Chocolate, objectively

O, Whittaker's chocolate. I am, indeed, very fond of you. You are not, I'm afraid, the best chocolate I have ever eaten; neither are you (by a quite significant margin) the worst. But, for the price, it is exceedingly good chocolate that comes in a wide variety of appealing flavours and varieties, and even though you are only a little bit more expensive than the cheaper varieties, and a lot cheaper than the dearer ones (say, Lindt & Sprungli), you have a lot more in common with the latter than the former. If you were a beer, you would perhaps be Monteiths. You are an excellent product.

I like your dark chocolate - the Dark Ghana, and, in particular, the Dark Caramel are excellent, really quite delicious. I like your White Chocolate, even though purists will insist that it is not, in fact, chocolate - rather, a milk-flavoured confectionery. I especially like the White Macadamia. I am less fond of varieties such as Rum & Raisin, Dark Orange and Peppermint. In fact, I really don't like the choc/orange interface (citrus/dairy - it's kind of another of my "things"). I am not crazy about boozy/choc flavours. And choc/nut flavours, I always think, are (just a bit, mind) boring

But lo - what is this I see 'pon de racks? MORE new chocolate varieties from those clever, nice Whittaker's folk?! This is not good news for the post-Xmas splurge health kick, but it is wonderful news for the greedy chocolate gobbler within that I have been (sort of) denying. There appear to be three new varieties that I am unacquainted with - namely, Berry & Biscuit, Peanut Butter and Hokey Pokey. Sit back and enjoy, diet-conscious - I am going in, so that you don't have to. Or, maybe, so that you do.

Hokey Pokey - it's a bit of a classic combo, is chocolate and hokey pokey. It is a bit like a more "grown-up" version of the classic Crunchie bar. I could go a bit more hokey pokey to choc, but the hokey pokey is pleasantly salty, and has that appealing baking soda bite. I like it. It's really very good.

Berry & Biscuit I have no preconceptions about whatsoever - I am imagining something faintly rocky-road-ish, for some reason. What I am actually presented with is nice hard, chewy, fruity berry lumps and crunchy, crumbly biscuit pieces. It is a pleasant surprise, really much better than I had anticipated. Quite well balanced. Excellent.

The variety that has perhaps commanded the most attention, it would seem, and the one I was certainly most looking forward to, is the Peanut Butter. My first couple of efforts at actually procuring some were thwarted when both the stores I tried had sold out -"very popular, sold out, just got this in this morning" said the nice Indian lady at the dairy on Cuba St when I did finally find some.

People really do love the hell out of the peanut butter chocolate combo. It seems to be a bit of an American fave - peanut butter/choc chip cookies - ay caramba! And of course, Reeces make their quite magnificent Peanut Butter Cups, which used to be harder to find but which now seem to be more widely available.

So - how does Whittaker's version stack up? Well, to be honest, I am just a little disappointed. I think the 33 per cent cocoa, quite milky chocolate is perhaps a bit too sweet, and that the peanut butter is not salty enough. And there's sort of not enough of it - the ratio of peanut butter to choc seems to be a little out. Too much sweet, creamy chocolate, to not enough not-salty-enough filling. What I think I want from it is perhaps a darker, less sweet and creamy chocolate, more peanut butter of a drier consistency, and with a saltier bite. To use American sporting parlance, I was looking for a home run. But what I got was first base, maybe second?

And so, perversely, the variety I was least excited about (the Berry & Biscuit) ended up being my favourite, and the one I held the highest hopes for was a small disappointment.

Ain't that a kick in the head?!

Whittaker's - are you a fan? Have YOU tried their new chocolate varieties? Which is your fave? If not, are you going to give them a nudge? And what is your absolute favourite chocolate?

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