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309 Road Spiced Apple delight in White chocolate. This is a Rocky Road for adults, no cheap lollies here, think apple crumble meets white rocky road, made with melt in your mouth NZ made spiced apple Turkish delight and toasted walnuts then smothered in our creamy white chocolate.
Packed in resealable 150g pouches, this is hand made and cut into assorted sized pieces.
Contains milk, soy, tree nuts, wheat and gluten.
"It's Rocky Road Jim, but not as we know it." That was my first thought after trying a slab of this delightfully different confection. It is, if you will, the anti-Rocky Road... white chocolate instead of milk or dark, a spiced-apple flavour rather than anything sickly-sweet and artificial, a small modicum of toasted walnuts broken into small bits - the gravel - and all harmonising together in a wonderfully new and remarkably different taste sensation.
For a hand-made gourmet confection, the price is pretty reasonable, and you get a good sized bag, however this is always going to be a treat food for special people or occasions. I think a piece or two of this would be ideal as part of small gift hampers for friends celebrating an anniversary or birthday as it sweet without being overly so, and quite unique both to look at and eat.
I'm not sure it's going to appear to everyone though - the texture is a little different and while there is nothing new about the combination of walnuts, fruit and white chocolate flavours, the attempt to link it to "Rocky Road" may prove to be harder to push than if they had just created a unique brand for it. "Winter Orchard" or "Cold Christmas" would have been my ideas for names that would instantly harmonise with this product and give a solid guess at the flavour profile.
Overall, there's little to say about this product that would be in any way negative really. This is a product I have ideas for as we approach the end of the year, and all going well I will have the budget lined up to be bulk-buying and including it in some gift hampers as well.
I was intrigued by the name of this product, and can only assume it is a play on the "rocky road" idea as this confectionery has some similarities to the bar of that name. The 309 road is a road that runs from Whitianga (where the chocolates are made) across the peninsula to Coromandel town so I guess that is as good a personalised name as you can get! Seriously, the 309 is a charming back road which is sometimes impassable during bad weather - the road is mostly unsealed and the surrounding bush very much as it always was, meaning that the unspoiled nature of New Zealand is reflected in a product that contains only natural ingredients.
My first taste of this product was that it is as near to perfection as a chocolate bar that is not really conventional chocolate can be. There were huge chunks of walnut (my first bite revealed a half walnut piece) and slivers of soft apple joined in a base of chocolate. I could not tell from the descriptor whether the apple and the Turkish delight were two separate ingredients or one, with the Turkish delight being apple based, but it really did not matter as the combination of flavours and textures was just perfect.
I shared the packet with one friend and she was as enthusiastic about it as I was. Although it was delicious, we both stopped at three pieces as it is quite rich. Two would probably be enough at one sitting, but it was so nice we both had to have just one more piece. The price is reasonable for a product of this quality; it would be something bought for a special occasion, not an item you would eat every day. It is reasonably sweet but not overwhelmingly so; the richness comes from the chocolate itself.
The spices used were quite strong; although there was no breakdown given of which were included, I could taste cloves and possibly cardamon. Be that as it may, the effect was to enhance the apple flavour to the point that it almost resembled apricot.
For those who can resist eating the entire contents at once, there is a good seal on the package so the pieces can be safely stored for next time. My friend was impressed with the packaging - she liked the clean lines of the packet, the ease of opening, and the strong reseal capability. She is the first to admit that she is a klutz at opening confectionery packets: usually she tears them in the wrong place and half the contents end up on the floor or in her lap. So this pack design is tailor made for people like her!
We agreed that we would both buy it again, and look forward to seeing it available in stores. It is not something you would serve with other items, except possibly some plain fruit, as it is more than enough on its own. A great finish for a special meal, accompanied by a good quality coffee!
I love white chocolate, and am also quite a fan of rocky road, so I was intrigued to try the 309 Road Spiced Apple Delight as to me it looked and sounded as though it would be quite similar to that of a white chocolate rocky road which I have tried in the past. I was rather curious as to how pieces of apple would work in such a product as chocolate, spices and apples are not a combination I have really thought about before. Nonetheless I was lucky enough to get this product for review and I'm mighty glad I did!
The chocolate comes in an attractive wee plastic packaging with a clear plastic window at the front of it, great for seeing the product you are buying, it has a shiny silver back to it which really makes the white chocolate stand out. The label on the front is simple and doesn't take over from the product you are looking at, it simply is that of a green oval, with a beautiful Pohutakawa flower, perfect for reflecting that this is infact a NZ made product made right here in Whitianga. The back of the packaging is the same, a very simple label which lists the ingredients and the nutritional information. I personally think it may be quite interesting if it was also to feature a small mention as to where the name 309 Road came from, as this really is quite a different name than you'd expect from a chocolate product!
With 3 serves per package, I found that these were of a generous size as the bag did seem to contain quite a lot of pieces, these were of various shapes and sizes but I quite liked this as it meant I could give Miss 4 the smaller pieces while my partner and I shared the larger pieces, the way these were cut up also made these look like they were made with love rather than be mass produced to look the same. Taste wise these were really yummy, creamy milk chocolate which encased nice big chunks of walnuts and spiced green apple pieces which were nice and soft to eat and tasted a lot like soft jubes to me, there were definite hints of spices to the chocolate, and though these aren't listed as to what they are I was sure I could definitely taste cinnamon coming through. As easy as it would have been to sit and eat the lot in one go I refrained and instead saved the rest for getting creative with.
With the remaining 309 Road pieces I chopped them into smaller pieces and softened some vanilla ice cream to which I added the chocolate to along with some mini marshmallows, I popped this back in the freezer to set (in a loaf tin). Later on in the evening we had some visitors come over for dinner and I decided to serve this up for dessert for all of the children and adults between some chocolate brownies to make chocolate brownie ice cream sandwiches with a squirt of raspberry sauce in between, the results absolutely delicious, the 309 Road in the ice cream added some much appreciated crunch which was great with the chewiness of the brownie, the raspberry and apple combination went really well together, everyone raved about it and asked what I had done to the ice cream.
This is a delicious chocolate that I would totally consider buying again, especially as an addition to a gift basket, at $8 it is more than I would usually like to spend on chocolate for myself but in this case I can appreciate it is made by a small company hence the more expensive pricing.
I have no idea what the relevance of "309 Road" is, or why it takes precedence of the Spiced Apple delight in white chocolate. But it is as described. A spiced apple flavour, with white chocolate. An interesting thing to note, looking at the ingredient list, there is actually more walnuts than there is spiced apple, So I'm not too sure why the walnut got left out of the description (especially with the allergy risks, you would think a mention or warning on the front label might be a good idea).
As far as packaging goes, you can get an idea of what the product is through the transparent window in the front, and the resealable foil pouch will help with keeping it fresh, and keeping out the ants.
Compared with the other varieties, 309 Road, is one of the softer ones. Not to say that the chocolate is messier, but the apple is much more supple and malleable, which makes it flexible, and a little more likely to get stuff in your teeth. The flavour of the spiced apple is very familiar, and most closely resembles that of a Hot Apple Pie from McDonalds, or a fruitcake.
The walnuts provide a nice crunch, and texture, while the spiced apple provides chewiness. The white chocolate adds it's own texture with creaminess that creates a trifecta of textures to enjoy in the one treat. As well as creamy, the white chocolate has a richness to it, which satisfies well, meaning I don't actually want to eat too much of it. I'm happy with just a few chunks, and then put the rest away. Great for eating in moderation (especially when it has 270 calories per 50g).
While it is nice, it's not one of my favourite flavours. I have a preference for stronger, darker chocolates, so while it tastes nice, it's not what I look for when it comes to sweet things. Bake some into a danish, and you just might get me excited (though I'd still probably pick a milk chocolate danish).
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