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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review:Bendicks Bittergingers

Bendicks Bittergingers 
Posted: 13 March 2011    7.0 
Bendicks Bittergingers 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.    
Avg price/gram: USD 0.034   Cocoa %: 95  Size: 100g  British chocolate 

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 past five.

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 right choice. 

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Ghirardelli Toffee Interlude from USA -- 60% cocoa solids
 Villars Milk Chocolate With Praline Filling And Wafer Chips from Switzerland -- 33% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index

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  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