Friday, 15 January 2016

Mallow & Marsh Raspberry Marshmallow Bar Coated in 70% Dark Chocolate (Sainsbury's)

I popped into a Sainsburys Local store whilst in Cardiff recently and spotted two snacks I've not seen before, by gourmet marshmallow makers Mallow and Marsh: 'Coconut' and 'Raspberry & Dark Chocolate'. The name sparked a memory of Lucy's review (from Reaching for Refreshment) a while ago, and although I remembered her saying that they were pretty damn good, there were plenty of comments from people who'd had different experiences. Given that they were quite pricey at £1.35 per bar, I thought I'd try the dark chocolate & raspberry one first -if it was good- and buy the coconut version on my next visit to Wales. 

'This is a succulent, light as a feather marshmallow filled with bitter raspberry. then smothered in 70% dark chocolate.'

I was confused by the packaging, as the calories advertised per bar were 174, but the packet also said that there were 386cal per 100g (which would make it 135 cals per bar). A quick browse of their twitter page showed that many other customers have also been baffled by the discrepancy, so I asked them for clarification:

 "You're absolutely correct, the packaging states 2 separate calorie counts at the moment. This is because when the bars first launched (September) their weights fluctuated (It is still a completely hand made product) and as a result we work with the legal average weight (the E number next to the grams). This allows a % fluctuation on the final product weight as no 2 products are identical."

They went on to say:

"We are a very small company (3 people) that won a competition to launch the bars into Sainsbury's (so it's a very exciting time), so we are working hard to bring everything in line quickly."

Thanks for clearing that up Mallow & Marsh, you're certainly forgiven! 

The handmade nature of the bar was evident when I removed the packaging, as the chocolate had a gloriously artisan, rippled appearance. Out of interest I weighed the bar, and at 44g my luck was in! 

I always keep my chocolate in the fridge, which meant that the dark chocolate cracked pleasingly once bitten. I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate (my teeth are too sweet!) but it tasted of superior quality and provided a lovely bitter backdrop for the sweet marshmallow within. The mallow was full of giant air bubbles which gave it a lovely fluffy texture, and it was far 'wetter' than its mass-produced counterparts. The flavouring was powerful and tasted of freeze-dried raspberries which worked exceedingly well against the dark chocolate. 

Mallow & Marsh vs a mass-produced mallow

All in all, this is an unusual sweet treat, and I'm glad to have tried it. I think the high-price point (compared to most convenience chocolate bars) would prevent me from buying it regularly, but if you'd like to support a new British company and fancy something a bit different then I implore you to give Mallow & Marsh a go!


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