This little lot was sent to us by Italian company Go*Do who will be launching in the UK in September.
According to the company web site, they take their ethical responsibilities seriously, with the cocoa and cane sugar coming from “selected plants in Ecuador and Peru, totally managed by local people with our both economic and professional support”.
There’s no ingredients printed on the bars, but I did manage to get hold of a separate list which confirms they seem to be made with organic ingredients, without any nasty additives.
There are six small bars in all. First up is a 34% milk chocolate.
The bar has is fairly pale in color with a slight reddish tinge, and looks quite tempting. Like the rest of the bars, it’s divided into 9×3 chunks which are far to small to be useful, but they are rather cute.
This bar is rather sweet and milky (the kind of thing that Galaxy lovers will go for). A pleasant alternative to every day milk chocolates, but my bar was very soft and a touch too sweet for me.
Next up, the 60% Dark Chocolate.
Following exactly the same format as the milk chocolate version, this dark chocolate version has one slight oddity – it tastes of coffee. It’s actually quite nice, but I think it’s been stored little too close to the coffee bar at some point.
Aside from that, it’s a good little bar of chocolate. Perhaps slightly soft, and covered in small flakes of chocolate which detract from its appearance a little, but still enjoyable.
60% Espresso Coffee
The real coffee bar, and this one has a very strong coffee aroma when you open it. I’m fairly sure this is where the coffee flavour in the unflavoured dark bar came from – hopefully the final packaging will prevent this cross ‘contamination’ of flavours.
The bar contains ground coffee beans, which gives it a slightly gritty, dry texture, as well as a bit of a crunch. The flavour is strong, without being overwhelming. It’s certainly not as harsh as Gren & Black’s 70% Espresso bar (which is entirely a good thing).
White Chocolate With Vanilla
When vanilla is used in chocolate, it’s often simply to cover the flavour of poor quality beans, so I’ve never been overly fond of it. This little bar has lots of flecks of black vanilla scattered throughout it though, and that distinctive flavour comes right to the front.
It’s a respectable 30% cocoa solids. Although it’s quite soft it’s not too sweet and the flavours come through well. All that vanilla gives it the flavour of a good ice cream – but one that you can carry around with you. I surprised myself by enjoying this one.
Milk Chocolate With Hazelnut
The same 34% milk chocolate as the first bar, but this time packed with hazelnuts. Tasty and crunchy, but I think there may be more hazelnuts than the chocolate could cope with. Very soft and practically fell apart around the nuts rather than breaking along the chunks.
Dark Chocolate With Sicilian Almond
Apparently the same dark chocolate as the plain version, with added nuts. Interestingly though, this one does not taste of coffee at all, but rather has a pleasantly sweet and fruity flavour. It’s also much firmer that the hazelnut milk chocolate and has far less nuts in it. The almonds themselves are pleasant with a nice crunch, but nothing spectacular.
All in all, an interesting bunch, but attention to detail is lacking – at least as far as these sample bars go. The flavours are simple and well chosen (despite the inexplicable non-coffee-coffee bar), but the milk chocolate is soft, and the dark chocolate bars are covered in small flakes of chocolate that makes them look messy.
I’m sure the final packaging will improve things, and Go*Do seem keen to listen to as much feedback as possible. They certainly have potential, but I’m going to reserve final judgement until I see the final product on sale here in the UK.
Update: Final Packaging
Go*Do sent us some more bars, this time in their final retail packaging, and I have to say, it makes all the difference. The bars are wrapped in a thick matte paper with an inner foil paper wrapper….
Not only do the bars now feel like a quality chocolate, but these new wrappers do a fine job of protecting the bars inside. No flakey bits any more, just nice looking little bars of chocolate.