New Zealand is not just the land of Whittakers and locally-made Cadbury’s. I found this, Richfield’s Dark 70% cocoa with blueberries at their local Countdown supermarket. (I was meant to be buying a swimsuit in order to get into the local thermal pools, but somehow ended up with several blocks of chocolate instead…..).
To be brutally honest, the packaging didn’t look too promising, instead reminding me of those dodgy Eastern-bloc cherry liquers that try to look sophisticated but mostly end up in crazy discount shops – and for a reason. Another black mark against this block was that it was on sale and clearly marked as such, yet the dozen or so local Kiwis in the aisle with me seemed to be actively reaching around it for the Whittakers and Cadbury’s instead. Why?
That important question still hasn’t an obvious answer because this unassuming block is really quite good. Damn good in fact. The rich, dark coffee-like aroma of the chocolate was obvious the second I ripped open the wrapper, along with a gentler, sweeter smell of berries. The taste played out along the same lines – top notch chocolate fully deserving of belonging to The Dark Side Devotee hall of fame which gradually melted away to enjoyably chewy dried blueberries that added a fruity finish to the experience. Love Chunks found it rather ‘moreish’ for a chocolate on the darker and richer side.
Like the Whittaker’s Kiwi block, it’s even more honest about the fruit content than the now-infamous Nestlé Club Classic Mixed Berry. At least 12% of the entire block consists of real blueberries with no added apple puree or glue paste or other non-fruity fillings. In fact the ingredients are (in order of quantity) cocoa solids 70%, sugar and blueberry and then tailing off to the time-honoured factory favourite thickener of choice soya lecithin; and a dash of blueberry flavour and natural vanilla. Not too scary – there are far, far worse lists out there and I’ve still eaten them.
Richfields Chocolate are owned by the New Zealand Food Group Limited – which perhaps doesn’t sound as luxurious, but they proudly proclaim that all of their ingredients are not genetically modified and that “The art of dark is out passion. Let it become yours.” I would most definitely like to – if I can find some more whilst I’m still in New Zealand, and will hope that they ship it to Australia like their label says they do to Singapore.