Back in July, Simon reviewed two Organic Meltdown bars and gave them a fairly positive write-up, so I was keen to try this when I found it in Waitrose.
But before I get to the chocolate, I want to talk about the branding. Half of the front of the wrapper of this bar is taken up by the words “Eating this chocolate saves trees”, along with Fair Trade and Organic certification logos. Obviously, this is a good thing, but I was curious about the branding and the fact that Organic Meltdown seem to be relying almost entirely on the concept of saving trees to sell the chocolate.
Upon opening the wrapper, you’re told that you have already saved a tree by purchasing the bar and given a code to enter into the web site to “keep tabs on the actual tree that you’ve helped save”. It doesn’t tell you that you need to register on the web site to make this work – providing them with your name, email address and date of birth. Nice.
There’s a logo for an organisation called the World Land Trust, but nowhere could I find any mention of how I’m saving a tree or what ‘saving’ actually means. I could argue that I save the tree outside my flat every day by the simple fact that I don’t chop it down. By that definition I’m not actually contributing anything at all, but I’m still saving a tree from destruction.
I think it’s absolutely vital that if we’re going to support causes by buying heavily branded products like this, we should at least know how they are using the extra few pence we’re spending. “Brand Stand” – the company responsible for Organic Meltdown seem to be at least as concerned with the branding than the cause itself. With a name like that, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.
With that rant out of the way, let’s get to the chocolate. At 58% cocoa solids, it’s definitely not one of the darkest I’ve had, and there aren’t really any strong cocoa flavours, but it’s not overpoweringly sweet either. It might not appeal to hardcore dark chocolate aficionados, but those with a slightly sweeter tooth will really enjoy it.
The orange flavour is natural and refreshing. There’s a nice hint of citrus, but again, it’s nothing too overpowering.
As you can see, the candied orange is uncoloured, and adds a very pleasant texture to the bar. There’s enough of it that you get a few small pieces in every square, and it really is quite pleasant.
Unfortunately, I got a large, hard, fibrous piece of something that I hope was orange in one of the first chunks I tried. It was completely inedible and I had to spit it out, but I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that was just a one-off.
Overall, I really quite enjoyed the bar and managed to scoff the whole thing myself. I’d certainly recommend it to dark chocolate virgins, but if you’re buying this to ‘save a tree’, you’re going to have to do your own research to figure out where the money is actually going.