By Benjamin Skipper
While I should be refraining from buying chocolate at the moment, Target was having a clearance sale on this particular item, so the threat of it disappearing forever prodded me to add it to my stocks. New Tree, among a few others, is one of the companies I'm very interested in, not to ignore that their ginger bar is one of my top three favorite chocolate bars period. I find New Tree most memorable for the aesthetic beauty their bars offer in their subtle designs, and more broadly New Tree is known to add various extracts and whatnot to their chocolates to up the health properties, though that is debatable from various dietary perspectives depending on the specific add-in. The treat in intrigue today is New Tree's 51% cocoa dark milk chocolate.
Is New Tree the first to try such an odd combo? I think they are, for I've never heard of it before. Anyhow, in this particular variation they add extra fiber and reduce the sugar by 30% in comparison to the average competitor, and otherwise it's just a good old chocolate bar. It smells of cream, cocoa, and caramel, and tastes luxuriously of caramel with a perfect amount of sweetness and constantly held intensity. I couldn't really sense the vanilla as is indicated in the tasting notes, but I think that means it's well fused into the experience rather than being absent from the taste. I love the mouthfeel: it's very firm without being crunchy and melts into that fatty deliciousness notable of chocolates with low melting points.
The appearance struck me as odd, however. Unlike other of New Tree's products, this one merely had lines traveling down at an angle on each square, not those wonderful leaf veins I've seen on the mint and ginger bars. Why the switch-up in such great aesthetics? Moreover, why does the packaging show the chocolate as having leaf veins when it doesn't? Otherwise, it has an okay shine, though no snap.
I'm glad the wrapper is different. This one is much easier to rip and isn't sealed entirely shut like some of the other products are, which makes the confection much easier and quicker to get to without damaging it. I deplore the strong and sealed wrappers I came across before, as I kept breaking the bars 100% of the time when trying to get into them.
In conclusion, this is certainly a unique combination for sure, one that looks paradoxical on the surface, but New Tree has pulled it off well enough to leave me extremely pleased. The caramel sensation and fatty mouthfeel are just right, making this my milk chocolate of choice, which I would absolutely recommend.