1. Fans of the modern BBC reworking of the Sherlock Holmes stories starring Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch will recognise the picture below. This is the street that stands in for the exterior of Baker Street, and has made Speedy’s Sandwich Bar & Cafe* somewhat of a famous pilgrimage for fans from around the globe. One of those fans is our twitter friend Camilla from Norway, and last month me, Rosie and Japp (and human assistants in tow) met her here to check it out for ourselves.
a) Japp– with its milk chocolate, nougat and caramel, this is somewhere between a Milky Bar and Mars Bar in flavour, but nowhere near as sweet. My human says it reminds him of the low sugar “red wrapper” Mars Bars he tried in Singapore a few years ago. As the UK chocolate manufacturers put more and more sugar into their confectionary to keep us addicted, the Japp chocolate was a breath of fresh air. 4 paws out of 5
b) Both the Troika and the Stratos chocolate bars, Camilla proudly tells me, come from her home town of Trondheim in Norway. The Stratos was simply delicious- a lovely bubbly, malty milk chocolate. Again, not too sweet, this is far superior to the Aero chocolate bars we have here in Blighty. Stratos gets 6 paws out of 5. I approached the Troika with some trepidation as the cover picture made it look suspiciously like a Turkish Delight/ rosewater flavoured chocolate. Bleugh! Fortunately, the top layer of jelly was actually raspberry flavoured :relieved ears:. The other two layers were truffle and marzipan, covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate (see below). This was okay, but I definitely preferred the Stratos. I give Troika 4 paws out of 5.
c) When Rosie last went to Lille, France she was nice enough to bring me back two very yummy chocolate bars from Carrefour. A dark chocolate Mango and Sichuan Pepper bar (55% min cocoa) and a milk chocolate Caramalised Almond and Star Anise (33% min cocoa) bar. Both were supremely delicious and oozed quality. Of the two, I preferred the milk chocolate bar with its crispy toasted almond biscuit and touch of star anise spice. However, the slightly chewy sweet mango in the dark chocolate also works wonderfully. Both get 5 paws out of 5.
*for a fuller review of Speedy’s Sandwich Bar and Cafe please see here.
2. My lovely friend BooBoo Bear Green has once again sent me some lovely and unusual flavoured chocolates, the first from Belgium and one second one from England.
a) Cachet ‘Blackberry and Ginger’ (57% cocoa min): gosh, this was an interesting taste experience! Lots of ginger and chewy blackberry with dark chocolate, this made a good whack to the old teddy tastebuds! 4 paws out of 5
b) Seed and Bean ‘Lemon and Cardamom’ (organic, 58% cocoa): this company prides itself in sourcing its ingredients ethically and have received 100% accreditation from The Ethical Company Organisation. The taste of Lemon Cardamom works very well with the dark chocolate, which is clearly of high quality. In this household we are no strangers to cardamom being used in desserts, being fans of Indian cuisine which use it liberally in sweet dishes. 5 paws out of 5
3. Lindt ‘Haselnuss De Luxe’ (Hazelnut Luxury): this was sent to me by my lovely friends Burnie and Greg Bear in Germany. And what can I say? Move heaven and earth to try this chocolate bar, which is just soooooooo yummy! Imagine a Ferrero Rocher in chocolate bar form, make it even yummier, and then you might come close to being the spoilt ambassador in those cheesy tv adverts. 7 paws out of 5 (don’t question my scoring system- it is what it is)
Coming soon to Jezzer Checks Chocs: CURRY & CHIPS CHOCOLATE (from BBBG), CHEESE AND ONION CHOCOLATE (from Duffy Bear in Ireland), VEGEMITE CHOCOLATE (from Ozzie Quirkybear) AND VARIOUS OTHER CHOCOLATES FROM TOURGUIDE TED!!