Thortons was founded in 1911 by Joseph William Thornton when he opened his first shop in Sheffield. He started by selling sweets, mints, and toffee, but by the 1920s began retailing chocolate as well. The included coated Brazil nuts and Easter eggs. The thirties saw their first selection of truffles, and by the sixties, they had hired their first chocolatier, Walter Willen from Sweden, who introduced their Continental range.
Another range Thortons do, are their bars, which are uniquely packaged in 80-90g squares, wrapped in an elegant gold foil. Just recently their bars have had a makeover. Not only has the box design changed light, bright, and playful to a darker, more sophisticated style, but a lot of the flavours have changed too.
Previously, they had lots of fruity flavoured bars, such as lemon, strawberry, blueberry, etc, but now they have gone down the caramel route.
I was saddened to see some of my favourite bars disappear, but also excited to try their new range. There are fifteen new flavours, which are on offer at 3 for £5.
The first bar I tried was the Fudge Brownie, which literally tasted as if I were dipping a brownie into a glass of milk. With crumbly chocolate cake pieces inside, it had the smell of brownies, the crumbly texture, and an additional bit of crunchy biscuit.
The Toffee bar was disappointing. It smelt no different to the Fudge Brownie, and was much too sweet. I think it would have been better if the toffee pieces were embedded in dark chocolate rather than milk.
I was equally underwhelmed by the Cheesecake bar. This had no scent, nor did it have an resemblance to cheesecake. Shortbread pieces were inside, but for the cheesecake theme, they really should have gone for digestive biscuits.
The Honeycomb was an improvement, and is what I imagine Kellog's Crunchy Nut would taste like if the added chocolate to their cornflakes.
I also really enjoyed the Salted Pistachio, which was one of the few remaining bars from the old selection.Others from the old collection are the 70% Dark, a dark Espresso (both of which I can recommend), and Bakewell Tart, which is again too sweet.
There are a few other fruit bars, such as the white Eton Mess and dark Orange Crisp. Others in the selection are Ginger, Chilli, and Mint.