It’s been a while since I tasted anything from NewTree, but this bar caught my eye when I was in Belgium earlier this year. While their UK range has seemingly remained unchanged, NewTree have started selling this 65% cocoa solids, reduced sugar bar in Europe. This bar initially appealed to me because of the thyme, but closer examination revealed that it also had both puffed rice AND linseed in the chocolate, which further piqued my interest. Discovering that it contains “30% less sugar than an equivalent chocolate” was the icing on the cake.
So what do we get? You’re probably not going to be too surprised to hear that the thyme is the predominant first flavour. It’s robust, earthy and has that vibrant ‘green’ note which sits on top of the chocolate before blending in as it begins to melt on the palate. As you can see from the photo, NewTree weren’t shy when it came to the grains. With 6% linseed and 5% rice, there’s a lot of crunchy texture in there as well. The chocolate has a good, smooth mouthfeel and quite a strong flavour (which it needs if it’s going to have any chance up against the thyme).
It’s quite an unusual combination of flavours, and it’s fairly obvious that enjoyment of this chocolate would depend entirely on how much one liked the taste of thyme, because it’s there at the beginning, and it’s certainly there at the finish. Once I’d crunched my way through the grains I was left with a curious chocolate/herb hybrid aftertaste which, while not unpleasant in any way, was certainly ‘different’.
Of course, being a NewTree product, this bar also offers health benefits, in this case half of your daily requirement of Omega 3 – and that’s never a bad thing. Taste wise I’d have to say you’re probably going to love it or hate it, and that’s entirely down to how much you like thyme. It worked for me, but I couldn’t see myself eating a huge amount of this in one sitting.