After doing a radio spot about chocolate recently, the show’s producer took me aside and said, “Have you seen the new Mahony bar in your shop yet? I found some when I was up in Darwin and it’s cheaper and better than Toblerone. Try some!”
Cheaper and better than Toblerone? That’s a pretty big judgment call and one that I was dying to test out for myself. Sure enough, hidden more discreetly in the supermarket than even the shy M&Ms dark range, was a red slab of Mahony, hiding right at the bottom of the shelf next to Toblerone.
The box didn’t look too promising. Like a recently heart-broken lover, I’d seen too many red boxes of chocolate on discount tables and in ‘Crazy Dave’s Bargain’ stores to know that uninspiring red packaging often meant some truly dodgy substances made in Kazahkstan or Senegal with about as much resemblance to real chocolate as carob without the sugar and oil but with extra dirt.
It was distinctly cheaper than Toblerone, and at 400g looked like a plank of wood you could defend yourself with, if the eating of it wasn’t a possibility.
The ‘hill’ pattern on the block was similar to Toblerone, as was the taste. Cheeky. If blindfolded, I doubt that I would be able to detect the difference. They both taste delicious and Mahony was an equal match. This will be too sweet for the serious chocophiles who prefer Dark chocolate, but it should definitely be sought out and tried by those who love Toblerone or are in the mood for some good milk-chocolate that melts in the mouth and ends up with some lingering nougat to chew on.
Half a block later (200g mind you!), I ventured to Chocolat Frey’s website, which informed me that they’d been around in Switzerland since 1887 and held 38% of the Swiss domestic market, so they were not some Johnny-come-latelys flicking the bird to Toblerone. Or maybe they are and have only just released this version – I’d love to know.
The ingredients listed on the back of the box were pretty standard – 38% cocoa solids, sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, milk and nougat. Fat content 31.3 grams per 100 grams. Oh dear, that meant that I just inhaled 62.6 grams of fat. My eight year old daughter is right: She reckons that if she and I ever owned and ran our own chocolate shop (her current dream), we’d need to install a permanently running treadmill directly behind the counter that I’d need to stay on all during our work day.