Chocolate Review – Twenty Squares mint crisp flakes.

Twenty Squares.jpeg

Here is the latest review in my journey to find decent ‘Supermarket grade’ chocolate.

Just so you know, what I call ‘Supermarket grade’ is – you guessed it – chocolate like products that can be bought at the supermarket. This is in comparison to when I go to a speciality artisan chocolatier’s place and grab something from them.

And what I mean it ‘being decent’ is a chocolate that tastes great, is good quality and created/ sold ethically. So, yeah, my hunt is long and hard. Not that I really mind being forced to only buy chocolate from a decent, local chocolatier… it is sometimes just nice to be able to grab some while at the supermarket as it’s more convenient… and I’m less likely to spend half my food budget on a couple of hundred grams of artisan heavenly, chocolatey goodness. 😉

And here is a bit of a disclaimer for you all:

 I bought this product with my own money, and it was a random choice from the supermarket shelf. I am not being paid to make this review, nor am I deliberately singling this product or company out. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on chocolates I am buying and trying in my search for decent ‘Supermarket grade’ chocolate.

Please note:  My review today is based solely on Twenty Squares mint crisp flake Chocolate. This is not a review about Twenty Squares themselves or any other products, services or business they may offer.

Brand name: Twenty Squares mint crisp flakes

Certified Organic: does not say on their packaging they are organic and I could not find an online presence for this brand.

Fair trade: does not say on their packaging they are fair trade or Fairtrade certified, and I could not find an online presence for this brand.

Rainforest alliance friendly: This is about the only thing it does say on its packaging, that its cocoa is sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified farms. Just the cocoa mind you, no mention of other ingredients used.

Palm oil free: Although I can’t find a definite answer on the packaging, from the listed ingredients, I’d say yes they are palm oil free.

 Dairy Free: Again, based on the ingredients listed on the packaging, it is not dairy free.

Grain/gluten free: It clearly states on the packaging it is gluten free. However, it doesn’t state what the sugars are made from so it might contain corn or rice as the sweetener, I can’t say for sure that is is grain free too.

Blend or single origin: Does not state anywhere on the packaging it is single or a blend, but from the taste I would say it is a blend.

Contains nuts: The crisp mint flakes I’m reviewing doesn’t list nuts as an ingredient, so I’d say nut free.  Though they have the usual warning it may contain tree nuts.

Any plastic in the packaging: No! Love this fact. The chocolate itself is sheathed in foil and then packaged in card paper that can be recycled.

Net Weight per package: 100g

Owned and made in: the packaging states it is Australian made, and produced by Simply Fine Food Company’. There website doesn’t mention Twenty Squares chocolate at all.

Where I bought it: Klose’s Foodland, Littlehampton.

Website: As states, cannot find an online presence for Twenty Squares chocolate as a website or social media page.

Review:

2 out of 5 stars.

So, I got all excited when I saw this brand of chocolate at my local supermarket. I’d not seen it before and was attracted by the Rainforest Alliance Certified frog shown proudly on the front. It was well priced for what it was too and came in several different flavours. So I snatched my usual favourite – mint – and went from there.

Sadly, it didn’t live up to all the hype of put on it… but I will go into that shortly, for now I want to focus on the positives. Always start with the positives I say!

Okay, so it’s a great recyclable packaging – just foil and paper. Not plastic involved and well on their way to zero waste. A big tick for that.

They proudly state they only use Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa – another big tick from me. However, what about the rest of the ingredients used? Just being good with the cocoa and not being as careful with the rest is a bit of a worry. And, if you’re going to go above and beyond to show that certification, why not go for organic or Fairtrade too? It did make me curious. It’s as if they are marketing themselves on this one good fact and not actually caring where everything else comes from. I am sure this is a misconception on my side… but I might not be the only consumer that gains such an opinion from what little information is given.

And speaking of a lack of information… I could not find an online presence for Twenty Squares chocolate anywhere. And the ‘Simply Fine Food Company’ that the packaging says produces it may have a website, but it’s currently under construction and holds no information… including even admitting Twenty Squares chocolate is theirs. So, yeah, in this day and age I would have thought if you were going to launch a product you would have your online presence sorted out and there to be seen before the item hits the shelves. That could just be me though with my whole ‘thing’ for Internet Communication. 😉

As you can tell from the score I’ve given it, I didn’t really like this chocolate and it’s not just from all the constructive criticism listed above. I also didn’t like the taste. So let’s now get into that side of things.

The initial flavour was good – for a milk chocolate – and you could tell it was a quality cocoa used… but there was, for me, a super sickly sweet after tastes that soon overpowered everything else. The mint, the chocolate, everything! To me, it tasted like one of those refined sugars called ‘raw sugar’ – though really is highly refined. I’m not a fan of refined sugar these days and it really stands out in anything I eat. My whole family said the same thing (without prompting) and it seriously put me off this chocolate completely. The fact it just states in the ingredients it’s ‘sugar’ and not its source does make me wonder too. That and the fact they felt a need to put soy lecithin in it… why?! Yes you’ve put dairy in it, but there is no need to bulk it out with that crud too.

Seriously, I should have paid more attention to the ingredients, when purchasing it, than I did to the frog on the front. As just because you’ve used Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa and then mixed it with poor quality ingredients – it shows, and it makes this chocolate rate really low in my books. Nearly as bad as Cadbury or Nestle – in my personal tastes.

Would I recommend this product to others?

No I wouldn’t. Sorry, but to me, this chocolate helps give Supermarket grade chocolate its bad name. There are far better products available off the shelf and people should buy them and skip this one.

Would I buy this product again?

No I wouldn’t. Just because you’ve gone to the effort to use Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa doesn’t mean you’ve made a good chocolate. Chocolate is made from more than just the cocoa so you need decent ingredients to work with and compliment the cocoa, not drag it down as has happened here.

In summary: Not a chocolate for me. More time, care and attention to the brand, to what they’re trying to produce and what they are trying to be seen as needs to happen before I will go near this chocolate again… if I ever do.

Until next time,

Janis.

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