There have been many claims that chocolate is good for you (and who are we to argue?) but this bar puts a new (age?) twist on it.
NewTree is a Belgian chocolate manufacturer, producing high quality (and quite expensive) products. This “Tranquility” bar is packaged with the slogan “With NewTree, Pleasure and Health go hand in hand”.
So why do they make this claim? Well, according to the chart on the back, 100g of this chocolate provides you with 23% of your RDA of Magnesium, 34% of your RDA of Calcium, 35% of your RDA of Phosphorus, and 80% of your vitamin B12. Unfortunately, the bar only weighs 80g, so it might be a somewhat expensive way of getting your vitamins!
So why “Tranquility”? What else have they added?
The answer is – Lavender and Lime Blossom. 1 Bar = three cups of Lime Blossom Tea.
Now I don’t know about you, but mention lavender and I’m thinking Pot Pourri and old ladies. It’s one of those scents that one tends to encounter in large (artificial) doses; certainly not something I’d have considered as suitable for adding to a high quality milk chocolate. I was also wondering how they would manage to get vitamin B12 into chocolate – after all, it has a fairly strong taste in itself.
Having read the packet carefully, it was time to open the goods. Carefully ripping open the plasticfoil wrapper revealed a slim bar, divided into 4 squares horizontally. A deep inhalation confirmed the presence of lavender. Would it taste okay, or would I be left gagging like a kid who tried to eat the pot pourri?
A square was broken off and placed – with a degree of trepidation – on my tongue. Definitely lavender. Flowery, with a slight tang of lime and a strangely bitty texture (perhaps the calcium?)
Unlike a bar with ‘bits’ the particles of calcium/lavender/vitamins actually melted away with the dissolving chocolate, leaving a slightly citrus tang as the finishing note.
No doubting the quality of the chocolate itself; high cocoa content, smooth and creamy – everything you’d expect from the Belgians. The crucial matter rests with the added ingredients – do they work together or is this just the work of some crazed New Age chocolatier who turned up for work a little the worse for wear after attending a summer festival?
The flavour falls somewhere between sweeties (boiled sugar, Parma Violets, cream fillings) and chocolate with ‘extras’. It’s certainly not unpleasant, and it’s definitely unusual, but it’s also quite expensive. As a gift idea for the curious chocoholic in your life, I think it would work quite well, but I don’t see it becoming a staple treat in my household. Certainly not a bar I would spot and say “Oh yes, let’s treat ourselves to one of these”.
Possibly just a shade too different, Mr. NewTree.