When I was a kid, Bournville was my first and pretty much only exposure to ‘dark’ chocolate. A small bar of Bournville was a real treat for me.
These days, with all the wonderful dark chocolate on the market, my tastes have changed. Whether Bourneville has changed too I don’t know, but it just doesn’t appeal to me in the way it used to.
Part of the problem is the cocoa solids content. At 39%, it’s not what I’d class as dark chocolate these days. It’s more of a halfway house between milk and dark.
It’s also very, very sweet. Hardly surprising, given sugar is right at the top of the ingredients list. To me, it tastes a little like drinking chocolate or cocoa powder mixed with sugar and water. It’s not an offensive taste, but it’s slightly artificial and has none of the bitterness you’d expect from a good quality dark chocolate.
I think the wrapper for this bar says it all. Cadbury call it ‘plain chocolate’ rather than ‘dark’, and the back is mostly taken up by a recipe – as well as an advert for Stork margarine (I don’t know anyone who has bought Stork since the 1970s!). It appears Cadbury see this more as a cooking chocolate than an eating chocolate.
I’ve probably just grown out of Bournville. If you think of it as a kind of ‘beginners dark chocolate” then it works, but if you’re expecting a high quality, bittersweet experience, then this isn’t it.