Review: Brookside Dark Chocolate Açai Blueberry candies
These candies are just so downright subversive, aren’t they?
Take açai – a buzzy, health-food-store darling of a berry – and, instead of creating some sort of $7 meal replacement bar for hippies turned investment bankers, drench the hell out of the superfruit with dark chocolate. And instead of straight-up berries, process them into a sugar-sweetened “real fruit juice piece,” ignoring the states of matter that clearly spell out juice, a liquid, as not divisible into “pieces.” And just to mess with health nuts, note that “One serving (40 g) contains 0.1 g (100 mg) of cocoa flavanols.”
You have to admire the gumption, right? It’s like making wheatgrass ice cream or tempeh corndogs.
The Pitch: “Smooth dark chocolate surrounding a sweetened real fruit juice piece, made from a blend of açai berry juice, blueberry juice and other select fruit juices.” Those “select juices,” in case you’re curious, are numerous: “raspberry juice concentrate, pomegranate juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, cranberry juice concentrate, elderberry juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate,” according to the ingredients panel. On paper, that sounds like a pretty great combination.
The Look: Pretty foil-plastic pouch with a resealable top. Part of the front image shows blueberries and açai berries, and the other part shows the round chocolates. Each chocolate is a shiny sphere about the size of a marble.
The Taste: As soon as the package opens, you’re hit with a wonderful chocolaty fruity aroma. It instantly reminded me of Rogers’ chocolate-covered blueberries. Biting into it, the flavour was similar to Rogers’ blueberries, but there was no dried berry present. The “fruit juice pieces” are somewhat solid little discs of berry jelly, paired two-per-chocolate like beans in a coffee cherry, though some are smaller “peaberry” chocolates. They hold together even when you suck on the candy, but they give way easily when you bite into them. Very nice flavour to these. Overall, a delicious candy.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $3.29 at London Drugs.
Value for cash money: Very good. For the price, you’re getting a whole lot of chocolate. Watch for sales, as these can get cheaper still.
Availability: Reasonably widespread.
Nutrition?: Per 1/4 cup (40 grams): 180 calories, 4 grams of fat, 50 mg of sodium, 1 gram of fibre, 1 gram of protein. And yes, daily values of 20% for vitamin C and 6% for iron.
The verdict: I really like these. The fruit is great, the chocolate is perfectly acceptable for something purchased in a grocery/drug store, and the two work together brilliantly. I’ll be seeking out other Brookside chocolate flavours. It’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised.