Recently my younger sister returned home from a jaunt across the European continent. Knowing my penchant for delicious snacks (and because I ordered her to) she brought me a plethora of chips and chocolates from Ireland and Poland, the two main stops of her journey.
Now I admit I do not know that much about the Land of the Poles (they don’t call it that), so I took to the interwebs to do a little research. Poland is roughly the size of New Mexico (I don’t really know how big New Mexico is either) and is home to 38 million people. They speak Polish, are not on the Euro, and their primary export is jokes my grandfather loves to tell.
Now when you, Constant Reader, think about Poland, what comes to mind? Johann Dzierzon, the discoverer of parthenogenesis in bees? Of course. Ignacy Łukasiewicz, inventor of the kerosene lamp? Obviously. Leo Gerstenzang, creator of the Q-Tip. Duh. Chocolate? Probably not. I thought Belgium and Switzerland were the captains of the European chocolate team, but apparently Poland has starting coming to practices. Though Poland is closer to the kid on the team who gets the trophy for really really trying his best. Not the kid with the helmet (heh, look at ‘im), just the kid who’s new and not that good yet.
This is a milk chocolate bar filled with yogurt, strawberries, and blueberries produced by E. Wedel, a company that until recently was owned by Kraft.
Well, the chocolate is not so good. It’s average at best. The fruit filling, however, fare s alittle better. It is noticeably fruity and pleasant. Better than the chocolate. But they are both very sweet. There is a lot of sugar here, more than is enjoyable for any extended period of time. I could only handle a few bites in a sitting. The yogurt is definitely the weakest component. It’s a little grainy, not very tangy, and is nowhere near as good as the yogurt in a comparable Ritter Sport bar. Structurally, everything soon collapsed in on itself, congealing into a heavy, gooey, fruity, finger-stickying sugar paste.
This bar fit all my expectations of Polish chocolate. That is to say, I had never heard that Poland made chocolate, so how good could it possibly have been? The bar is just slightly below ok overall. I’ve been stealing a bite here and there and it works well enough. It’s not great, but I’ll give them points for effort. Chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, and yogurt, all in one attractively packaged bar. They were bold in their attempt. With a little yogurt re-engineering, a chocolate reformulation, and a recalibration of the sugar levels, the bar could really be something nice.
So keep trying all you Polish chocolaticians out there. It might take a lot of work and time, but you’ll get there. Just think of the story of a young Pole named Albert Einstein. People laughed at him all the time and said there was just no way he would be able to cure polio from that wheelchair of his. But you know what? He kept at it and never gave up. And today, polio has been nearly eradicated, and offshoots of his work have allowed us to develop submarines, central air conditioning, and the classic boardgame Mouse Trap.
There’s a lesson in there, kids.