Tuesday 12 August 2014

Tesco Finest*: Swiss (milk chocolate with maple & walnut)

Product name: Tesco Finest*: Swiss (milk chocolate with maple & walnut)
Purchase details:
£1.00 for a 100g bar (Tesco)
111 per two square serving (557 per bar)
Country of origin:

Well this is a first. I never buy store branded chocolate for general consumption but this maple and walnut Swiss bar from Tesco’s Finest* range really caught my eye when it was on special offer recently. I’d probably count walnuts as my least favourite nut so it was definitely the maple syrup that swung it for me! It just seemed so different and delicious-sounding.

Tesco Finest* is obviously marketed as being a bit special and I felt this was reflected in the packaging. The brown cardboard box, swirled with orange, was quite simple but also gave the impression of being a bit posh. It boasted how the ‘deliciously smooth and silky milk chocolate’ had been ‘made by selected chocolatiers’, and I liked the little added touch of using a Swiss flag to dot the letter ‘I’ .

The large, flat bar was divided into 10 big squares that each featured a kind of stripy design and, I thought, looked a little less impressive. With ‘caramelised walnuts’ accounting for 7% of the product, as well as the inclusion of hazelnuts, I was also surprised to find these were very small and barely noticeable within the chocolate.

Before reading the product description in-depth, I’d assumed that the chocolate’s recipe would have had maple syrup incorporated into it, whilst the walnuts would be standalone. However, the reality was that the walnuts had been ‘caramelised in maple syrup’, although the chocolate did still include 3.5% maple sugar. To my delight, I also found that the bar genuinely did smell like maple syrup and, if I delved deeper, there was also a woody walnut aroma mixed in – beautiful.

The chocolate was made from  ‘carefully selected cocoa beans for a well-balanced taste’ and contained a minimum of 31% cocoa solids and 25% milk solids. It had a rich melt and creamy taste but it was the ‘floral maple and walnut notes’ that stole the show. The main taste was from the walnut pieces that provided a fantastic, authentic flavour but without the associated bitterness that I’m not a fan of – the focus was definitely on the mellower side of a walnut’s flavour. The maple syrup that enrobed this then added a sweet, deep sugary taste, and the overall impression I had of the bar was of a soft, thin but solidified cake batter – scrummy!

Texturally, I loved the emphasis on the nuts’ caramelisation as each tiny chunk had a wonderful, sugary crisp to it. The downside was that I felt a bit self-conscious eating the bar with another person in the same room – it wasn’t the quietest! I also found the distribution of these tiny nuts resulted in a generally grainy feel but, since this was a product best enjoyed chewed, this was totally fine.

I may have bought this bar of Tesco Finest*: Swiss (milk chocolate with maple & walnut) because of the maple syrup but I ended up appreciating the way the walnut was the prominent flavour – I think it would have been too sweet if the syrup had been the frontrunner. There’s no doubt that I thoroughly enjoyed this unique chocolate experience...I’d never come across this combination of ingredients before but the result was a bar that was absolutely packed full of flavour. I’m so glad I broadened by horizons. 

Appearance: 7.5/10
Overall score:


  1. Gutted the Tesco (Express) near me doesn't stock this bar! And it was only £1?!


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