Summerdown Farms Peppermint Chocolates

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on February 14 2021 | Leave A Comment

Summerdown Farms Peppermint Chocolate

A year is a long time in blogging, but it’s a whopping thirteen years since we last looked at a product from Summerdown Farms in Hampshire.

Back in 2008, Simon looked at some Summerdown peppermint creams. I confess I hadn’t gone through the complete Chocablog archives when they got in touch to ask if they could send a care package, but given the time that has passed, I’m happy looking at them again. As well as Peppermint Creams, Summerdown Farms sent some Peppermint Thins, some Peppermint Tea (not eligible for review on Chocablog, of course!) and a rather lovely mug.

Just a side note to PR people sending gifts; I cannot be bribed. Ever. But… it is a very nice mug.

Summerdown Farms Peppermint Chocolate

Peppermint Creams

First things first, it’s important to note that Summerdown is a peppermint farm, not a chocolate maker or chocolatier. They grow Black Mitcham variety peppermint on their 100 acre farm, then the peppermint oil to two unnamed chocolate makers in the north of England. This is a perfectly normal thing to do, but it does mean we don’t have a lot of information about the actual chocolate here.

One thing Summerdown did tell me is that the cocoa is sourced through the Cocoa Horizons project. Cocoa Horizons is a Barry Callebaut initiative (their slightly dubious answer to Fair Trade), so we can assume this is a standard Callebaut dark chocolate blend. One thing the label does tell us is that it’s 55% cocoa solids.

Summerdown Farms Peppermint Chocolate

The precise details of the chocolate, however, are not especially relevant here. From the moment you open the box, you’re greeted by the strong, fresh aroma of peppermint. When you bite into one, that Black Mitcham peppermint is really all you can taste. The chocolate is their primarily as a vessel to hold the fondant cream in place.

That’s not to say the flavour is overpowering. It’s actually relatively restrained and well rounded, but mint is one of those flavours that naturally tends to hide everything else. The mint flavour here is actually very pleasant and refreshing. The texture is good too, with a nice snap to the thin chocolate shell and a very smooth creamy fondant.

The flavour does linger in the mouth long after the chocolate has gone, but it does so in a very pleasant way.

Peppermint Thins

Summerdown Farms Peppermint Chocolate

Also included in my care package was a box of Peppermint thins. These are thin, solid discs of chocolate flavoured with peppermint oil. They’re nice enough as a refreshing after dinner type mint, but they’re just not quite as interesting as the peppermint creams.I also noticed they al have scuffed looking edges, so they’re just not quite as attractive. The flavour is very similar to the peppermint creams, but you do just get a hint of the dark chocolate flavour here as well. I would call these inoffensive rather than spectacular.

Love Or Hate?

I’ve never been the biggest fan of mint flavoured chocolate, especially strong peppermint. I wondered if I was alone, so I posted a poll on Twitter and was a little surprised by the result.

If you’re one of the 78% of people that say they love mint chocolate, then I think you’ll enjoy these, especially the peppermint creams. They’re a great alternative to some of the better known chocolate mint brands, and it just seems like a lot of attention has been paid to flavour balance.

Highly recommended for mint lovers, but if you’re one of the 22% then I don’t think these will change your mind just yet.

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