to dream right?!) then this is the type of bar I’l be reaching for. Well done Lindt.