In case you didn’t already know Orion is a brand used by the Nestlé company in Eastern Europe, and this is part of their ‘Intense’ range.
I’m guessing that the reason this chocolate is branded as ‘Intense’ is mainly due to the 52% cocoa content of the chocolate, but the addition of Blackberry pieces may also have something to do with the choice of name. The front of the box makes mention of antioxidants, but the English section of the ingredients doesn’t shed any light on this. Suffice to say there are Polyphenols at play here.
What the English section does mention is that the bar contains 10% blackberry pieces, which in themselves are made up of Blackberry puree, pineapple fibres (a favourite, it seems), apple puree, ‘flavours’ and thickeners. Yum.
The bar is attractive enough – glossy, dark, chocolate with a cacao pod embossed into each square. when I slipped the bar out of the box and opened the foil there was an immediate ‘hit’ of sweet fruit with an undertone of chocolate. Notice I said ‘undertone’ – whatever’s in the chocolate certainly seems to the dominant aroma, and this is definitely the case when it comes to tasting. The first taste of chocolate – in itself fairly bland and lacking in any real depth or character – is quickly overwhelmed by a perfumey, sweet flavour. Find a blackberry ‘piece’ and bite down and it releases yet more of the berry/perfume flavour, which to be frank is quite unpleasant. It’s like a slightly bizarre floral, Turkish Delight sort of flavour which persists long after the chocolate has disappeared. It put me in mind of some of those brightly coloured ‘penny sweets’ from my youth, and I’m sure younger palates may well enjoy this, but it just isn’t something that excites me.
I’d like to see someone do something better with Blackberries. In fact, I’d love it if a British chocolatier came up with a ‘Heath & Hedgerow’ selection using berries and fruits from the UK. It would certainly show Orion (or Nestlé if you prefer) what real chocolate makers can achieve with a potentially wonderful flavour. In the meantime, I wouldn’t go out of your way to find this bar.