Marks & Spencer 72% Dark Chocolate: Italian Orange & Espresso Coffee
Whilst in need of an energy fix at M&S recently I wasn't sure what to go for. A muffin? Too obvious. A sandwhich? Too boring. So I decided to look at their chocolate range and see what took my fancy. I've never tried their dark chocolates before so thought I'd give them a whirl. There was an offer of two bars for £3, so I went for Espresso Coffee and Italian Orange, two flavours that usually pair up very well with dark chocolate.
The orange variety is described as "Dark chocolate with candied orange peel" and the Espresso as "Dark chocolate with coffee flavouring". I tried both bars whilst at the park... hence the grassy backdrops in the pics!
Dark Chocolate Espresso Coffee:
The packaging for this looked kind of retro and didn't give much away about the chocolate within. Opening the wrapper I was met with a pretty basic dark chocolate aroma and a hint of coffee...nothing ground-breaking.
Taking a bite, the dark chocolate tasted pretty standard. It wasn't particularly rich or flavoursome, it was rather mild so will please those who don't like intense dark chocolates. I found it disappointing to be honest. I hoped the espresso would provide the kick I was looking for, but sadly the flavour was weak, artificial and didn't really work with the chocolate. It just tasted wrong, which is a shame because coffee and chocolate usually go very well together! Overall, a disappointing bar.
RATING: 6 out of 10.
Dark Chocolate with Italian Orange:
This had orange peel embedded in the chocolate so was thankfully a bit more interesting than the Espresso. There was a nice zesty tang from the chewy orange peel, although it wasn't enough to balance out the flavourless dark chocolate.
Again, like the Espresso bar the dark chocolate on offer was disappointing - there were no rich or complex flavours to go on, which may please those who like milder chocolate, but for me it seemed pointless. At least with brands like Lindt there's a certain richness from their 70% cocoa bars, and they cost less than these too.
RATING: 6.5 out of 10.
Overall, I feel a bit disappointed with my first sampling of Marks & Spencer's dark chocolates and won't be rushing to try them again any time soon. I've enjoyed their milk chocolates before though; so perhaps they're just better at milk chocolate?
If you've tried these bars please let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Price: £2 each or 2 bars for £3.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes (both).
Allergy Information: Contains soya, may contain nuts & milk (both).