I’m not one to turn down free chocolate if its offered to me so when Sugar And Spice asked if I’d like to try some of theirs, only one answer came to mind … so they arrived late last week and now I’m only getting time to investigate what’s contained within this heavy duty packaging.
Well, I’m not the world’s most ardent Parisian Cremes fan and although I liked the Charbonnel et Walker English Fruit Cremes, I’m still a passionate dark chocolate ganache man. But whilst it’s hot and sticky, why shouldn’t I try out some fruity crèmes? In case you’re wondering, Sugar and Spice are located about 30 miles W.S.W. of Glasgow and looks out over the Firth Of Clyde to Little Cumbrae Island and the Island of Bute – a fantastic part of the world if you ask me.
One thing I find is that it’s incredibly difficult for the small chocolatier to compete with the budgets and presence of the larger, more well-known chocolatiers. And that’s fine; typically you wouldn’t set off to the west coast of Scotland looking for hidden gems of the chocolate world. Occasionally you’ll find one as good as Cocoa Mountain, but it’s a rarity. In fact during my visit to Scotland last summer I found it incredibly difficult to find any chocolate of note. Everyone has a right to make chocolate and produce bon bons that they like. and as Parisian Cremes go, they do exactly what they should do – give you a huge fruity sugar boost wrapped in chocolate that purposely plays second fiddle – but is still pleasant when the sweet filling subsides.
Thankfully there’s a clear menu contained within. Although it’s not in colour, it doesn’t take Jacob Barnett to work out what they are. And where better to start than the Passion Fruit? The first hit of this I got was actually of rum punch that I’ve consumed copious quantities of in the Caribbean and this certainly had an alcoholic edge to it, even though there was none in there. This crème certainly had a sharp flavour but also had a spicy edge, perhaps nutmeg? Very sweet but a lovely intensity.
Next was the lime which wasn’t anywhere near as bitter or sweet as I anticipated. It actually came across relatively mild with more of an earthy flavour than lime. This is a shame as I just adore lime and chocolate.
Then it was the turn of the blackcurrant which came across as being more faithfully to the kind of flavour most people would associate with blackcurrant, unlike the lime. There was a delightful edge of warm Ribena blasted my taste buds – this was a great deal more sharp and flavoursome than the previous.
Lastly I tried the coffee just to see what it was like, as I generally prefer espresso flavours to “plain” coffee, but I found this one far too sweet. It was more like a cappuccino than anything. I should have kept to the fruity flavours that I knew I’d like.
As I’ve said before, it’s difficult for a small company to produce awesome chocolates, but the guys at Sugar and Spice do a good job. I’m sure they have a good number of people passing through their doors looking for something to take home and I know they’ll find something comforting there. They may not be exactly what I’d buy, but I’ll report back from the family as to what thought of them. But as a quick rating I’d give them 63%.