/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: San Churro Milk Chocolate
San Churro Milk Chocolate
Posted: 18 October 2010
It's not a bad bar by any stretch of the imagination. On taste and texture, it can hold its own with many a milk I could select off a supermarket shelf. But it's price tag puts it up into a Haigh's category price range without the Haigh's quality, and Haigh's in our Republic's esteemed opinion, can't
even justify its current pricing in today's marketplace.
price/gram: USD 0.081
Cocoa %: 36
Have you ever been sitting in
a street cafe and strolling musicians wander by your table
and play you a song for a small tip? They may even
have an album of music they've recorded and try to sell
it to you This has happened to me many times.
I can recall an incident just outside Cancun (Mexico).
The mariachi band wanted $17 for their CD, about twice what you could get
a CD of a famous artist or band for on sale. M
father bought one and probably never listened to it.
trend has hit us, and it's hit cafe culture Melbourne,
Australia particularly hard. We should've seen it
coming. The 1990's ushered in a time for darker
"healthier" chocolates and fashion coffees. The
next logical step was chocolate cafes. Australia has
seen a raft of them. Maybe because the population is
concentrated in a just a few cities and the Australians love
calories, it's easy to test
market the concepts there.
San Churro is
one such chocolate cafe concept whose products are currently
being enjoyed by the mouths and minds of paunchy chic Australians. The
menu consists of churros and chocolate (the name of my
first Spanish language textbook), truffles, Spanish hot
chocolate, fondues. You get the idea -- high calorie
delicacies you'll pay for later with a triple bypass.
San Churro was a Spanish monk and open chocoholic who used
religious imagery to convince the Spanish aristocracy to
grant the monks the exclusive concession to
manufacture chocolates for them. Today, Mr. San Churro
would have likely become a political lobbyist. Who
knows how good San Churro's original chocolates were?
We're guessing pretty foul. Lack of competition plus
crude sixteenth century choco-manufacturing techniques =
chocolates inferior to even Hershey's worst.
Aussie Dave finally enrolled himself in a Chocoholics
Anonymous 12-step program, he was getting his lunches and
his dinners at chocolaterias like San Churro's. He
sent me three Spanish-made
Chocovic bars which San Churro
peddles, and most recently, he mailed me a milk chocolate
bar with San Churro's very own brand name upon it,
designated as "Sinfully Smooth," San Churro's own
version of that mariachi CD my father bought years ago. Would the monk San Churro consider it sinful to eat one of these?
Chocolate Republic does, but not because it's sinfully extraordinary.
not. This milk consists of 36% cocoa solids, an
amount we consider respectable for a decent milk chocolate
blend and for a virgin monk's diet. And it's smooth, too, with 23.5%
milk solids. The girlfriend loved it, but I thought it
was a tad too sweet -- and too expensive. This bar is
even more expensive than the already mega-expensive
Haigh's Milk, which we
compared side-by-side. Haigh's, with 4% less cocoa
content but higher milk content, was superior.
To be honest,
I was never expecting San Churro's bar to redefine the
of milk chocolate. San Churro established itself as a
chocolateria, then branched into chocolate bar making.
Contrast that with the Swiss chocolatier Lindt which has
been making chocolates for over 150 years and then only
recently expanded into chocolate cafes. I can't
even be sure if San Churro really manufactures its own
chocolate bars. My guess is they don't. The
bar's label indicates that the chocolate is manufactured in
Spain for San Churro, not made in Oz by San Churro.
San Churro has outsourced the manufacture of that
already bought the bar and been "had," forgive yourself.
We've all been fooled in like ways. Say a
comedian appears in a successful television series, suddenly
all his financial backers think that anything with his name
on it will sell like hotcakes. Musical albums, books,
serious dramas, clothing lines, political punditry.
Most of the time, the side projects don't live up to the
established brand. You would've been ahead of the
game if these San Churro branded chocolates lived up to
the alleged standards of their menu. I'm trusting Aussie
Dave's word on the quality of this chocolateria; I've never
been to one myself.
Look, mates --
it's not a bad bar by any stretch of the imagination.
On taste and texture, it can hold its own with many a milk I
could select off a supermarket shelf. But it's price
tag puts it up into a Haigh's category price range without the
Haigh's quality, and Haigh's in our Republic's esteemed
opinion, can't even justify its current pricing in today's
marketplace, but it can coast for the time being by being Australia's oldest
chocolate manufacturer. The Republic is pretty sure that the San Churro brand chocolate bars are just another upsell for this
burgeoning Aussie franchise. San Churro customers,
entranced by the delicious choco-desserts, will grab a San
Churro bar for the road thinking it'll offer the same degree
of pleasure as the sinful desserts just consumed. Our advice: stick to the churros and
couverture hot chocolate and buy your bars from a chocolatier dedicated to the art of making bars
and at lower prices.
San Churro is a francise of chocolateria in Australia. Now they trademark their own milk chocolate
bar. This bar is considered sinful at the chocolate republic. See Doug of Doug's Republic. They serve a lot of churro
and chocolate, mates.