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News for nerds

Welcome to 2022. This week I bring you a collection to really sharpen your tastebuds and a bar to snuggle up and eat whilst reading a good book. Here, can I recommend Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner, which I find deeply comforting before bed as it talks about nothing whatsoever to do with my world.

Firetree, which regular readers will know makes the only 100% I rate, has launched a new Innovations Collection, either available as single bars, £7/65g each, or as a five-bar gift box, £33. Firetree chocolate always makes me think about the cocoa bean because there isn’t very much else to distract you, although this time the already highly flavoured Vanuatu cocoa from Malekula Island has cocoa nibs in it and marks Firetree’s first inclusion bar.

There are three 72% versions of different origins, a 100% bar and also an oat milk version. This is ideal if really good, simple and largely dark chocolate is your thing.

I’ve mentioned in passing Solkiki’s Elvis bar, £8.50, so named because it’s based on Elvis Presley’s love of banana and peanut butter sandwiches, but I want to, here, stress how terrifically good it is. I’m not a fan of banana-flavoured things, but this and Ottolenghi’s banana jam – which you get when you go to his cafés if you order toasted things and is so so good – convinced me otherwise.

The bar contains vegan milk chocolate, roasted peanuts and chunks of banana. The kind of craziness we all need to see in a new year.