Thursday 26 July 2012

Montezuma's Monkey Bars review

First of all, I feel this review should come with a warning. Any of my followers who have wandered in here from my weightloss posts, move along please, there's nothing to see! Go on, what are you still doing here ? Oh well, don't blame me - I tried to get rid of you, on your own heads be it ! Because I would defy any of you - dieting or not - to look at the photos of these chocolate bars and not lick your screen !

Now when I was asked if I'd like to review Montezuma's chocolate bars, I have to admit, it was a brand I'd never heard of. I immediately knew I'd say yes please - let's face it, it's chocolate ! - but when I went to check out the website, I couldn't help but be impressed.

When the bars arrived, my immediate reaction was wow, they're certainly hefty ! Up until now, I'd always thought that a family-sized bar of Fruit & Nut was the height of indulgence. Now that I've seen the size and weight, not to mention taste, of these beauties, they seem pretty pathetic by comparison !

I was intrigued by the name Monkey Bars, but it all makes sense actually. As they explain on the Montezuma website : "Don't think London is only about a skyline and the crown jewels. Cockney rhyming slang probably originates from the mid 1800’s and is one of the best known sounds of London. We love the poetry they represent of a vibrant London and wanted bars that reminded us of those brilliant and amusing phrases. Monkey is the slang for 500; although we are not sure how those original Cockneys would welcome these bars being 500 of some 'foreign' system of measurement!" So it's a monkey bar because it weighs 500g. But that's not all - the name of each different flavour also uses Cockney rhyming slang.

For example, the Venezuelan Milk Chocolate with Orange & Hazelnuts bar called Adam & Eve. Now, I've often heard the expression "Would you Adam & Eve it?" and even use it myself occasionally, so I knew that that was Cockney rhyming slang for believe. The write-up on the back of the pack says : "As Adam and Eve had some issues with apples, we have the feeling they would struggle resisting our soft and creamy milk chocolate and subtle orange and whole hazelnuts. To be fair, most people will struggle to share this bar around and not hide it away."

Not convinced ? Just let me flip it over for a second and show you how nobbly it is. When they say whole hazelnuts, they really mean whole hazelnuts - and not just a few either ! I don't think you really get the scale of the squares in these pictures but they're huge ! One square weighs 33g, is about 5cm square and about 1cm thick which is really chunky. In fact, it's so chunky, the Madhouse Mini Testers had trouble biting through it with their little teeth, which means - tee hee hee - this is one to put away in the kitchen cupboard for me and Madhouse Daddy Mike to share when they're in bed !

On to the next bar - Venezuelan Milk Chocolate with Salted Peanuts & Butterscotch, called Nanny Goat, which is Cockney rhyming slang that I'd never heard before. Intrigued, I turned to the back of the pack and learnt that it means "boat". The blurb on the pack says : "Slightly away from the ordinary, we have shipped these wonderful salted peanuts from the USA (tenuous link with boats) and added them to rich milk chocolate with butterscotch. There are a good number of flavour combinations in this bar but it really works well and leaves a soft lingering taste".

Well, it also has a good number of salted peanuts in it. Look at this close-up. Just how many peanuts can you cram into one square ?! One square is more than enough to quash any chocolate cravings or hunger pangs, which is just as well, as by my calculations, just one (admittedly huge) square corresponds to about 5 Weight Watchers ProPoints - eek !!

The final bar that we received was Shake & Shiver, which - the pack tells us - is Cockney rhyming slang for river or the great River Thames. This one is Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate with Peppermint & Cocoa Nibs. They say : "This dark chocolate bar has a sure-fire kick with the addition of complex cocoa nibs and crisp but subtle peppermint. Something for the classic dark chocolate lover who needs something just a little bit different to contend with."

This is definitely grown-up chocolate to enjoy when the kids are out of the way. That's not actually as mean as it sounds because the Madhouse Mini-testers sampled each of the flavours and weren't that keen on them, finding the flavours too intense and the chunks too hard and thick to bite through. One square is an indulgent treat for a grown-up, so it would be too much for a child anyway - really, I'm not just trying to justify not sharing this with the kids, honest !!

My one little niggle is that there is absolutely no idea of calories or nutritional information on the label so, if you're trying to keep an eye on the calories or your fat intake or calculate ProPoints or whatever, you're totally in the dark. They do address this issue on their website. "In our view, eating something that makes you feel good and makes you happy has to be a good thing, just follow mother's golden rule, "everything in moderation"!"

They go on : "If you really want to get down and dirty with the good stuff wrapped up in your Montezuma's chocolate then sure enough you will find antioxidants aplenty, in fact every 100 grams of dark chocolate has about 13,000 ORAC units and blueberries have only 2,400! Of course not everything in chocolate can be claimed as good for you per se, but then again we aren't claiming anything of the sort.

We have a nutritional information sheet with a full breakdown for dark, milk and white chocolate and a representative chocolate truffle. We don't have this information for all our products as we are a small family business with a huge range of over 250 products. We can't afford to have analysis for all the range but some common sense using these sheets will get you very close!" Myfitness pal (the same ones who offer my funky weight loss badges on my Sunday weigh-ins) have also calculated the nutritional values of quite a few Montezuma bars, if you really want to find out more.

I agree with the Montezuma mentality though. Eat it in moderation, enjoy it and don't stress over the calorie count ! However much of a chocoholic you are, you'll never be able to eat more than a few squares in any one sitting anyway !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £13.99 for 500g

for more information :

Disclosure : I received some free bars in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. These bars do look huge, I've not tried them. Great to share if you have a girly night with a few glasses of wine

  2. oh I love Montezumas, I go to their shop in Brighton all the time. All their chocs are delish. Must admit I'd never thought about the calorie count but then it's not the sort of chocolate you'd just wolf down with abandon anyway. Though they do have barcodes and when I was using MyFitnessPal I did scan a few in so it's easy enough to find out if you want to.

    1. I'll almost definitely be in Brighton over the summer - I'll have to pop in to the store ! :) Great tip for the barcodes, thanks xx

  3. We like Montezumas too, and also visit the shop in Brighton. Great for Christmas presents and though not the waistline!

  4. love love Montezumas chocolate - the nanny goat one sounds really nice!

  5. I have never heard of these but they sound absolutely delicious

  6. I love Montezumas, they also do quite a lot of dairy free chocolate as well. The dark chocolate buttons are divine.


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