Thursday, August 04, 2011

Chocolate Review: Green & Black's 37% Milk with Whole Almonds

By Benjamin Skipper

This is the first in my series of experiments to see whether I'd like to permanently loosen my review standards to include broader varieties of chocolate. It was a friend who motivated me to check out this variety, for she touted how good it was, so I was instilled with a curiosity to check the nutritional facts. Upon finding them acceptable, I decided to give Green & Black's 37% milk chocolate with whole almonds fair attention.

So far this experiment seems to be much worth it. This bar was sticky, delicious, fatty goodness. It comes wrapped in a dull gold paper rather than a foil, so while it's not as luxorious looking as G&B's darker varieties it is more practical, as this chocolate will want to melt in your hand. It's much more tidy to eat the bar held in its partially open paper, though I do admit I tolerated the sticky fingers since I enjoy breaking my bars down into small sections, sometimes individual bites. The chocolate has a healthy dark mahogony glow and hills of almonds lumped on the back, and everything is precisely constructed without sloppy imperfections such as shards or "dust." It smells temptingly of milk and nuts with a hint of caramel, and the flavor pallette stays true by delivering on the creamy milk and toasty almonds, with pleasureable burnt tastes reminscient of caramel throughout. They also really pulled off the texture really well. The almonds are distributed perfectly so as to balance the tastes and ensure consistently nutty bites, and the chocolate is so soft, anxious to melt, that the mouthfeel is pleasantly moist, gooey, and crunchy without a hint of dryness from the nuts.

I'm very satisfied. It has that fattiness I love of dark chocolates, and at the same time the respectable sugar content keeps it from feeling as if it were any sweeter than my beloved dark bars, so even dark lovers should be able to find value in this. The only minor change I would make is for a prettier wrapping paper, as the gold foil for the darker varieties is just so much more attractive; I'm tempted to collect it.

However, for allergy purposes I am prompted to offer a warning. Given Rational Jenn's notice, you should be careful to examine the label of each bar before you purchase, as they may come from different manufacturing facilities and therefore be susceptible to exposure to different allergens, like peanuts. Two bars stocked on the same shelf the same day may have different information, so be careful. It's always good to make a habit out of reading labels. I do so instinctively, even for products I buy repeatedly.

At first I worried I might dislike this since my palate can enjoy way up to 100% cacao, but this has been an utterly pleasant surprise. If you're a dark chocolate lover looking to eat something different for a change, then you'll do well to try this one out. I recommend it.

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