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Lidl J.D. Gross Single Origin Chocolate Bar Reviews

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When I make chocolate brownies, I typically head to my local supermarket and pick up 300g of single-origin own-brand chocolate. A good 70%+ bar really makes the difference between an okay and highly addictive chocolate brownie.

When I visited my local Lidl store a while back, I spotted a trio of J.D. Gross single-origin chocolate bars at a pocket-friendly £1.12 per 100g bar.

As research for my next brownie bake, I decided to pick up boxes from Madagascar and Peru to see what they were like. There was also a box of single-origin Grenada milk chocolate so I picked this up too, just to see how it compares in appearance and flavour.

So, what's Lidl's single-origin chocolate like, and is it any good for eating and baking?


Packaging

All three bars come sealed inside a brightly coloured cardboard box. Each features a gold-foiled J.D. Gross logo and the cocoa origin information is similarly styled.

The Madagascan box is decorated in reds, whites, and greens, and depicts a graphic of a lemur together with an outline of the country. The Peru box features more reds and oranges, and includes a depiction of a llama. The Grenadian box is perhaps the brightest of them all in a happy cacophony of yellows, greens and reds, together with a graphic of a butterfly.

Lidl J.D. Gross Single Origin Chocolate Bar Reviews
The three bar boxes side-by-side

Each box carries the Fairtrade logo on the front, and text that describes each bar as using the finest single-origin cocoa beans.

The reverse of the boxes is a little less exciting, but contains the obligatory ingredients list and nutritional information. The bars are labelled as suitable for vegetarians, and all three carry a warning that these products may contain nuts. It also mentions that all three bars are produced in Germany using single-origin cocoa from the respective sources.

Lidl reckons each 100g bar contains 10 servings, which feels about right, if a little optimistic. With a bit of willpower you could get six servings but realistically, I think we're looking at between two and four, as these chocolates are very easy to chow down.


Lidl J.D. Gross Single Origin Chocolate Bar Reviews

Unusually, each of the boxes opens up at the front like a book, revealing a bar clad in golden-coloured paper decorated with the J.D. Gross branding.

Remarkably, all three of my bars survived the trek back home in tact.


70% Madagascar Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar Review

Lidl J.D. Gross 70% Madagascar Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar ingredients:
Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, fat reduced cocoa powder, emulsifier (soya lecithins), vanilla extract. Cocoa solids: 70% minimum.

  • Around 27% sugars.
  • Sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract traded in compliance with Fairtrade Standards, total 99%.

As I peel back the golden-foiled paper emblazoned with the J.D. Gross logo, I was surprised to find quite a lively aroma. Supermarket chocolate, even single-origin supermarket chocolate, has a reputation for being lacklustre. Is this the bar that changes that perception?

The aroma servers up notes of plums and jam, with just a whiff of smoke and hay. So far, so promising.

The chocolate is quick to melt but slow to yield any discernable flavour. After a while, a creaminess coats the palette with vague cocoa notes coming into play. To its credit, there's a surprising lack of bitterness here. But, there's also little in the way of nuances that you'd expect from a good-quality single-origin chocolate. There's a hint towards chocolate brownie, which follows through into the aftertaste, and indeed, this is a bar I'd use in a chocolate brownie recipe.

Lidl J.D. Gross 70% Madagascar Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar Review

RRP: £1.12 | Lidl | Shop now

A promising aroma that suggests excitement but the flavour doesn't live up to expectations, with vague chocolate brownie notes throughout. Personally, I'd use this bar to bake chocolate brownies. It's easy enough to eat, but it lacks excitement.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 3.4

60% Peru Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar Review

Lidl J.D. Gross 60% Peru Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar ingredients:
Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithins). Cocoa solids: 60% minimum.

  • Around 38.5% sugars.
  • Sugar and cocoa traded in compliance with Fairtrade Standards, total 99%.

I had high hopes for the Madagascan bar, so lowered my expectations for the Peruvian bar. I was suprised to find more in the way of aroma, with notes of red fruit, plums, and a more pronounced smokiness as I peeled back the paper.

At 60% cocoa solids, this is noticeably sweeter than the Madagascan bar, and it's also creamier. There's a subtle smokiness in the flavour, and it tries desperately to nod towards green herbals notes, vanilla, and coconut. It's more satisfying overall, and the aftertaste is a rich tapestry of sweet, creamy cocoa flavours. It's an easier to eat bar compared to the 70% bar. Again, it lacks the nuances I'd expect to find in a craft-made Peruvian chocolate bar, but I'd happily munch on it in front of the television. It would also work well in a hot chocolate, melted into a mug of hot semi-skimmed milk.

Lidl J.D. Gross 60% Peru Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar Review

RRP: £1.12 | Lidl | Shop now

A more characterful chocolate compared to the Madagascan bar, but it still lacks the depth of flavour I'd expect to find in a similar bar by a craft chocolate maker. It's still a good snacking bar, nevertheless, and is a good starting point for a home made hot chocolate recipe.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 3.8

46% Grenada Single Origin Milk Chocolate Bar Review

Lidl J.D. Gross 46% Grenada Single Origin Milk Chocolate Bar ingredients:
Sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cream powder, emulsifier (soya lecithins), vanilla extract. Cocoa solids: 46% minimum; milk solids: 18% minimum.

  • Around 39.5% sugars.
  • Sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract traded in compliance with Fairtrade Standards, total 80.5%.

This is the only milk chocolate bar in the range and it heralds from the Caribbean island of Grenada. As I peel back the paper wrapper, caramelised milk notes rise from the bar, with buttery aromas close behind.

Caramel and butterscotch flavours lead in the tasting, with pronounced lactic notes too. The creamy-caramel-butter notes lead and continue right through into the aftertaste. It's here the flavour is augmented slightly by notes of vanilla and toffee.

Overall, this one's a very sweet bar, and very easy to mindlessly chow down, so is ideal as a guilty pleasure. Its caramel and butterscotch flavours make it a bar that you'll keep dipping into, so it won't last long.

Lidl J.D. Gross 46% Grenada Single Origin Milk Chocolate Bar Review

RRP: £1.12 | Lidl | Shop now

If you love milk chocolate with strong caramel, butterscotch and buttery flavours, then this is for you. It's a sweet bar, and ridiculously easy to demolish without realising. It's ideal as an indulgent treat or when you need a pick-me-up.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 4.2

Overall, I had high hopes for these single-origin chocolate bars, and I'm not sure they delivered. The Madagascan bar feels a bit flat, while the Peruvian bar had more life and character. The Grenadian bar delivers a sweet hit of caramel flavours for those with a sweet tooth. My pick of the range is the 60% Peruvian dark chocolate bar. I think it hits the right balance between sweetness and flavour profile. If you've not tasted single-origin chocolate before, these bars are a pocket-friendly way to test the waters. If you can detect the differences in the flavours, and enjoy detecting the individual nuances, then I urge you to springboard into single-origin chocolate bars made by these bean-to-bar chocolate makers.


Where to Buy Online

You'll find these bars in the chocolate aisle in your local Lidl. They're priced at £1.12 per 100g bar but occasionally appear on offer.

Online, eBay is perhaps your best bet in tracking these down, although the prices will likely be greater than in Lidl (and you may have postage costs to factor into the equation).

Found on eBay

Would you consider buying a supermarket own-brand single origin chocolate bar? Let me know your thoughts in a comment below.

Disclosure: I purchased three 100g J.D. Gross single origin chocolate bars from Lidl for £3.36. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own.

9 Comments

  • First of all Grenada does NOT make milk chocolate on the island so please don’t base your opinion of Grenada chocolate on this product made in GERMANY not Grenada.

    The Grenada Chocolate Company is where you want to shop for truly ORGANIC dark chocolate with NO ADDITIVES, NO ALLERGANS. They have never contaminated the factory with ingredients other than chocolate. They have a delicious bar with added cocoa nibs for added crunch. Only Lecithin must be added to keep the chocolate stable in the tropical heat. Checkout the Company online. Those with peanut allergies are also safe eating this rich dark chocolate. It ranges from 61% to 100% chocolate. Fabulous for baking too. Organic Cocoa Powder and Smilo Cocoa Tea powder and available. Best chocolate ever!

  • As a Grenadian I can say that to taste real Grenadian chocolate one needs to find the following companies:

    – Grenada Chocolate Company (first local company that made chocolate)
    – Tri Island Chocolate
    – Belmont Estate Organic Chocolate
    – Crayfish Bay Organic Chocolate

    Sadly, these local producers are very difficult to get a hold off as they are not readily exported. However, if anyone ever has the chance to visit Grenada, come in May as that’s when the local chocolate festival takes place. Next one is coming up May 16-21st. That’s where one finds the real deal. Our local producers usually make chocolate of 60 -100% with rich, sumptuous and not too sweet flavour profiles.

    • Thanks Jane. I’d love to visit Grenada and taste chocolate direct from the source.

      The 46% Lidl bar serves as a very good introduction to Grenadian chocolate. I’d agree with you that if shoppers love the flavour notes in this bar, they should seek out more chocolate from the source. In the UK, Pump Street springs to mind. Grenada Chocolate Company bars are available from Chocolate Trading Co here°.

  • I am pretty conscious that I am not intolerant, I am deeply allergic to caseine, which is one of proteins of milk. Because of this, I usually shop for food wearing my reading glasses to make sure I can read all the labels of the new products I intend to buy. The list of ingredients is what I take as the definition of safe or not safe to eat.
    This was the case when I risked buying a J.D.Gross, 85% dark chocolate labeled as vegan. Minutes after I have eaten the first 2 pieces I felt the horrible allergic symthoms of the presence of milk in it.
    I waited few days and tried the same product again and once more the symthoms appeared to proof I was not wrong.
    No, I am not asking for a refund or anything like this because the chocolate was cheap.
    However, it is an alert to the company. When you label a product, costumers trust it. If you say it is VEGAN, and the list of ingredients does not mention milk, I trust your product.
    In my case, depending on the quantity of the protein in my organism, I can get seriously sick. It means that I got completely disappointed with the quality of your product.
    Please, have in mind that food for some can be poison for others.
    Please, let us know what to choose when buying your products.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your experience Genecirda. In this instance, I’d recommend contacting Lidl directly to let them know.

      There’s two variants of vegan chocolate available on the market – passively/accidentally vegan and certified vegan. The first is where companies develop recipes using no animal products. These are often produced in factories that handle animal products (most typically, milk). While the product will be branded ‘vegan’, small print on the rear of the bar usually explains it is produced in a facility that handles non-vegan ingredients. Certified vegan products are those that have been vetted by external auditors to ensure the product uses vegan ingredients and the production process minimises cross-contamination as far as practically possible. I suppose there’s still a small risk of cross-contamination on certified products but I would expect a far smaller chance of this occurring.

      While not ideal, I’d encourage you not only to look at the ingredients list, as you do now, but also to look for that tell-tale statement (“produced in a facility that handles dairy products”) somewhere around the ingredients list, just to reassure yourself. Alternatively, there are some chocolatiers out there that only produce and sell vegan chocolate, so it might be worth contacting some of these to find out more about their products and production processes. You can’t beat talking to the producers themselves.

  • My local Lidl store seems to have stopped stocking JD Gross 95% chocolate. Does anyone know why? I am lost without it! I keep checking, but to no avail. Not seen any since before Christmas 2021. It is such a good price too!

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