We’re finally here. I promised you Frey Week and WHAT a week it has been. The laughs we’ve shared; the tears, the rage, the horror and hysteria, the depression, disgust and love. Well, actually it has just been me eating chocolate. But hopefully you’ve enjoyed some of the reviews! The final review this week comes in the form of Frey’s Dark Crunchy Almond bar.
As you’ll be able to see from the photos, this was a regular 100g bar from the Swiss guys at Frey. The name gives you a pretty good idea of what this actually is: ‘dark chocolate with crunchy almonds’ is the name of this particular game. Straight away, after the Chocobloc Dark, I went to the ingredients list and this dark chocolate was exactly the same as the underwhelming dark chocolate on that other product. Only 44% cocoa solids and with a hell of a lorra sugar, it’s a very unusual dark chocolate.
I was much more excited about the nut side of things though. Frey have excelled with every nut based bar I’ve eaten thus far, and as I’m a big nut guy, that is probably why I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of their stuff as much as I have. I was eager to find out here just how crunchy ‘crunchy’ REALLY was. I’ve tried hundreds of nut based bars in my time, and about 50% of them use the adjective ‘crunchy’ on them somewhere. And normally they’re like chewing on a soggy old sock. Nice thought I know.
The colour of the chocolate was much more regular dark chocolate though. Granted it wasn’t exactly black as the ace of spades or owt, but it had a very pleasant mahogany hue to it which certainly set it apart from its milky relative. It was almost identical in appearance to their Dark Lemon and Pepper bar.
In a slightly weird place in the review (it probably should have been at the start or the week or right at the end I guess) I will just say a monumental thank you to Frey. Loads of companies offer to send samples but with all sorts of string attached; no negative comments, links to their website etc. And I don’t go in for that stuff at all- nobody dictates to me what I can write about a product. Frey, on the other hand, sent me a huge box of chocolate with no demands whatsoever, just because they were interested in my thoughts and the thoughts of other people. Maybe they’re hoping to expand out into the British market and it is ‘market research’ or something…all I know is that it was very generous and nice of them.
But enough of that sentimental rubbish. You’re not here to read about that stuff, you’re here to see some photos and read how good/bad/indifferent the chocolate itself was. So that’s what I’l get onto.
I’m afraid to say that my first thoughts after opening the box and foil weren’t overly positive. The dark chocolate was plain smelling and fairly uninspiring. It was easily the least enticing product in terms of smell I’ve reviewed from Frey; the chocolate was (being polite) dull whilst there wasn’t much going on from the nuts. The nuts come in two forms here by the way; there are ‘nibbed almonds’ which are small pieces of nuts, as well as ‘almond brittle’.
The Dark Crunchy Almond is continental in shape. British chocolate (Cadbury, Galaxy, Mars) all tends to be in thicker, chunkier pieces. Frey, on the other hand, choose to have a thinner chocolate for their entire 100g range. That isn’t better/worse, but just different. Sometimes thin chocolate sucks. Sometimes thick chocolate sucks.
The dark chocolate tastes as the Chocobloc Dark had- it’s semi sweet and miles sweeter than a regular dark chocolate. There is also a cocoa flavour to it, but nothing like what you’d normally get from a dark bar. The chocolate is just a wee bit bland.
After the adequate but unremarkable chocolate flavour, you get the nuts. The brittle comes first, and it’s super- a lovely crunchy texture accompanying a subtle sugary and almond flavour. There are only small bits of brittle which is just right; enough for a lovely crackle and sweetness. But not too much. And secondly, there are almond nibs themselves- more savoury in taste but equally crispy in texture.
Frey’s Dark Crunchy Almond is a perfect ‘gateway’ product between the milk and dark in my opinion. The chocolate is richer than a milk chocolate but short of a full-on cocoa heavy dark bar. If you want to move away from milky chocolate but can’t stand anything too bitter, this is the perfect step in between. The almond brittle and almond nibs are easily the best thing about this bar- in fact they’re great. Crunchy, flavourful and spread generously throughout the bar… you can’t ask for anything more on the nut front.
Frey’s dark chocolate definitely has room for improvement (just a little more flavour development) but it is passable and this bar still works well because of the almonds. I’d eat it again and recommend it to anybody looking for a mix of darker and lighter flavours.
That’s it. Frey Week over. I’m back bright and early Monday (after a chocolate FREE weekend…I’ve eaten a lot this week and need something savoury for a day or two!) when I’l have something totally different altogether to review.
And of course, Happy Thanksgiving to any of my North American based readers!