Every now and then a ‘freebie’ arrives – this time via an apology from our grocery delivery service, but more often it’s a Kris Kringle or unexpected gift – and I realise just what a choco-snob I’ve become.
Newman’s have been around for years but have never troubled my taste buds or wallet, and have never visited either my fridge or pantry.
Perhaps the picture explains why. Yes, we’ve all been told not to judge a book by its cover, but when the supermarket shelves are groaning with established and credible brands such as Cadbury, Nestlé and Lindt, anything ordinary or significantly cheaper is likely to be ignored or treated with suspicion.
I suspect that his has happened with Newman’s. My guess is that grannies and folk on strict budgets often purchase them as gifts because of the price and packaging alone and they then disappear into the dodgy darkness of appliance cupboards or are willingly donated to end of year Christmas fund-raising hampers. To my chagrin, I’ve now discovered what a shame that is. I hope that Newman’s do too – their current packaging isn’t doing them any favours – if they can be bothered wrapping up each six gram mint chocolate individually, they can do a bit more work in improving the outside packaging instead.
Despite their plain appearance, these dark chocolates filled with a runny peppermint fondant are actually very good. The pack tells me that the chocolate has a minimum of 45% cocoa solids and none of the other ingredients even remotely point to ‘cheap’, ‘tacky’ or – dare I say this: ‘compounded’ confectionary in the slightest.
Hubby Love Chunks isn’t a huge peppermint fan, but, always the giver; he was bravely prepared to have at least one taste. This led to several more of the packets being torn open and consumed as we sat on the lounge watching ‘Scrubs’ after dinner. “Mmmm, these are quite nice,” he murmured in surprise. “Are they new?”
No, just stuck in uninspired packaging and therefore doomed to be unseen by most self-confessed Aussie choco-snobs, including myself. My efforts in trying to find out more about this Melbourne-based manufacturer were in vain also – no website and no mentions-in-passing in any Foodie or Choccie-slanted articles about Melbourne. Perhaps Newman’s near-invisibility is intentional, kind of like Wonder Woman’s aeroplane?
This foray into ‘no frills’ chocolate choices has made me a bit more prepared to step out of the snob-sphere and try other brands that are prepared to list their cocoa content. Especially if they’re free…..