Having been seriously impressed with Saffire’s Pop Chocswhich I reviewed earlier in the summer, I was eager to get my teeth into another one of their range- so after paying a visit to their shop, I came away with a much more conventional looking product in the form of a Peanut Crunch bar of chocolate. I know I waffled for a bit last time I reviewed their stuff about how cool their shop was…but I’l do it again anyway. There was an abundance of shapes, sizes, colours and flavours on display and it was generally pretty cool.
Saffire Peanut Crunch
The bar only weighed in at 100g, but appeared significantly bigger because of the shape- it was relatively thin but very long- probably twice the length of a normal Cadbury’s 100g bar or something similar. I guess that I should have put something else in the photo above to give you an idea of the scale, but the bar was roughly the length of my forearm…so you can image it was reasonably lengthy.
This chocolate is a very simple idea- it’s 36% cocoa milk chocolate with salted peanuts chucked in. Nothing poncy or fancy, but a potentially delicious combination in my book. I’m sure that you’re all bored of hearing me say it by now, but I’m a peanut/salt fiend and when you balance sweetness and saltiness well in a product, you’re onto an absolute winner.
I’ve already mentioned that the product looked slightly irregular in that the shape of the bar was something I hadn’t really seen before- the fact that it was so long made taking a photo of the whole bar an absolute bitch. There was a second reason though that I thought the bar looked odd. Look at the photo above, and in particular the design on the chocolate in the bottom right hand corner of the bar. I’m not going to say what I think it looks like, because maybe it’s just my imagination…please make some suggestions if you’ve got any thoughts, it might make me feel less crazy.
The packaging itself was as simple as you can possibly get, with a totally clear cellophane wrapper around the chocolate and a tiny sticker at the top of the bar to identify exactly what it is you’re buying. It looked quite attractive (there is always something comforting about clear wrappers- probably the fact that you can see 100% of whatever it is that you’re buying and therefore know exactly what it is you’re getting) but was damn fragile because of the minimalist packaging and the very thin chocolate itself. I got it home in one piece but only because I was going straight from Saffire’s shop to my house in my car…this doesn’t look public transport safe!
This Peanut Crunch had quite a savoury smell to it and the salty peanuts really did come through very nicely and strongly over the chocolate. In fact the chocolate didn’t really offer much of a smell after I got the bar out of its wrapper which was a little surprising to me as, with the cocoa solids only 36% and the colour of the chocolate very light, I had expected some really milky chocolate…it was mainly just nuttiness though.
The chocolate element tasted as I had expected, even if it hadn’t smelt it- it was not overly sweet but just about right, as the bar needed some sweetness and lightness to contrast the salty flavour from the nuts. With a quick but smooth melt, this was exactly the right chocolate for a bar like this- it gave a burst of sweet chocolate, then melted in the mouth which left me with the peanuts on my tongue.
As you’d hope for given the name of the bar (Peanut Crunch) there was a very generous amount of peanuts buried within the chocolate. The nuts were obviously quite fresh and had a cracking crunch to them, but left me quite disappointed by their lack of salty flavour. They gave the bar a subtle salt edge on the aftertaste but after the terrific smell and the sheer amount of peanuts embedded in the chocolate, I had really expected and hoped for a more blatant salty flavour.
All in all, this was pleasant without being outstanding. The chocolate was perfect for a bar like the Peanut Crunch, as it was sweet enough to contrast the nuts, but not overbearingly so. I wouldn’t have changed the chocolate at all here.
The weakness of Saffire’s bar here was the lack of saltiness to contrast the chocolate. The peanuts had great texture and were extremely crispy, with their freshness shining through. However the flavour was a let-down really, as it was someway short of having enough salt for my taste. As described earlier, there was a hint of saltiness after the chocolate had melted and the initial nutty flavour had died down…but this wasn’t a sweet and salty bar as I had expected, but more of a sweet and nutty bar with a slightly salty element to it.
The Peanut Crunch was enjoyable but underwhelming. However I’l certainly be back to Saffire to try more of their extensive and exciting looking range.