Sainsbury’s Brand Chocolates – Part II, Basics

Next up in Sainsbury’s store brand reviews, we go back to Basics. These bars were found in the baking aisle. If I remember correctly, they were super cheap by British standards – something around 30 pence (50 cents)? I don’t remember exactly how much the Taste the Difference bars were, but I’m pretty sure those were closer to a pound ($1.60 these days; closer to $2 while I was overseas).

As the packaging says, “No fancy packaging. Just a good bar of chocolate.” And they’re right. The cellophane/plastic wrappers aren’t fancy, and the chocolate within isn’t fancily decorated either. I do appreciate the segmentation, but I think I could do without the random horizontal lines that don’t add much. As for the chocolate inside, it’s good. Not great, but good.

Their dark chocolate bar (above) is a 41%, so it’s not actually that dark. It has a semi-sharp snap to it. The melt is rather thin and doesn’t coat the tongue at all. It has a fruity, sweet finish with just a hint of malt. And that’s about it.

The milk chocolate bar was a pale 31%. Only a 10% difference in cacao, but a huge difference in color. This bar was super soft and creamy with strong dairy and caramel notes. The finish was also on the sweet, fruity side.

I’d give these guys a O for snacking, but they’re definitely a great buy for baking chocolate. I wouldn’t use them to make truffles or couverture, but the Basics bars would be just fine in recipes where other elements would outcompete any chocolate nuance.