I’ll confess, I’m not really a chocolate spread kind of a guy, but when Sainsbury’s told me they had a chocolate spread with popping candy, I had to try it. As I’ve mentioned many times before, everything is better with popping candy.
They also sent me chocolate spreads with orange and coconut, and their chocolate chip peanut butter.
The first thing to say is that I made the mistake of leaving the jars out of the fridge. The labels do say to store the spreads at room temperature, but on an unusually hot summer day, they were perhaps a little too thin, and the chocolate chips in the peanut butter had gone a little melty! Entirely my own fault, and these are very easily spreadable straight from the fridge.
As expected, the popping candy spread turned out to be my favourite. The candy pieces are very small, not like the Thorntons Cloudy Lemonade bar I recently reviewed, where the big chunks were clearly visible. But still, they had a nice crackle to them – particularly when spread nice and thickly over bread. It is very sweet – but if you’re buying a chocolate spread, that’s probably what you’re looking for anyway.
The chocolate orange spread tastes… well… like a Chocolate Orange. I’m not a massive fan of orange flavoured chocolate, but in this case, the addition of orange flavouring does take some of the sweet edge off the taste.
The coconut flavour spread is very similar, but with the addition of tiny coconut flakes instead of orange. This gives the spread a bit of texture and a flavour that vaguely resembles a Bounty Bar.
The chocolate chip peanut butter wasn’t really my thing. While you can see it chocolate chips, you can’t really taste them. I happened to have a jar of plain old Sun Pat peanut butter to compare this with, and I much preferred that.
So I don’t think I’d buy the peanut butter, but I might consider chocolate spreads if I was in the mood for something sweet and filling. Looking at the ingredients though, I did note that they’re mainly sugar and only contain 4-6% cocoa powder.
But the one thing that might ultimately prevent me from buying these myself is palm oil, third on the ingredients list, right after the sugar and and rapeseed oil. I’ve no idea where the palm oil in these products comes from, but you can read some of the criticism of its use on Greenpeaces’s website and Wikipedia. For all I know, the palm oil in these spreads may be entirely ethically sourced, but without clear labelling, I’ve no way of knowing.