Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Terry's Chocolate Orange
This is kind of a teaser for the Brit Week that we're going to do soon. Terry's Chocolate Orange was once available only in the U.K., but is now available around the world.
Each Orange is just that -- a sphere of orange-flavored chocolate that has been molded to look like the actual fruit. The sphere is broken up into segments that look like individual slices.
I have no idea how, with my love of orange-flavored chocolate, that I managed to take this long to review a Terry's Orange. Maybe it's because, until the last few years, I can only remember really seeing them around Christmas. (Granted, they could have been there year around, but they never caught my eye). Or it may also be because when I was a kid, my family didn't do the whole orange (or fruit), candy, or nuts in the stockings bit...oh sure, all those things were around; we just didn't get them from Santa.
The label says to "whack and unwrap" the candy, but I decided that I at least wanted to attempt some pretty pictures, so we simply unwrapped. (Besides, in the neighborhood where I grew up, "whack" meant something other than to slap with an open palm. And I don't know how you'd properly assassinate a hunk of chocolate in any case. And no, my surname is neither Soprano nor Corleone, though it does end in a vowel.)
Anyway, the candy is made up of milk chocolate flavored with orange oil. When the orange is unwrapped, the first thing you smell is the sugar and the orange. The slices came out cleanly, probably because after taking the initial pictures we did give it a nice whack. (Uh, I mean a slap. Yeah, that's it, slap. Go away, I dunno nothin' about it!) When you bite into a slice, the chocolate is soft. In fact, the chocolate actually bent slightly to my bite rather than just snapping off.
The first flavor that hits you is the sweetness.
This is some seriously sweet chocolate. The texture is very smooth. I was expecting it to be grainy because of the high sugar content, but it's not. There's a milky quality to it, but it's a rather synthetic milky quality: not to crib from Cybele's review, but she nailed it perfectly when she said it was more like powered milk than real milk. To put my own spin on it, it's like a milk flavor that may have come out of the Enterprise's replicator instead of a cow. (Read Cybele's review here.)
All of this may sound disappointing so far, but it really isn't. What makes the whole thing work is the orange oil. If you've ever tasted fresh orange zest, or licked your fingers after zesting, or even after simply peeling an orange -- well, that's the orange flavor here. It's very strong and pure, almost (but not quite) to the point of being bitter. And that is the magic that makes it worth eating. The sharpness of the orange oil keeps the sweet chocolate from being overwhelming (although, to be fair, my teeth did hurt a bit after eating entirely too many slices). And at the same time, the sugary chocolate keeps the orange oil from overpowering the overall flavor.
I understand why Terry's Orange has become a classic. It's comforting, and yes, it could certainly be addictive. It's almost so bad that it's good, and so good that it's bad. (Be sure to also check out Jim's review here.)