Today I’ve got my first ever review of a Zotter product. Now, for those readers who haven’t heard of them, Zotter are…well bonkers. They’re a company famed for some seriously bizarre flavour combinations, which have included cheese, carrots, green tea, hemp seeds and potato vodka. See what I mean? Zotter are basically mad. And to prove that madness further, I got my hands on one of their Bacon Bits bar. As you might guess from the name, the Bacon Bits bar has…well, bits of bacon in it.
Now, I like bacon. And as you’ve probably deduced from my many reviews to date, I like my chocolate. However as a theoretical combination, I’m less than convinced by it. Bacon is a fine meat, possibly one of the best…but fundamentally, meat and chocolate are food groups that don’t meet. Like soup and gummy bears, or jam and pickle. Keep them mother freaking separate.
But Zotter are mental, so they have ignored blatant food etiquette and created the Bacon Bits bar, which is ‘Noble bitter chocolate filled with hazelnut nougat and bacon crackling.’ This 70g bar isn’t the type of thing you’ll just stumble upon in shops, so I bought mine from ‘Chocolatiers’, a company run by a guy called Lee who runs Chocolate Reviews; a review site that I’ve read for a long time and that inspired me to have a crack at running one myself.
Given Zotter’s reputation, you’d expect the product’s appearance to be equally outlandish and mental. In reality, whilst certainly unorthodox compared to many other chocolate companies, Zotter have a zany but dignified style here- the modern art-esque design on the eco-friendly paper wrapper is cool in my book, and most definitely original.
In fact I liked the packaging as a whole; it’s quite some achievement when you think about it to make a bacon chocolate bar feel a little bit classy and not at all novelty or comical…and Zotter manage that here. The brown wrapper gave way to a gold foil interior emblazoned with Zotter’s name and logo. I have to say, I like a bit of gold colour in packaging…it adds a bit of va va voom to proceedings and makes the product feel a bit special.
Despite what the above cross-sections would suggest, this was not a bacon Milky Way bar. It does indeed look a little flurry and whipped, but the centre of the Bacon Bits bar was actually incredibly dense. The bar wasn’t that big, but weighed in at 70g which kind of shows just how dense the nougat and crackling filling is.
The dark chocolate coating was 70% cocoa, and had a nice gleam to it, with the dark brown colour being ever slightly shiny. The smell was completely unexpected- I had seen on the ingredients list that the Bacon Bits bar contained cinnamon…but as it was right at the end of the ingredients table, I hadn’t expected it to be the totally dominant scent. I find the spice of cinnamon nostalgic…it never fails to make me think of Christmas. Alongside the cinnamon were undertones of semi-bitter dark chocolate, which wasn’t particularly strong in any regard (maybe a little fruity). There wasn’t any bacon or nougat present…not that my brain would have been able to comprehend what was even going on if it had smelt bacon chocolate.
I really do try not to swear in my reviews. Not because I’m prim and proper, but because I think that using swear words constantly and endlessly kills their shock factor. But here I go: this tasted so fucking weird. I’m afraid to say that I actually felt a little short-changed though; this tasted nice but it wasn’t nearly bacon-y enough for my liking.
The dark chocolate coating is only a thin layer, so the nougat filling is very much dominant in flavour terms here. The ‘noble bitter dark chocolate’ as it had been described by Zotter was pleasant, just adding enough of a rich cocoa flavour to ensure that the Bacon Bits bar did have a little chocolate present in terms of taste.
The unique part of this bar though is obviously the bacon, which comes in the form of crackling embedded in a hazelnut nougat. The nougat itself is very smooth; melting beautifully and slow in the mouth. The sweet nuttiness that the nougat carries is supplemented with the cinnamon which I’m delighted to say was much weaker in flavour than in smell!
The crackling is texturally brilliant. The little bits of crackling (and at only 7% of the bar, there aren’t exactly tons of the little nubbins of meat) are super crispy and lovely to crunch away on after the nougat has melted away in your mouth. However, much as I never expected to say this with reference to a chocolate bar, they just don’t taste meaty enough! They are slightly smokey but don’t taste of bacon in the slightest.
I really enjoyed Zotter’s Bacon Bits bar to be fair, but just felt slightly disappointed and let down by its lack of bacon-y flavour. It was just a nice bar of chocolate rather than a unique flavour.
My main question before I tried this bar had been; can bacon and chocolate really work as a flavour combination? And I’m still wondering on that one, because there just isn’t enough bacon here to find out once and for all.
There is no doubt in my mind that I’d eat this again. The nougat is nice both in flavour and texture, whilst the chocolate works well in pairing with the nutty flavoured filling. But my overriding emotion is one of disappointment after I had expected something more radical and ‘out there’ than this.