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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review:  Bellarom Fruit & Nut

     
Bellarom Fruit & Nut 
Posted: 15 January 2015    4.0 
Bellarom Fruit & Nut from Germany Bellarom Fruit & Nut is extremely cheap chocolate, perhaps the least expensive chocolate I've ever reviewed on the Chocolate Republic.   Superficially, these bars are a find. They're cheaper than readily accepted confectionary garbage you'll find on the discount rack at a typical grocery store, and yet the back label shows a list of what look to be quality ingredients you'd expect in a decent chocolate bar.   If you have no taste in chocolate but love devouring all the same -- and you live in Europe near any of Lidl's 10,000+ stores -- Bellarom has your name written all over it.   
Avg price/gram: USD 0.008   Cocoa %: 33  Size: 200g  Germany 
       


A friend of mine whom we'll call Bald A recently went back to Canada, stopping off in the UK to see his dear old pop. Bald A's pop, also bald by the way, has a second wife, and one of the rituals they both hold dear is eating bars of Bellarom chocolate with tea and scones in the British countryside.        

Bellarom?  What the hell is that?       

Yep.  Never heard of it. Never saw it on a signboard.  Never saw it in a discount bin.  Bald A's bald dad's second wife raved about it, so Bald A brought back to Thailand about a third of two different 200 gram bars for me to sample.          

There's a reason I never heard of Bellarom before.  Bellarom seems to be sold, though perhaps not exclusively, in a discount German supermarket chain called Lidl with thousands of branches scattered around Europe.  Don't live in Europe?  Never been in a Lidl?  Then there's a good chance you wouldn't have ever laid eyes on a Bellarom.      

Bald A handed the Bellarom bars to me plus two others for 'safekeeping' at the end of November.  "We'll sample them later -- together," he said.  Bald A values my taste in chocolate and beers, you see.  I didn't wait long in sampling a snippet alone within a week, worried that my visiting father-in-law might discover the bars in the refrigerator and eat them before I got a chance to taste them.  He did this once with Madecasse bars, and I had to re-order them, expensively, from a web site in the USA.  It was all the more painful to do so because my father-in-law can't distinguish a Valrhona from ... well, a Bellarom.       

This is not good chocolate.  It would have actually been perfect for my father-in-law.  It's also extremely cheap chocolate, perhaps the least expensive chocolate I've ever reviewed on the Chocolate Republic.  Bellarom bars make the Ritter Sport bars you'll find at 7 11's look expensive at one-third the price!  Let me state for the disclaimer that I had no idea how inexpensive Bellarom bars were before I tasted them, so its cheap price tag did not bias me in any way about how blase the bars are.         

Superficially, these bars are a find. They're cheaper than readily accepted confectionary garbage you'll find on the discount rack at a typical grocery store, and yet the back label shows a list of what look to be quality ingredients you'd expect in a decent chocolate bar.  The Fruit & Nut contains sugar, 19% raisins, cocoa butter, 13% whole roasted hazelnuts, 11% dried cream, cocoa mass, dried whey, emulsifiers, and vanilla flavoring.  And it's a bar containing 33% cocoa solids, very respectable for a milk chocolate variety.  A bar cutting obvious corners would have reduced the cocoa butter to the absolute minimum, substituting crappy and cheaper vegetable oils in the process.  And/or included paltry amounts of the fruit and nuts.  While Bellarom isn't chock a block full of antioxidant fruits and protein-rich nuts, I've tasted many a bar which is much stingier with the fillings.   

I mean, there are no crystal clear ways I can slam this Fruit & Nut bar except for one:  it's a dirt cheap bar with all the right ingredients which still tastes cheap.  I'm kind of slamming the bar for being itself.  What should I be expecting at these prices?     

There's no debate that this chocolate isn't a winner in the taste department.  Plenty of other reviewers seem to disagree with me.  I read reviews where people proclaimed it was the best chocolate they've ever had.  I think Bellarom's miniscule price tag combined with its average delivery convince people they've discovered the holy grail.  It's like stumbling upon a $1.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.  You'll cut the establishment a lot of slack when you're almost getting the pizza for free.      

And so it is I have cut Bellarom Fruit & Not a lot of slack.  In the past, I've deducted points from a tasty bar because I thought it was too overpriced.  Here, I grant Bellarom extra points for offering a bar that, while mediocre, doesn't cost you and arm and a leg (or even a pinky) to indulge in.          

If you have no taste in chocolate but love devouring all the same -- and you live in Europe near any of Lidl's 10,000+ stores -- Bellarom has your name written all over it.

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Lotte Ghana Milk from Korea -- 29% cocoa solids
 Cadbury Burnt Almond Dark from Canada -- 39% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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