This strawberry influx was something I never saw coming, but I'm excited none-the-less. (Strawberry sweets are a weakness of mine.) It seems like every chocolate company out there is putting out something to cash in on this unexpected fruit flavored trend, and Dove's contribution are these milk chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Crisps.
I've always been a fan of Dove products because the candy has a rich a silky texture that I love, but their designs have always looked a bit...off. (To me anyway.) I love the logo and the chocolate-y ribbon that spells out the brand name, but those weird, pseudo tribal, bad-tattoo-looking hearts on the left have got to go. The overall bag design would be a lot stronger without them. I mean you could have made them white, and that might not have been so bad, but this lazy 3-d shading they've got going on isn't doing them any favors. It looks lazy, cheap, and rushed. The rest of the design is pretty normal and run-of-the-mill for Dove and their bagged chocolates. It's appealing, it's festive, and the food illustrations are adorable. This is definitely not a high-end product, but it doesn't look terribly cheap either. For what it is, it works, so I can't pick on it too much. (Just get those heart tat's laser'd off, or covered up with something better, then we'll talk.)
Inside the bag are little milk chocolate squares that have been wrapped in either silver foil with pink writing, or pink foil with silver writing. Both colors combination look really lovely in person, and they look awesome in a candy bowl or dish. Then, in true Dove fashion, there is a little phrase or inspirational message inside the wrapping to give you a little pick-me-up when you're shoveling chocolate into your face. If I'm in a really down and depressed mood the messages can be pretty nice, but for the most part, I feel like they're judging me and trying to tell me what to do. (Plus those Martha Stewart tips they had that one time were awful!)
Today's life advice/inspiration message from my chocolate was "Exercise your heart today." What does that even mean? Should I go out of my way to try and feel things? Or should I go run on the treadmill for 10 minutes? I'll tell you right now, neither of those things are going to happen. If I wrote phrases for these candies mine would be something along the lines of..."People suck. Chocolate is awesome."Or "Treat yourself to a nap. Yeah, it's only 11am, but you deserve it."
Once it's unwrapped, and the preachy wrapper has been discarded, you can see the creamy milk chocolate outside, with a hit in the crispy bits underneath. The candy smells sweet, and the strongest aroma is the classic Dove milk chocolate, but there's a hint of tangy fruitiness. There are a lot of strawberry yogurt themed candy bars out there, like Ritter Sport, and that's what this smells like. A little fruity, tangy, yogurt-y, but with a strong dose of milk chocolate.
I took a bite, and the strawberry flavoring was pretty underwhelming. I had hoped that it would be much more authentic and intense, but it was that same tangy strawberry yogurt flavoring that I had had in other candy bars. As for the "short cake" part, the crunchy bits added a shortbread-cookie-like crumble and texture to the chocolate, but the chocolate flavoring was the strongest and easily overpowered everything else. Last I checked, classic Strawberry Shortcake did not include chocolate, so for me, this is another one of those products with a fairly generic flavor, and a hyped up fancy product name. These don't taste bad, but the fruity flavoring is mild, and it's very similar to a lot of other strawberry chocolate products out there that are available year-round.
Personally, I wouldn't buy this again. However, if you're a fan of these and you find yourself craving them once they disappear from store shelves, check out the Ritter Strawberry Yogurt bar. It's pretty similar in fruity flavor and tanginess, but it lacks the shortbread crunch.