Whittaker’s chocolate has been proudly New Zealand-owned and made since 1896 and has just started to make an impact in Australia in the last couple of years.
However even keen Chocabloggers such as myself need a holiday occasionally and this year I decided to eschew the usual sun, sand and sea of tropical north Queensland for New Zealand. Staring forty in the face meant that it was getting embarrassing and shameful that I’d never set foot on the soil of my closest neighbour, land of the Long White Cloud, the mighty All Blacks rugby team and whoever is left of the Kiwi folk not already living in Australia and London.
After landing in Auckland in time for dinner (Thai food swilled down with icy cold NZ sauvignon blanc across the road from the purple-lit Sky Tower that Love Chunks plans to bungy jump from), we popped into the convenience store next to our hotel and found this, the ultimate Whittaker’s block:
Despite popular belief, the Kiwi fruit is not merely the bird (New Zealand’s faunal emblem) with its beak removed, but a bona fide fruit altogether. It is very tangy and considered by most people as best suited to sitting on top of fruit salads and pavlovas, so this block was bought out of touristy exuberance (and a surfeit of wine) rather than any real optimism. As you can see, it looks neither different nor especially promising:
However it’s such a thrill to start off a holiday with a pleasant surprise, because this tastes especially delicious. The chocolate isn’t particularly dark at 33% cocoa solids and 30% milk powder – but very flavoursome – and combines with the chewy kiwi fruit pieces extremely well. The actual fruit pieces are a fair bit more ‘honest’ than the berry pieces I once reviewed in the Nestle Fruits of the Forest dark chocolate block; consisting of more kiwi puree than apple paste and having a very noticeable and real flavour.
The chocolate is made from Ghanaian cocoa beans (as is most of Whittaker’s range) but it is the added ingredients below lose listed for chocolate that aroused my curiosity – humectant (glycerol), wheat fibre (why?), acidity regulators malic acid and tripotassium citrate which I can only assume are to do with keeping the kiwi fruit flavour well preserved and appetising. If it’s for any other reason, I don’t think I want to know any more.
Whatever the ingredient list, it’s delicious, and my husband and daughter agree too. There may be a case of When in Rome (or why ouzo sipped in Greece by the sea tastes a thousand percent better than when taken home and sampled in a freezing bedsit), but it is mostly because it is well made milk chocolate with a unique and perfectly matched fruit flavour. Well done, Whittaker’s.