/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Posted: 13 March 2011
Bendicks calls Bittergingers a "hot & spicy" ginger, composed of both ginger and ginger extract and making up 68% of the bar. It was very gingery, but not too sweet or spicy, and it counterbalanced the 95% cocoa solid chocolate perfectly.
price/gram: USD 0.034
Cocoa %: 95
The other day I was walking
back to my townhouse and my affluent British neighbor, Banker Bobb, gave me a pack of Bendicks Bittergingers as a gift.
He goes back to the UK in a few weeks after spending 4
months of winter in Thailand each year. Possibly he
was saving these as gifts for the A-listers to last his four
month stay here. With not all dispensed just
before his return, he made the sound choice to donate them
to the Republic even if the gift isn't tax deductible.
I'd never heard of Bendicks.
Few outside the British Isles would have. The company
has been around since 1930, named like many a business as a
combination of the first syllables of the sunames of the two
men, Oscar BENson and Colonel DICKSon, who purchased the
small confectionary business in Kensington that Bendicks
evolved from. As a chocolate manufacturer, Bendicks'
claim to fame is unusual and in one respect, the company was
ahead of its time. Bendicks is known for its
flavorful fondants surrounded by dark chocolate. We're
talking about chocolate with 95% cocoa solids. Today,
high cocoa content chocolates have a devoted market in the
more affluent classes. Lindt has come out with a
99% bar, Green &
Black's an 85% bar.
75% plus cocoa solids don't make heads
turn anymore. Yet Bendicks was producing this 95%
chocolate way back in 1931. Oscar Benson's sister-in-law
Lucia devised the 95% chocolate recipe, considered too dark
at the time. No one could tolerate that level of bitterness
on its own. But when the bitter chocolate was combined
with a mint oil reeking of such strong mint flavor, too
minty to take solo, both the chocolate and the mint became
tolerable and actually quite enjoyable. Bittermints
became Bendicks' signature product.
Banker Bobb didn't have any
Bittermints to gift me. He handed me a 100 gram tube
of the Bittergingers at half past four, containing a dozen individually wrapped pieces
of about an inch in diameter. Bendicks calls Bittergingers a "hot &
spicy" ginger, composed of both ginger and ginger extract
and making up 68% of the bar. It was very gingery, but
not too sweet or spicy, and it counterbalanced the 95% cocoa
solid chocolate perfectly. After eating one patty, I thought, "Not bad. Better than
expected." I reached for another . . . then another. The tube was finished by half
Not only was this ginger taste refreshing, it was even
more refreshing to be given a high quality chocolate treat that's delicious
and fairly priced.
In 1962, Bendicks got a Royal Warrant. In short, the
British Queen and her hangers on admit that they stuff their
faces on Bendicks, and Bendicks can officially brag about
it. There are unconfirmed stories that Princes Charles
knew that Princess Diana wasn't going to cut it in the House of Windsor
when she refused to allow her precious sons William and Harry
to be force fed Bendicks for breakfast like all good royal children before them. She insisted they
be raised like a normal children and start the day with Cadbury Dairy Milks and Kit Kats. Either
Bendicks or Diana had to go. Prince Charles made the
Bendicks from England makse dark chocolate with ginger fondant and they call it Bitterginger.
Do you like dark chocolate? Do you like fondant from the UK? England is at the forefront of
British chocolate. See chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic