This is a bar which poses at greatness. The entire brand does.
Where Heidi falls short is on taste. Their 30% milk chocolate blend is too sweet. And the coffee? The wrapper shows a drawing of some savory coffee beans, and Heidi uses clear wrap to expose what appear to be sprinkles of coffee beans on the surface of the bar. In reality, the coffee content comprises just 1% of the bar, and the sprinkles are just bits of shaved chocolate cocoa pieces -- and not very tasty ones at that.
Avoid this brand like the plague.
price/gram: USD 0.041
Cocoa %: 30
I must be losing my mind.
What can I say? This sort of happens as you age.
You don't cling to memories as much as you used to and tend
to forget mundane things you did just last year, mundane things like tasting Heidi brand chocolate bars.
Last May, I
sampled two bars in Heidi's Grand Or range, the
Milk & Almonds and
the White & Hazelnuts.
Both were appraised as below average. I should cut
myself a bit of slack. The experience
wasn't worth remembering, so I didn't. Then, last
weekend I was at the gourmet market store here in town
which imports a narrow variety of chocolate bars.
Among them were a few Heidi bars from Romania. The same thoughts
came to mind this time as they did a year ago. "Mmmmm.
Romanian chocolate. That would be great for adding
diversity to the Chocolate Republic."
After sinking my teeth into
this Cocoa & Coffee bar, part of Heidi's Gourmet range, I was sure wishing I remembered how the
Heidi story had ended the last time. Heidi, in a nutshell
(or in a chocolate wrapper, as the case may be), is the
reason the Chocolate Republic hasn't reviewed a single bar
in five months. There is a dearth of challenging bars
to be sampled among the choices on Thailand's
grocery store shelves. As the unchallenged
arbiter of good taste at the Chocolate Republic I am
supposed to be open-minded about a brand until I've sampled
it. In this example, I forgot I was
already acquainted with Heidi and hence dug into another
of their milk chocolate blend bars. Once my taste buds were re-tortured, I quickly remembered the disappointment
previously. How open-minded do you think I
will be about giving Heidi bars a try yet one more time?
Heidi goes part of the way
towards exuding a luxury chocolate bar. Their
packaging is up to Western European standards. So is their pricing. On a per gram basis,
Heidi is pricier than Lindt and Green & Black bars, both far
superior brands. Where Heidi falls short is on taste. Their 30% milk chocolate blend is too sweet. And the coffee? The wrapper shows a
drawing of some savory coffee beans, and Heidi uses clear wrap to expose what appear to be sprinkles of coffee
beans on the surface of the bar. In reality, the coffee content comprises just 1% of the bar, and the sprinkles
just bits of shaved chocolate cocoa pieces -- and not very
tasty ones at that.
This is a bar which poses at
greatness. The entire brand does. Heidi drops misleading
hints of being a Swiss chocolatier. Sorry,
Heidi, you're not.
No real Swiss chocolatier with a reputation would risk denting brand image
by manufacturing chocolates in Romania.
Mainstream Lindt and Frey could probably setup factories in
Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe to cut down on labor
and manufacturing costs. They don't. Part of the
allure of Swiss chocolates is the price premium. We expect
to pay more for them because we expect them to taste better
than the average mainstream chocolate bar, and they do.
Heidi, however, can't even cut it against Ritter Sport or
mainstream Japanese brands like Meiji, which charge just a
fraction of the price.
If Heidi spent nearly as much
time making good chocolate as it does talking about it, the
company could become the torch bearer for a chocolate
renaissance in Eastern Europe. Heidi instead prefers
to glorify achievements it has never made, making the
company sound more and more like the fat cat Communist
regime which was toppled just five years before Heidi was
Chocolate this bad should be
priced at a third of what it's selling for and be offered in
the discount bin or tossed straight into the trash bin.
It shouldn't be gracing the shelves of high-end import shops
in Asia. When you see bars like these landing choice
supermarket shelf space, you realize it really does come
down to who you know. Heidi must be sleeping with
someone very, very important to be given carte blanche to
ruin Asians' blossoming chocolate experiences.
Avoid this brand like the
plague. If forced to taste, regurgitate at the
earliest possible moment.