The end of the Olympics has meant a bit of a hole has formed in my day to day life. Instead of being able to watch women boxing at 1PM in the afternoon or the Saudi Arabian archery team as soon as I got up… I’ve found only Cash in the Attic and Doctors on TV during the day. This made me sad- very sad indeed. So I went to a shop and bought a British themed product to try and get myself back in the spirit of the Olympics even though they’re over. Kind of like a heroin addict taking methadone- it obviously isn’t going to do the job, but it might make reality a little less brutal!
Montezuma’s Eton Mess:
So I went to Waitrose and bought this for two and a bit quid. What is it? Well, made by British company Montezuma’s, it’s ‘Ecuador dark chocolate with strawberry, meringue, blended with white chocolate.’ I’ve reviewed a couple of similar Eton Mess themed products recently, and this differs quite substantially because of the dark chocolate. Eton Mess is traditionally a light and summery pudding, so I was intrigued as to how Montezuma’s were going to use a bigger, bolder flavour like dark chocolate.
I don’t know too much about Montezuma’s- having taken the time to research them a little more, they seem to be a small, local company which has ‘gone big’ but tried to maintain their roots as a more friendly and personal company rather than forming into a giant. They class themselves on their own website as a “family luxury chocolate maker” which is a slightly unusual but nice self-description.
I loved the look. Similar to some of the Thorntons’ products I’ve looked at recently, the design, style and theme are British with the Union Jack taking centre stage. This bar is from Montezuma’s range of ‘Great British Pudding Bars’ which includes Treacle Tart, Lemon Meringue, Apple Crumble, Spotted Dick (quiet at the back of the class!) and Summer Pudding.
The 100g bar felt great in the hand, looked good from the outside, and after picking open the outer box, had a cool looking foil wrapper. I like that from Montezuma’s- bearing in mind by the time you get to the foil you’ve probably already bought the bar (unless you’re a weirdo who walks around supermarkets opening up boxes of chocolate bars to see what their foil wrappers look like) it is nice that they’ve taken the time to design the inner wrapper too. It just adds to the experience. The whole design and packaging thing was pretty much perfect here for me.
As you can see above, the care which had gone into the chocolate’s packaging continued through to the design of the chocolate itself- the ‘M’ logo embossed within the chocolate looked awesome. It was just a nice touch of individuality- giant companies tend to stick to the simple pieces style… the design on the chocolate bar was almost like a reminder from Montezuma’s that they used to make handmade chocolate and they still want to be ‘a bit different’.
The immediate smell was of dark chocolate- it was fairly dark at 71% cocoa and had rich, fruity notes to it. There was a tiny bit of strawberry present as well, but it was obvious from just the smell that the Eton Mess bar from Montezuma’s isn’t an attempt to recreate the exact flavours of an Eton Mess dessert (otherwise a solely white chocolate base bar would have been used), but to incorporate the key flavour elements (strawberries and meringue) and subtlety add them to good quality chocolate.
And that was pretty much on the money- this is a chocolate bar with ‘a bit of Eton Mess thrown in’. There was an initial taste of semi-sweet dark chocolate; fairly rich and melting slowly away. After the warming cocoa came a slight sweetness from the strawberries. It wasn’t a particularly sudden or blatant switch- in fact the transition from chocolate to fruit on the tongue was gradual and subtle.
Finally, the meringue pieces, which can be seen in the photos above and below, added a crunch to the bar, before dissolving away quickly. The meringue was sweet-tasting too, but wasn’t a strong flavour at all; more of a hint of sugar in the aftertaste.
As for the white chocolate which was- according to the box- blended with the dark chocolate… I couldn’t taste it at all. I had expected a predominantly rich chocolate taste but with a heightened creaminess. As it was, I couldn’t taste anything different to regular dark chocolate- if it hadn’t have said on the box that there the bar was 10% white chocolate, I never would have guessed it from the taste.
Although I didn’t get any of that white chocolate flavour, I enjoyed this Eton Mess bar from Montezuma’s-it’s a thoroughly nice bar of chocolate.
Granted, there are a few bits and bobs that were slightly out for me- namely I thought it could have used just a touch more strawberry. However that’s just for my taste buds, and there was still a genuine fruitiness to this bar from the freeze-dried strawberries which were used.
The dark chocolate was of a very good standard and worked very nicely with the fruity undertones of the strawberries. The meringue pieces brought some texture to the bar with their crispiness, and they were well-dispersed throughout the chocolate so you got a bit of that crunch in every piece eaten.
The Great Pudding theme from Montezuma’s is a great idea, and I love the sound of their Apple Crumble, Treacle Tart and Lemon Meringue bars which are also out as limited edition products for the summer. Waitrose didn’t have any of those flavours when I found the Eton Mess bar yesterday, but I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that I’l be able to get my hands on them before the summer is out.
For a first review of a Montezuma’s product, I was impressed with this.