Green & Black’s Organic Ginger vs Waitrose Swiss Plain with Ginger
As an interesting diversion (and an exercise in self-indulgence, naturally) I thought I’d have a little head-to-head competition between two similar sounding bars.
Something I have always been very fond of is ginger. Not ginger flavour, but root ginger. Crystallised, preserved, or just added to foodstuffs, the warming kick of ginger has always brought a smile to my face. I’ve also been rather partial to chocolate flavoured with ginger. This Christmas I was given a box of Hotel Chocolat Dark Chocolate Fix, and the Ginger creme in there was lovely. So, I decided to have a little contest between two Ginger chocloate bars, just for the fun of it.
In the red corner, we have Green & Black’s Ginger Bar:
Coming from the Green & Black’s stable, and with an impressive pedigree, the Ginger bar boasts 60% cocoa content ‘bittersweet dark’ chocolate impregnated with pieces of candied ginger.
In the Blue corner, the newcomer. Waitrose Swiss Plain chocolate with ginger:
Waitrose have a reputation for producing very good foodstuffs under their own brand label, and although I was not familiar with their chocs, I expected it to be a worthy adversary for the might G&B. The Swiss Plain chocolate is higher in cocoa content, and the ginger pieces aren’t as sugared.
Round One: Appearance
Green & Black’s bars are pretty standardised. What you get is the stock G&B package design, colour coded to reflect the contents.
Waitrose on the other hand, offer a tantalising glimpse of a block of their choccy, sandwiched between a surgically-precisely cut piece of root ginger. Very tastefully done.
Green & Black’s chocolate is organic, whereas the Waitrose bar is not. Could have a bearing on taste.
Once the wrappers are off, the differences become more apparent. The G&B bar is definitely a light shade, and the Waitrose bar has that classic shiny look that all good plain chocolate should have. Both contenders look good with their shirts off.
Round Two: The crucial taste test
I had to choose one to go first, and the privilege went to the newcomer. I figured I’d let the new boy have a go at dazzling me with first impressions. The dark Swiss chocolate has a good cocoa content, and starts to melt almost as soon as it hits the tongue. The ginger pieces are a good size – not so large that they overpower the chocolate, but not so small that you feel as though the sweepings from a ginger processing plant have been shovelled into the Waitrose choccy vats.
After the initial good first impression though, I have to say that I closed my eyes, popped another square in and went into Serious Taste mode – and was a little disappointed. The chocolate seemed to be lacking that crucial burst of dark cocoa richness that characterises a good quality dark choccy bar.
Time to let the opponent have a go, then.
Luckily the squares of chocolate are roughly similar in size, so I repeated the process. I popped the first square of Green & Black’s into my mouth and had a good old chew. The first impression I got was that there is an awful lot more sugar in this one. The chocolate is sweeter, and so is the ginger. The fact that it’s crystallised adds to the sugary hit. The second square went in for the gentle melt test, and again I was overwhelmed by the sugariness.
This bar was disappointingly sugary – almost to the point of resembling some cheap confection beloved of small hyperactive children.
I would say that in an ideal world I would take the ginger pieces from the Waitrose bar and mix them with the Green & Black’s chocolate. The G&B bar suffers from slightly sweet choccy with added sugary ginger, which sent it way off my sweetness scale, whereas the Waitrose bar lacks chocolatey flavour but has good ginger.
Personally, I won’t be buying either of them again. The quest continues for a truly excellent ginger chocolate.