It’s time for some more Zotter. They’re famed for being wacky, bonkers and a little bit crazy with their flavour combinations (I’m still a little in shock about the Bacon Bits bar I ate from them last month…) but when ordering my next bar, I plumped for a much more conventional bar, in the shape of Zotter’s Banana Forever. If you’re expecting another weird surprise here, you’ll be waiting a long time, because this is a banana flavoured bar, with a bit of honey. No meat, no cheese, no grapes. (Zotter products have contained all of those things rather amazingly.)
Nope, this is a fairly normal concept- it’s ‘Banana milk chocolate filled with bananas and honey.’ The Banana Forever was from the same hand-scooped (not quite sure how chocolate is hand-scooped) 70g range as the Bacon Bits bar, but the similarities obviously end here, given that Zotter have decided against using any red meat in this particular product. Spoil-sports!
I was very surprised at how dense, much like the Bacon Bits bar, this felt. They aren’t the largest bars of chocolate in terms of size, but they are much heavier than you anticipate looking at them from the outside. It’s like a trick almost, as they literally weigh twice as much as you think looking at a relatively small wrapper. You know the comedy sketch where one guy hands another guy something which appears light, and the second man collapses under the weight of it? Well these bars remind me of that. Well, I didn’t actually collapse under the weight of it (I’ve been doing some weight sessions with the Frey Chocobloc Milk and am now HENCH) but hopefully you understand my point.
Banana is a flavour which is rarely combined with chocolate in my experience. I’m not exactly sure why that is- because bananas are a pretty awesome fruit. Perhaps it’s because the slightly more tropical taste doesn’t combine well with chocolate, whereas fruits which are more tart (lemons, oranges, raspberries, strawberries) do. Maybe I just made that up. Sounds kind of plausible though right?
The Banana Forever looked fantastic in my opinion. Mirroring the style of its bacon-y brother, it had a modern art-esque design on the wrapper, with the pleasant yellow colour contrasting very nicely aesthetically with the black outer colour. Why did they choose yellow for the banana bar? Beats me- crazy idea…
With the name Zotter embossed rather stylishly in gold, it is a stunning looking thing. And that exceptional appearance carries right though, as the golden coloured foil wrapped around the chocolate gives the bar a final bit of ‘wow’ factor. It just feels special opening this up, and is a million miles away from tearing open a Mars Bar wrapper or something.
And the fact that it feels much superior and more exciting than a regular chocolate bar is just as well, because it costs a fair amount more too. This set me back about £3. I’m certainly not complaining in the slightest about that- the bar is organic, made with a lot of fair-trade ingredients, not to mention significantly higher quality than the stuff at the cheapest ends of the chocolate market. And quality always tends to come at a cost.
It smelt very cocoa heavy for a fruity milk chocolate bar. In fact it almost caught m a little off guard- it wasn’t dark or bitter at all but I had expected the banana milk chocolate to be exceptionally sweet and pungent almost. Instead, it was more of a rich chocolatey smell. It was 50% cocoa solids, I suppose, which is probably 20% more than cheaper brands tend to use. There was also a hint of honey coming through alongside the slight fruitiness of the chocolate coating itself. All in all, it smelt nice; a bit fruity and a bit rich.
The centre to the Banana Forever is very soft indeed. I’d probably best describe it as a fruit puree. And the yellowy coloured middle has two main flavours to it, with a pleasant and natural tasting banana flavour combining with a very sweet, buttery honey. The comparison will immediately put some of you off the bar for life, but it was vaguely like a tasty baby food in texture! The banana flavour really was excellently fresh tasting, but the honey was too sweet for my tastes and really did dominate the entire bar.
The outer layer of chocolate doesn’t really get a look in over the banana and honey combination either. You feel the firmer texture of the 50% chocolate when you pop a piece of the Banana Forever into your mouth, but there wasn’t the cocoa flavour that I had been expecting; it was just totally overpowered by the sweetness of the soft centre, and in particular the honey element. I think, with a darker chocolate coating, this would work much better myself…as it is, without the richness of the chocolate to take the edge off the honey and fruitiness, the bar is incredibly sweet.
Before you get the wrong end of my stick on the criticism front though, this really isn’t a bad tasting bar of chocolate in the slightest. The banana flavour is very enjoyable indeed, and I liked the texture of the puree style centre. I just felt that the Banana Forever needed a bit of a counter-punch from the chocolate that never arrived, meaning it didn’t quite deliver on the flavour front for me, with the sickly honey too prominent.
It isn’t a case of me actually disliking the bar at all, but just that my high expectations- from what is a much respected company in Zotter- weren’t quite met. I’l endeavour to review more of their produce in the future, as they intrigue me as a company more than most others.