Chocolate review: Chocolate Garden, whole real gooseberries in fine chocolate

I picked up a box of these unusual treats at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, of all places. I’d never heard of Chocolate Garden before, but labelled as winners of the superior taste award 2009, the box of gooseberries coated in chocolate seemed too good and, well, too intriguing not to buy.

The chocolate used is 47% and while not labelled as dark chocolate does not contain any milk substance so I figured it counted as part of the series of reviews.

Further investigation (by which I mean, reading the packet) reveals that the gooseberries have been ‘candied’, i.e soaked in plenty of sugar. Rather ominously they have also had preservatives and flavouring added. The chocolate itself contains some vanillin, which implies a cheaper chocolate has been used.

Opening the packet reveals something a bit too uniform and shiny for something that’s labelled as homemade. The first bite uncovers a sticky centre that bares little resemblance in any regard to a gooseberry. Overwhelmingly sweet, there’s no taste of the tangy, tart tasting fruit I was expecting.

I can’t really comment on the chocolate, any taste has been drowned out by the incredible amounts of sugar and the (I assume) shellac glaze. I’d guess the glaze has been added to improve shelf life, but it’s a pity as it ruins the taste and texture of the chocolate.

In conclusion, they were not worth it. I’d rather save my money and have some cheap Tesco coated raisins instead, which is of comparable quality (but with less sugar!). Certainly not award winning produce.

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