8/10 · Chocolate · Limited edition

Marks & Spencer The Collection – The Single Origin Cocoa Pod

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I hope you’re all having a lovely Easter and have eaten your body weight in chocolate! I have been spoilt rotten with chocolatey goodness this year, ranging from the nostalgic – Cadbury Buttons – to the almost too fancy to eat – The Single Origin Cocoa Pod from Marks & Spencer.

The two examples named couldn’t have been more different, for starters the M&S egg is edible!

Included with the chocolate shaped cocoa pod were 6 mini chocolate bars.

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Tanzania Dark

Made using 75% cocoa solids the Tanzania bar is the darkest chocolate included. It has a very intense, deep flavour. It wasn’t particularly bitter and I did enjoy it but probably my least favourite of the four chocolates, a flavour best kept to a smaller bar.

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Ecuador Dark 

The Ecuadorian bar has a minimum of 60% cocoa solids. I really liked this bar, eating it immediately after the Tanzanian meant it seemed a lot lighter than it might have alone. It seemed to have an almost sweet flavour leading to a deeper and darker after taste.

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Java Milk 

The only milk chocolate included has a minimum of 32% cocoa solids. It has a lovely flavour, very milky and quite sweet though I’m unsure how much of that is down to a dark chocolate overload either side. I’d quite like a full sized bar!

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On to the real deal, the cocoa pod “egg”. It looks incredible, one side is hand painted, the other plain and it has a real luxurious finish to it. It didn’t take much work to break into but it had a sturdy feel and was one solid pod rather than two halves.

The pod is made using a minimum of 69% cocoa solids from the Dominican Republic so right around where I like my dark chocolate and had a strong dark chocolate scent.

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It really goes to show how cocoa from different areas tastes completely different. I ate this immediately after the 75% and although there’s only a 6% difference this tasted a lot lighter. The chocolate is rich and strong, not really bitter at all and tastes a lot sweeter than either of the other dark bars – unsurprising considering sugar is the second ingredient. That’s not to say it’s sweet, it isn’t just noticeably more so than the previous two dark chocolates. It also seemed almost milker, there wasn’t really a milk flavour but it was a lot easier going down, I know I couldn’t have eaten half an egg of the Tanzanian.

Interestingly, although to the touch the painted side of the egg felt no different, in my mouth it had a slightly crunchy texture. It didn’t make much difference overall but I could tell without looking whether the piece I was eating was decorated.

Rating:

Very nice, a very smooth, rich chocolate. One you can take a piece and savour but just sweet enough to devour. If you’re a dark chocolate fan and you see this in M&S, it’s well worth the buy – and they should be discounted now!

8/10

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