Monday, 15 May 2017

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book

If you've been into a M&S recently you'll have certainly noticed all of the new Spirit of Summer products sitting on shelves. As always I'm drawn to new chocolate products and this 'The Gastro Travel Book' really caught my eye. It looked really visually appealing on shelf with eye-catching modern/geometric prints on the chocolates.

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book   

Taking inspiration from fruit, herbs and floral flavours you get 4 different flavours, 3 of each, in the

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book

Lemon & Basil - "A zesty Italian lemon flavoured filling enhanced with basil flavour encased in a dark chocolate shell"

I'm sometimes slightly adverse to the use of basil in chocolate, sometimes it can be overpowering and sickly. However this chocolate was really well balanced, the sharper lemon balanced well with the sweet herb notes of the basil and the slightly bitter dark chocolate. I

Raspberry & Rose Water - "A white chocolate shell encases a rose water ganache with delicate flavours of raspberry and rose"

Unlike basil I adore the flavour of rose and so this was the chocolate I was most looking forward to trying. It did not disappoint. A creamy, sweet white chocolate shell with very subtle notes of raspberry and rose, it tasted so delicate and exuded flavours of summer. I could have quite easily eaten a box full of this flavour.

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book

Orange Blossom  - "A white chocolate ganache with a zingy Persian lime oil married with orange blossom flavour in crisp dark chocolate" 

Like the basil flavour I wasn't too sure how I was going to feel about this chocolate, orange + dark chocolate wouldn't be my normal flavour profile of choice. However because the interior is white chocolate based and using orange blossom + lime as opposed to orange it offers a more delicate, floral eat which is absolutely divine.

Lavender & Pomegranate - "A white chocolate truffle filling infused with French lavender and pomegranate flavours smothered in milk chocolate"

The only milk chocolate in the box I was really looking forward to this one. As with all of the chocolates in the box the balance between fruity and floral is spot on, with tangy flavours of pomegranate contrasting against floral lavender. Delicious.

M&S Spirit of Summer The Gastro Travel Book

All of the flavours and textures, the ganaches are silky smooth and chocolate shells just the right thickness, are absolutely spot on in this box of chocolates and I really think they offer an accessible offering for customers to explore more unusual flavour profiles.

Taste - 8.7/10 - Really well balanced and the way the flavours are executed aren't too polarising for consumers not used to more floral flavours in chocolate.
Texture - 8.5/10 - Silky smooth ganaches, crisp chocolate.
Appearance - 8.5/10 - Chocolates look modern and sleek, presented in a lovely book style format.
Price - 8.0/10 - £5 for the box (70g)
Overall - 8.4/10 - A delicious summery chocolate offering.
Anyone looking to try some more unusual flavour profiles but wants a more accessible offering.

Marks & Spencer stores nationwide.

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