The ex-high school English teacher within me tends to avoid buying products that deliberately mis-spell common words, so I had seen these ‘Plantation Rype’ boxes for a while before giving in and buying some.
The ‘Rype’sters eventually won me over because I love ginger. And dark chocolate. And, let’s face it, pretty well any packaging that promises ‘delicious ginger and apple/orange fruit centres smothered in rich dark chocolate.’ Despite being made in Australia, some of the statements on the packaging sounded suspiciously non-Aussie, telling us that these simple chocolate balls ‘represent the harmony of our creations’ and one full sentence that confidently announces: ‘The unification of tastes and flavours that we have mastered.’ Okaaaay…….
Unfortunately, their bold claims are somewhat unfounded when put to the taste test. Granted, we’re conditioned to having our fruit balls and ‘scorched’ nuts encased in an ultra-fine layer of sugar coating to give them their desired glossy look, but these are almost crispy. So crispy, in fact, that the actual flavour of the chocolate is nullified before tasting the orange/ginger or apple/ginger filling.
The ingredients lists don’t fare too well either. The ‘dark’ chocolate has a relatively paltry 30% cocoa content, and the ginger in both flavours is a tiny 3% of the non-chocolate ingredients. Orange is only 3% of the total ‘fruit’ ingredient (which, in itself, makes up only 30% of each ball, with the chocolate consisting of 70%), with apple being marginally higher at 7%. There are three glazing agents listed – 903, 904 and 414. I’m no mathematician or scientist, but the sturdy, plasticky taste of the coating over the chocolate suggests that they could ‘lose’ at least two of those numbers. The other ingredients didn’t sound too thrilling either – including emulsifiers, preservative 223, semolina, maltodextrin, glycerine, vegetable oil, vegetable gums and mineral salt.
The overall taste is of a hardish chocolate with no discernible flavour coating some kind of chewy gingery, fruity filling. It was Sapphire, my trustworthy nine year old critic, who read the front of the boxes which say ‘Delicious ginger and apple/orange fruit centres smothered in rich, dark chocolate’ who said, “They should take out ‘delicious’, ‘rich’ and ‘dark’ and then it would be right.”
Well said. The packaging is unexciting, as is the actual chocolate. They’ll have to do more than improve their spelling to get another purchase from me.