/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Marabou Polka
Posted: 3 February 2011
I was not too crazy about having candy cane bits in my chocolate. In the end, Marabou is like the currencies of Kenya and Malaysia. It has value only within its homeland. Few are looking to get their hands on it outside.
price/gram: USD 0.027
Cocoa %: 30
Any stroller in an IKEA shop
in selected countries is no stranger to the Marabou brand.
Swedish-born IKEA is proud to sell its nation's chocolates
in its aisles. Even so, I doubt any IKEA devotee
remembers the Marabou bars on the shelves. Sweden's
world claim to fame comes more from IKEA, Ericsson, and
So here's the question:
does Marabou deserve to be remembered? I lived in
Sweden from June 1991 to January 1993. Back then, I
remember the Marabous came in a rather bland gold wrapper.
I purchased a few. After leaving Sweden and never
returning since, I completely forgot about the brand until
my girlfriend's former general manager, a Swede, was touting
Marabou as the best chocolate brand the world had ever
witnessed. This seemed difficult to believe. Had
Marabou sent my taste buds into new dimensions, I think I
would've remembered that, even if, years later, I couldn't
recall exactly how Marabou tasted. Since I didn't
remember Marabou tasting especially bad or good, I had to
assume it must've been so average and indistinguishable, I
hadn't bothered to file any special tags with it my memory
I can now put a final answer
to Marabou's quality in a Doug's Republican sense of the
word. Swedish kiteboarding ace, Moa S, recently
returned from Sweden and succumbed to my begging. She
brought three bars with her, all still quite frozen after
arrival in Thailand from the subzero temperatures she and her boyfriend, kiteboarding
Suchat Samms, endured in Sweden.
Marabou's newly introduced Polka bar is both a chocolate reviewer's dream
and a curse. Polkagris is a Swedish peppermint candy cane stick that's
been around for 150 years. The Swedes adore it. They'll eat
polkagris sandwiches, dip their tortilla chips in polkagris salsas, drink
polkagris-based juices. There's a cocktail called the polkagris, made
from vodka, creme de menthe, grenadine, and 7 Up. Biting into a
polkagris bar is like taking a bite out of Swedish culture. That's the
But peppermint chunks have such a strong taste that it makes it more
difficult to gauge the taste and quality of the milk chocolate in which
those chunks have been placed. That's the curse. Let me praise
my own virtues here and say that, with enough bites, I can discern the
quality of the chocolate, and it's not great. With 30% cocoa solids,
Marabou is using a decent amount for a milk blend, but it doesn't come
through in the taste. I was also not too crazy about having candy cane bits
in my chocolate. That, however, is a cultural thing, and I can't dock
too my points just because I'd prefer a different filling.
A better re-acquaintanceship with Marabou would have been to try a pure milk
chocolate bar. It's easier to hide a chocolate's shortcomings with the
addition of nuts, fruit, or flavorings.
I can swear to you on a stack of Bibles though that Marabou isn't one of the
world's best chocolates -- or even one of the world's one thousand best.
Nobel laureates, when collecting their prizes in Stockholm, munch on a
Marabou bar in front of the cameras as if to say, "Thanks for the prize,
Sweden." In the end, Marabou is like the currencies of Kenya and
Malaysia. It has value only within its homeland. Few are
looking to get their hands on it outside.
Marabou makes milk chocolate like a Polka that has peppermint candy cane or polkagris bits within it. It's from Sweden.
This is Swedish chocolate and we go into it all at the chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic