Sunday, October 04, 2015

Whittaker's Chocolate

I'm always eager to try new types of chocolate bars.  I'm not a major chocolate-o-holic, and usually don't opt for chocolate desserts, but a little piece of quality chocolate in the morning alongside my coffee always hits the spot.  Or in the afternoon, for a little pick-me-up.  So, on a recent flight to Sydney, when I saw a new brand of chocolate onboard my various Air New Zealand flights, I was happy to drive in.

The brand was Whittaker's, a New Zealand based company.  The company was founded in 1896 by J.H. Whittaker, when he moved to New Zealand.  Business took off, was passed down through the generations, etc, etc.  Still a family run company.

But you don't care about the history.  You care about the chocolate.  Whittaker's has several product lines, including standard bars (dubbed "Blocks"), fancier bars (the "artisan collection"), and then a bunch of other shapes: slabs, mini-slabs, chunks, squares, pips, and "sante".  The also make chocolate milk, ice cream, toffee, and "k-bars", a kind of toffee based confection.

Our flight had the sante bars, so that is the only product I tried.  I wasn't impressed.  They claim to be the premium chocolate maker not only of New Zealand, but of all of Australasia.  I hope this isn't the best the region has to offer.


So, what are sante bars?

According to Whittaker's, "there is simply nothing like the snap of one of our pure chocolate sante bars.  Long, thin, and elegant, Sante means health - in a happy way.  These certainly make you feel happy".

They come in 4 varieties: creamy milk, dark, dark peppermint, and dark ghana.  I tried the two that our flight offered.

I did like the Sante form factor, a thin bar, with a nice snap to it.  I'm not quite sure why I liked the form so much, maybe just because it was something different?  But, it worked.
35% Cocoa Creamy Milk Chocolate Bar.
I started with the milk chocolate, a 35% bar.

The chocolate was very nicely creamy.  So far, so good.  Nice form, good creaminess.

But ... the flavor was a bit odd.  There was a strange aftertaste to it, it reminded me of decaf coffee, in that way that decaf coffee sometimes has a bad funk to it.

I couldn't get past the aftertaste, which is sad, as it really was nice and creamy.
50% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Bar.
I moved on to the dark chocolate, only a 50%.

It was ... sweet.  It reminded me of a Hershey Special Dark.  Dark chocolate shouldn't be sweet like this.  It just wasn't at all what I was looking for, but the finish was smooth.
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