Happy Tuesday! It’s day two of ‘Frey Week’: can I hear a “woop woop”? *Silence*. Nope? Ok then. Today I’m having a gander at Frey’s Dark Hazelnut Supreme bar… something which is relatively new even in Europe I think, meaning that this is probably as close as I’m going to get to an ‘exclusive’. I haven’t seen it reviewed anywhere else on the net to date… so TheSnackReview is obviously the place to be.
Once again, as Frey are a Swiss company who don’t export much to English speaking companies, I had to crack out my very best German to translate the product information. I like the German language and LOVE Germany as a country, but sometimes I have to admit I wish I’d learnt French instead. Whenever I speak in German, (kind of like Russian) people always assume from the harsh tone that I’m being aggressive. Whereas in French, EVERYTHING sounds beautiful! Even if you’re questioning somebody’s parentage or calling them a wazzock.
Having a foreign language of any kind does sometimes come in handy though, and here I was able to deduce that this product was ‘dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts and caramelised hazelnuts’. At this point I got uber excited… because this is a sister product of the White Chocolate Almond bar from Frey which I reviewed over the summer; that bar remains the best I’ve ever reviewed (it was fantastically wonderfully brilliant… adjectives o’clock, somebody give me a job on the Lindt Creations range!) and this is exactly the same style of bar from Frey; a chunky nut-fest (that isn’t meant to sound dirty) albeit with dark chocolate rather than white.
There were two things I picked up on after flipping the box to take a look at the ingredients list. The first was that this weighs in at a hefty 180g. It is the length and width or a regular 100g bar, but to cram in the whole hazelnuts, it’s much taller. It’s a dam chunky bar of chocolate; each piece comes loaded with at least a couple of whole nuts, which kind of puts similar efforts from companies like Cadbury to shame where you’re lucky to get more than half a dozen nuts in a whole bar of Whole Nut from my experience.
This Dark Hazelnut Supreme has a hell of a lot to live up to. It came packaged very similarly to the White Chocolate Almond (as it would as they’re from the same range). It’s pretty good, although the dominant green colour on the outer box was neat and tidy rather than beautiful like some of Frey’s packaging has been so far.
As you can see from the cross-section photograph above, there is a very liberal scattering of whole nuts… it’s absolutely loaded with them, which is terrific for anybody who likes whole nuts in their chocolate as I do. Oh, I started telling the story about the two interesting things that I’d seen on the back of the packaging and then got sidetracked. The first was, as mentioned, that this was a chunky 180g. The second was that the bar only had 44% cocoa solids. Which is exceptionally low for a dark chocolate…in fact it’s probably the lowest cocoa solids percentage for a dark chocolate I’ve ever seen.
And it didn’t really smell like a dark chocolate either. It was actually fairly sweet, and significantly sweeter and ‘lighter’ than a normal dark chocolate is. I remembered the dark chocolate from their Dark Lemon and Pepper bar as quite bitter, but this was at best semi-dark. Far more impressive though, was a subtle roasted nut smell. All nuts smell quite pleasant to me, but there is something extra special about the roasted scent; perhaps nostalgia for Christmas (where roasted chestnuts are the absolute bee’s knees on a cold evening.)
The dark chocolate isn’t bad at all but it’s definitely a half-way house sort of dark rather than a strong dark. It melts very quickly and with a fair degree of milkiness to the flavour, which are obviously traits associated with a milk chocolate. There is a little more richness to it than most milk chocolates too, but overall it lacks a little flavour for me… not bad at all, but one dimensional.
The nuts, on the other hands, are spiggin’ awesome. The whole hazelnuts are plentiful, flavoursome and a delightfully crunchy texture. It’s hard to convey what a fresh nut tastes like (I’ve spent the last few minutes trying to and then deleting!) but when you bite into the whole hazelnuts, they just taste alive. I mean, not literally alive (that would be worrying) but they’re not all horrible and limp like many chocolate nut combinations are.
There is a double nut hit with the Dark Hazelnut Supreme though, because there are caramelised hazelnuts here too. They’re much sweeter than the whole hazelnuts and chocolate components, and have that sugary, brittle like crispness to them. The taste isn’t exactly gourmet but the little bit of sweetness and the consistency really adds to the overall bar.
So here ends Day 2 of Frey Week. The Dark Hazelnut Supreme was good, but the dark chocolate holds it back a little in my opinion. It lacks a flavour punch and seems to be caught in-between two stalls; it’s neither as chocolatey and rich as most dark chocolates, nor as milky and indulgent like a good milk chocolate. It’s ok but not as satisfying as I’d hoped. The two nut components are spectacularly good though; fresh, natural and delicious.
It doesn’t match the White Chocolate Almond, but Frey’s Dark Hazelnut Supreme is probably still an above average bar because of the well-executed nuts.
Tomorrow, it will be Frey Week day 3. And then they’ll only be a couple of days left *sobs*.