A Gift of Chocolate – Part One

Mr. W is, personality-wise, a quiet sort of person with a ready smile, a heart of gold, and barbed wire wrapped around his wallet.  So it pretty much came as a surprise when he handed over a choice selection of premium chocolate bars for my enjoyment quite recently.

Shown above are Perugina bars.  Synonymous with fine Italian chocolate (though it’s quite horrifying to know that they’re currently controlled by mass-market food giant Nestle), Perugina is best known as the maker of Baci, those sensuous dark chocolate kisses filled with gianduja and a whole hazelnut.  Not many know, however, that they also make lovely chocolate bars.

The Milk Chocolate with Raspberry bar is a surprisingly delightful confection.  I’m not a major fan of chocolate with fruit (unless it’s orange, but that’s another story), but this one actually works.  The none-too-sweet chocolate provides a creamy counterpoint to the tart-ish raspberry jam center.  They obviously used real raspberries, too: I felt the grainy seeds in every bite.

On the other hand, the Dark Chocolate with Almonds bar made me sigh – with disappointment rather than delight.  The chocolate was, alas, at par with a Hershey’s Special Dark.  (Pegged at only 40% cocoa solids as opposed to, say, Ritter Sport Dark which has 50%.)  I tried to like this, but I’ve had better and I can’t help but compare.

Needless to say, of course, that Mr. W has – again – pulled another pleasant surprise on me.  But that, my friends, is not yet the end of our story…