Every other blogger out there seems to be writing about food from Halloween/Autumn/Christmas ranges. Well, I’m a bit different (my parents and friends always did say that I’m ‘special’!) and instead I’m going to review a bar which was bought in sunny Malta in July on a summer holiday. This bar of chocolate must have been knocking around for a while, but I found it yesterday and thought it was about time it got its time to shine.
This is Novipiu’s White Chocolate and Sicilian Citrus Peel bar. It’s made in Italy and came packaged totally in Italian, so whilst this is the point in the review that I like to try and give everyone some background information about the brand I’m reviewing, I genuinely can’t. I’ve tried researching Novipiu on the internet- everything about them is Italian. So I tried using Google translate as Italian isn’t a strong point of mine. It told me that Novipiu are ‘chocolate procreators living in Italy for 1925 cream’. Thanks for that Google- really helpful lads.
You’re probably expecting to read at this point about how committed I was; how I contacted an Italian speaker and had them translate for me. You’d be wrong. You see what I actually decided to do was give up and just eat the chocolate instead. Therefore I’m afraid to say that if you want to build an in-depth picture of who Novipiu are, you’ll have to do the research yourself. If any readers do know anything about the company, I’d love to hear from you!
Waffling over for the time being, this White Chocolate and Citrus Peel bar weighed in at 70g which I thought was a bit weird. The traditional weight for single serving bars is around about 50g these days, whilst the sharing bar is conventionally 100g. At 70g, I wasn’t really sure what market this was going for- I came to the conclusion that it was either fat guys with big appetites, or very thin families who can’t eat a 100g bar between them.
The luminously orange wrapper made this impossible to miss- it seemed to be going for the colour that lollipop women wear. I’m not sure if other countries have lollipop men and women or not, but Brits will get the cultural reference I hope. I thought that the product’s appearance was charming in a childish kind of way- the slightly crude and blatant pictures of the orange and lemon weren’t exactly Da Vinci but overall, the bar looked alright.
The bar itself is a very simple concept which (thank God!) transcends language barriers. Novipiu have taken some white chocolate, thrown some citrus fruit peel into that chocolate and let it set. As you’ll be able to see from the photos, the smell bits of peel were plentiful in number and well spread throughout the chocolate.
And it smelt surprisingly good. I mean, to be honest, I had had very low expectations for the White Chocolate and Sicilian Citrus Peel. It looked a bit budget and the chocolate has been a little ‘waxy’ in my hands which is never a great sign if it has just come out of the fridge. However the white chocolate smelt quite pleasant with some nice creamy vanilla going on, and there was a fruity kick on top of that. I wasn’t exactly tearing down the Eiffel Tower to eat this, but it certainly smelt attractive enough.
Much as I dislike using horrible clichés, this turned out to be a bar of two halves. The white chocolate sucked, and the fruit peel was very good. So the bar as a whole was alright, but left me wondering how much better it has the potential to be.
The white chocolate was basically a horror show. Flavourless and unbelievably sweet, it didn’t do a lot for my taste buds at all. When chocolate is so sugary that you get that horrible burning sensation in the back of your throat, you know it ain’t great. And, after the initial melt, I was preparing a bag of ready salted flavour crisps to try and fight back against the sugar attack.
Fortunately though, they weren’t needed, because the fruit peel was fantastic. Although only small they had a delightfully sticky and chewy texture (like glace/candied fruit) and a very refreshing fruity flavour with tangy orange and zesty lemon working together to try and fight back against the rank chocolate overlord. And they fight a valiant battle, saving the bar from being a complete disaster if not quite making it a great success.
It is always a pleasure to try something totally different, and Novipiu’s White Chocolate and Sicilian Lemon Peel bar definitely falls into the ‘different’ category. To use the cliché yet again, this is a bar of two halves. Well, not literally (sadly there is a lot more chocolate than there is peel pieces!) but you get what I mean. The white chocolate is bad, really bad.
But the peel is good, really good. With a significantly better white chocolate (like those I’ve tried from Frey and Lindt) the peel would combine beautifully. As it is, the peel was like the good looking girl who goes to a speed-dating evening and gets paired up with the elephant man.
I think, somewhere in my house, I actually have another Novipiu bar hidden away. So perhaps I might spring another review of their chocolate on you in the future. For now though, I’m delighted to be saying ‘ciao’ to their white chocolate, if not their fruit peel.