Time again for the Picky Ginger Freak – that’s me – to try another offering and see what it’s like.
Ernest Hiller proudly proclaims on his pack to have been in business since 1914, presumably they must be doing something right to have survived that long. Like many a provincial maker, we don’t actually see a lot of Ernest Hillier product where I live. It all comes from another big city a mere 500 miles / 800 kilometres away, which is nothing much in these modern times.
A quick check on the web sit shows a range of all sorts of yummy goodness, including the rather intriguing “Yard of Chocolate”. That sounds like a challenge for another day! Anyhow, a small bag of Ginger In Rich Dark Chocolate was found one day by The Lady Of The House, and borne home triumphantly for me to check. And check I have.
Firstly – my criteria for a chocolate ginger are like one of those grizzled grumps from the military – tough but fair. Specifically, I want to see some actual ginger, not essence of ginger flavour. I want a decent chocolate coating – that means it needs to be fairly thick. And the chocolate must be dark. Milk chocolate and ginger is just not right. Given the judging criteria then, and with a few other choccy gingers having been checked as part of my obsession, it was time to give Mr Hilliers finest a go.
Starting with the ingredients list – the chocolate is 75% of contents. Good, box ticked. There is real ginger in there, preserved / dried so it has a bit of sugar. That’s ok. The chocolate is 53% cocoa solids. Acceptable, more would be better. The strange thing is the 1.5% milk fat – what on earth is that all about?
In size and shape, each is a nice round sphere – not perfectly formed, but that’s fine – and about the size of a small marble, perhaps a little smaller. That means the piece of ginger inside is actually pretty small. It also means that a 150 gram bag contains a heck of a lot of them.
In terms of flavour, these are pretty good. I’ve had only one that I consider better. I also think these are better than the Lindt Excellence, simply because this one has lumps of real ginger in.
Using the #1 method of chocolate eating – slow sucking – the chocolate melts away reasonably quickly. This is hardly surprising seeing as it is middling dark and perhaps that milk fat helps it along. Letting it all melt away leaves the piece of ginger in the middle which packs a very nice punch. Using the #2 method of chocolate eating – crunching and munching – gives a completely different impression. The chocolate and ginger don’t mix quite as well as they could, perhaps the balance in quantity of chocolate and ginger is not quite right? More ginger needed?
In spite of my tiny reservation, above, I’ve still managed to eat ½ the bag while writing this review and only sheer willpower has made me stop to leave a few for tomorrow. My hand keeps wandering back toward the pack – shades of Doctor Strangelove and his automatic hand going out of control.
They’re good. Very good. And I’d take these in preference to the Lindt any time. High praise indeed.