/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Whittaker's Cashew Nut
Whittaker's Cashew Nut
Posted: 22 June 2011
Overall, the 33% bar is better, but not by much. I had to go back and forth between the two bars several times to fully appreciate the differences. You would think a 33% bar would taste approximately 33% more chocolately than a 24% bar by doing the math. However, realize that Whittaker's is also 'diluting' that full cocoa taste with milk. The result is that the 33% bar has just a slightly richer cocoa and full bodied taste than the already delicious 24% bar of yore
price/gram: USD 0.018
Cocoa %: 33
There's always a first time
for everything. Way back in October, I experienced my
first taste of Whittaker's down home cashew nut bar, and the
experience was positive. It awakened in me the need to
find out all I could about cashews. Did you know cashew nuts grow as an accessory
to the cashew apple, a fruit whose juice is supped throughout South America? Do you
Whittaker's was not my first
time trying a cashew bar though. Cadbury manufactured
a respectable cashew nut bar that no choco-addict would be
ashamed to eat in front of a television set. But
Whittaker's raised the bar, tossing in more cashews and
doing so at a price even trailer trash could afford.
Korean resident in Thailand
and aspiring playboy, Wan Hyuk Park recently returned from a
celibate trip Down Under bearing six bars. Aware of my
recent obsession with cashews, Wan Hyuk snagged one of
these, not knowing I'd already reviewed it.
Well, some version of it. I examined
the wrapper and realized that Whittaker's has changed the
formula on their cashew nut bar. The
original cashew nut
bar was made from a 24% cocoa solid blend. I found
that unusual at the time because all of Whittaker's other
milk chocolate based bars were 33% cocoa solids. In
fact, I made a mistake on the original review, and Aussie
Dave, the benefactor of the 24% cashew nut bar, corrected me
and said, "Sorry, mate. You gave that bar 9% points
too much credit." Hence, this marks the first
time in the Chocolate Republic's short history that a bar
with an altered formula gets re-reviewed.
Whittaker's must have
practiced the philosophy that the more things change, the
more they stay the same. The old version was 24% cocoa
with 22% milk powder. This version is 33%
cocoa solids with 30% milk powder, the identical mix to all
of Whittaker's other milk chocolate based bars. That
is, I suspect, the entire reason the formula was altered.
Not to improve the taste, but to standardize the chocolate
used in all milk bars in order to reduce costs.
Initially, Whittaker's probably thought they could save a
little dough on the cashew nut bar by reducing cacao
content. Cashew nuts are rich by themselves. The
Indians are well aware of this and use cashews as the base
for their rich shahi kormas. But the savings from
skimping on cacao on the cashew bar were probably negated by
having to manufacture a special blend of chocolate just for
the cashew bar. Guys with suits crunched the numbers
in back offices and it was bye bye to the 24%.
Is it an improvement?
When Aussie Dave heard about Wan Hyuk placing this new bar
on my doorstep, he immediately scoured Australian
supermarket shelves for traces of the old 24% and sent one
overnight delivery so I could do a side-by-side taste
comparison. The film of that revolutionary
here. Crafting a good chocolate bar is
a lot like creating a good pizza. If you create a good
base (with pizza = dough, tomato sauce, and cheese; with
chocolate = chocolate blend), you can pretty much add
anything to it, subject to food science considerations and
get something delicious. Whittaker's 33% milk
chocolate was rated highly here already. Adding cashew
nuts to that 33% shouldn't have made the bar worse by any
Aussie Dave told me the 33% bar would "blow away" the 24%
Overall, the 33% bar is better, but not by much. I had to go back and forth between the two bars several times to fully appreciate the differences. You would think a 33% bar would taste approximately 33% more chocolately than a 24% bar by doing the math. However, realize that Whittaker's is also 'diluting' that full cocoa taste with milk.
The 24% bar has only 22% milk solids in it. Whittaker's has upped the cocoa solid content by 37.5%
in the newer bar, but they've also increased the milk solid content
by a nearly identical amount to keep the chocolate flavor
virtually constant. The name of the game here seems to
be one of streamlining rather than a complete flavor
revamping. Whittaker's wants to standardize the milk
chocolate blend for all their milk chocolate type bars.
If the 33% bar is blowing away the 24% in Australia, then it
must be because Aussie Dave has the 33% bar attached to a
very powerful fan.
Look at it on the bright
side, old cashew nut bar lovers. Most of the time,
manufacturers reduce cacao content and/or size and
effectively raise the price. Cadbury Australia tried
that. Whittaker's has done the opposite.
They've increased the cacao content and kept the size and
price the same. In today's world, that's as close to a free
lunch (or dessert) you're going to get in the chocolate
Whittaker in New Zealand makes tasty 33% milk chocolate with cashew nut.
YOu been to New Zealand? New Zealad bar in question is the cashew nut with 30% milk pwder. Full of rich New Zealand chocolate. The Chocolate Republic
goes to Porirua to investigate. Read Doug at Doug's Republic