This isn’t just my first review of a Green and Black’s chocolate bar, but also the first time I’ve ever eaten their chocolate at all. Their reputation in England is as an up-market but accessible company- a little pricier than Cadbury, Mars or Nestle but still available to buy in all major supermarkets and shops.
Green and Blacks Raisin and Hazelnut
That was evidenced when I found this in Sainsburys for about £1.80. Described as ‘Milk chocolate balanced with sweet raisins and crunchy roasted hazelnuts’ this is, to all intents and purposes, a fancier version of the Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bar. Weighing in at 100g, it was roughly the same size too, but the first immediate difference was that this bar was 40% cocoa solids, higher than that used by Cadbury.
Additionally, you’ll see the big play on the wrapper about the organic nature of Green and Black’s chocolate. They pledge to use organic ingredients and to ‘buy ethical’. A company with a genuine conscience or good branding and PR? I’ve never had any interaction whatsoever with the company so I can’t say for sure myself.
The aesthetics were nice in my opinion. The initial outer wrapper was a pleasing purple colour (the colour itself depends on the bar- G&B’s range contains about 15 different flavours) and they managed to use the colour gold for the writing without it coming across as tacky in any way. It was simple and understated.
After picking open that outer purple wrapper, I met a golden foil inner as you’ll see in the above photo. That, to me, looked really attractive. Chocolate can sometimes be an experience as much as just a taste, and Green and Black’s have a winning feel to the beginning of their ‘chocolate experience’- the look.
The chocolate itself was good too, although not without fault.
It had a really strong roasted element smell-wise, which was not what I had expected at all. The hazelnuts were by far the most dominant component; normally hazelnuts are more subtle and just an undertone, but they were the feature here. Alongside the nutty aroma was a surprisingly rich milk chocolate as well. Whilst the 40% cocoa was more than many milk chocolates, I had not anticipated such a cocoa-led smell, with this bar like a dark chocolate in some regards.
I didn’t get any raisin at all, but that is the norm with dried fruits- they are normally smell-light but flavour dense.
The chocolate had a really nice taste. As I said at the beginning, I had never previous tried Green and Black’s chocolate, which I now definitely regret having tried this. Beautifully balanced, it was more chocolatey than most other milk chocolates I’ve eaten, but had enough sweetness and creaminess to ensure that milk chocolate lovers won’t be disappointed. I’d compare it to Galaxy chocolate from Mars, but of a significantly higher quality in taste.
The hazelnuts and raisins were generously dispersed throughout the bar, and just about every piece had both crunchy nut and navy- coloured raisin.
The hazelnuts were quite crunchy for what is a mass-produced bar. Normally when larger companies attempt to use any kind of nut, they end up soggy and soft- Green and Black’s bucked this trend though, and these hazelnuts seemed almost fresh. The texture was great.
You might remember me saying that the bar was good but not without fault. The fault with this Raisin and Hazelnut bar was with the raisin element.
They were a huge let-down and the total opposite of the impressive hazelnuts- they were limp and flavourless. Dried fruits tend to be very flavour dense from my experience, but these didn’t offer anything.
Raisins aside, this Green and Black’s Raisin and Hazelnut bar was a positive experience for me. The chocolate itself was a lovely blend, and the nuts were super. The amount of raisins and nuts in the bar was just right too, with one or two of each in most pieces of the bar.
The raisins plain sucked. Which was a pity because the other two components were very pleasant.
But they weren’t enough to put me off Green and Blacks’, and I’l be trying some of their other flavoured bars in the future.