Thursday, 3 October 2013

Chocolate, Boring? NEVER!

How can chocolate ever be boring? That’s what I asked myself immediately as I read an article on the internet. (I know you shouldn’t question anything on the web but it provoked a response) The writer at one point described the chocolates by the retailer known as Thornton’s as dull and in need of a facelift if it wants to continue being successful. Is this writer insane? If it contains cocoa how can something be boring?

Then I thought a bit more and realised something. I hadn’t been into a Thornton’s in years, I glimpsed them out the corner of my eyes but never felt even an urge to enter. Maybe the author had a point. In these times when chocolate is becoming rather adventurous either through the gimmicky, like Cadburys marvellous range. Or the extravagant like the ranges of dark Guatemalan miracle bean and giant bird island red chilli (not a real one FYI). Perhaps it will leave the old fashioned and ever reliable brands in the wayside. Surely however Thornton’s must be keeping an eye on the trend and doing there bit so why hadn’t I been paying attention to any of their developments?
Thornton's is actually celebrating 100 years! 
Firstly as I’m sure like most of you when I think of Thornton’s I think of gift boxes. It’s never been a place you go for a bar to get you through the day. They have a special air about their sweets that you don’t buy them for yourself, not a bad thing obviously as it does make them special when you receive them. Secondly as the writer pointed out their stock and image never seems to change. I had to agree, all those times I walked by I never saw any change in shop layout or colour scheme. Worse still is that I never see them promoting any new lines or products extensively. Think of a Thornton’s chocolate you’ve had readers, I bet they still stock it in some form or another.

I thought I should at least give them a chance and step inside next time I passed. The interior was exactly the same as the last time I had entered a Thornton’s (it wasn’t even the same one either). Still rather beige with a hint of brown, the walls lined with selection boxes and gift plaques. However this is because that’s what your eyes are drawn to, taking a closer inspection I found kids chocolate and a few bars I could be tempted to snack on. However even these still had rather expensive looking packaging that made me want to give it away and not be selfish.

Whilst there I spied something that cheered me up as always, free samples. On the counter was a silver plate of their smiles range to try. So I did and gobbled down a strawberry smile which tasted great. Great flavour melted well in my mouth and left behind some seed like pips that gave it an interesting texture. They were nice and simple enough for me to be tempted to buy a bag, I didn’t as the bags were large and I knew I’d get bored of them. That’s not the whole review I’m afraid, no we are still in the preamble.
A modern Thornton's, compare the photos folks. Spot the differences.
As not only had I acquired some free chocolate, I had also picked up a sense of guilt. The member of staff eyed me from behind the counter and asked if there was anything I wanted. I knew in my heart nothing really inspired me to buy but I couldn’t leave. She would think I just came in for the sample, that’s basically theft! I panicked and said small chocolate bars; she gave me a funny look and pointed to the rather obvious section containing smaller bars. I hurriedly looked for anything that took my fancy and found a bar of Lemon white chocolate and popping candy. That spelled excitement surely? I paid and left before the sirens began to wail.

The chocolates packaged in a nice cardboard box again it still feels like I should be presenting this not tearing it open to consume at once. Inside the chocolates wrapped in foil which is always nice as it keeps it fresher somehow, this could be a placebo effect however. I unwrapped a corner and break off a chunk. Disappointingly there is no strong smell to it.

See it looks too fancy to not be gifty.
I found it to be silky and smooth, with a nice white chocolate whisper that’s beaten by the lemon taste that hits you first. It’s not too sweet, strong or bitter however and is rather pleasing. It’s like the lemon fondue contained in the gift boxes just more solid and with chocolate mixed in rather than encasing.  The flavour stays a while and when it fades you notice the popping sensation. I find this rather exciting, it reminds me of childhood. Unfortunately the popping candy doesn’t last long. This just means I have to go back for another bite, this chocolate is rather moreish.

Overall I think I proved Thornton’s does contain excitement. It’s just they are very good at concealing it; they could do with promoting their smaller ranges a bit more. Especially any new releases they have as often their window displays are filled with… gifty-ness?

Score
8 out of 11

Found
Ummmm Thornton's?

Final Thought
I guess sawdust chocolate could be boring.




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If so then you may wish to hire me to write for you. I can be contacted at joshuafrancis93@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you
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