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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Dove Hazelnut & Raisin

Dove Hazelnut & Raisin 
Posted: 22 November 2010    7.0 
Dove Hazelnut and Raisin This Dubai-made Hazelnut & Raisin was no disappointment. I would not book a flight ticket to Dubai solely to get your hand on one of these nor would I even strongly endorse you searching out a locally made Dove bar close to home. But if you stumble into one, greet it with your mouth.     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.025   Cocoa %: 25*  Size: 40g  Arab chocolate 

                 *estimated cocoa solid percentage

It has been two-and-a-half years now that I've rediscovered the Dove brand among quickie shop chocolate bars.  I still consider them the best cheapie off a 7-11 or Family Mart shelf.   All these cheapies cost about the same price per gram.  I might as well spend the money on a Dove bar then.

On a trip to Korea in 2008, I stopped into a 7-11 and saw they were selling Dove bars, too.  I'd only noticed them in Thailand a few months prior.  I bought a few -- don't remember which types -- and remembered thinking they tasted superior to the ones in Thailand.  Sounds crazy, right, but after doing that Cadbury comparison nearly a year ago, I know that a multinational chocolate manufacturer's products can taste different depending upon manufacturer location.

I asked my girlfriend to pick up a few Korean Dove bars the next time she went back.   Five trips later, still no Doves.  She said she couldn't find them.   On my most recent trip to Korea last week, I found Dove bars on sale just past immigration & customs.    The only one I was able to find though was this fruit & nut-like bar, the Hazelnut & Raisin.  The most similar bar sold in Thailand has hazelnuts, raisins, and almonds and is 3 grams larger in size. 

Now, to be specific, there is no such thing as a Thai-made or Korean-made Dove bar.  The Dove bars you see in Thailand come from China; the ones in Korea, from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  I understand why Mars would have several manufacturing facilities worldwide catering to various geographical regions.  What I can't figure out is why Korea, an East Asia's stone's throw away from China, would get its Dove bars almost 7,000 km away in western Asia.  Korea is closer to Thailand than China is.  Who the $@)*$@() knows how these conglomerates work?  We know when their stock prices decline, the CEO's collect bonuses.  Conventional mathematics must have nothing to do with it.

The Dubai-made bar is slightly superior, the chocolate slightly richer and deeper, making me guesstimate that the cocoa solid content in this one --- unlisted on the Korean language wrapper -- is several percentage points higher than the Chinese version.  Mars did not "pull a Cadbury" with their Dovelings.  In other words, the Dubai-made bar and the Chinese-made one did not taste like completely different creations.  The Cadbury situation is not a parallel one for Mars.  British Cadbury had a colonial presence for more than a century in most of the areas where it manufacturers.  It was seen as a local brand where it operated.  Mars isn't trying to play that game.  The slight variances in flavor were, I'm sure, incidental, due to minor differences in equipment, climate, and milk and cacao sources. 

The Dove bar has long proven itself to me as a reliable low-end satisfier.   This Dubai-made Hazelnut & Raisin was no disappointment.  I would not book a flight ticket to Dubai solely to get your hand on one of these nor would I even strongly endorse you searching out a locally made Dove bar close to home.  But if you stumble into one, greet it with your mouth. 

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Chocolate Monggo Orange Peel from Indonesia -- 58% cocoa solids
 Ritter Sport Chopped Hazelnuts from Germany -- 30% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index

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The Harry Dandruff Universe

  Dove manufactures milk chocolate bars in Dubai, UAE for the East Asian market. This is their hazelnut and raisin bar, their Arab fruit & nut bar. It's an expansion from their ice cream Dove bar. Taste it at the chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic.