Guest Chocablogger Michael Edwards from Canda takes a look at something local…
Laura Secord is a Canadian chain of chocolate stores along the lines of Thorntons that has never been my first destination when I needed a chocolate fix. My prior experience with them has been mixed, thanks to their sickly sweet Easter Eggs although their cheap and cheerful French Mint bars were always good in an emergency. But my main reason for not frequenting there was that their products were overpriced and just not very exciting.
These days, however, they seem to be reinventing themselves to capitalise on the current popularity of chocolate and that means adding a new range of chocolate bars including Toffee Crunch, the afore-mentioned French Mint and the mandatory 70% (although surprisingly available with and without cocoa nibs) and 85%. My local shop didn’t have any of the more exciting ones, so I decided to stick with the 70%, trying both versions.
The packaging is really rather dull and not very inspiring, something that did help to keep my expectations down, with just a slight difference in colour between the boxes for each bar. The hermetically sealed foil inner packaging also reinforced that “mass produced” level of anticipation that usually precedes disappointment.
But it turns out that I was being too harsh because this is actually a pleasant little bar of chocolate. Side by side, both bars looked the same until flipped over when the generous helping of nibs can be seen in one bar. The initial burst of darkness that hits your nose once the foil is opened has some lovely fruity undertones, and best of all it doesn’t smell too sweet like many of the more popular North American allegedly dark chocolate bars.
The taste doesn’t quite deliver on that early potential though. The flavour collapses far too quickly and while the chocolate melts away smoothly, there isn’t much left behind to remind you of what just happened. That’s why the bar with nibs gets the nod of the head – having a few crunchy mementos to bite away at really does help compensate.
All in all, not a bad attempt and good enough to make me want to go back in to try out the other bars when they finally show up in my local Laura Secord shop.