The theme for March is Fruit and Nut. Like Rosa, as a child, fruit and nut was definitely not my favourite kind of chocolate. Why spoil all the sugary goodness with stuff that’s supposed to be healthy?! As my tastes have matured, I’ve come to love both nutty and fruity chocolate and I was intrigued to see what this box had in store for me. I was also interested to note that all of this box’s chocs were made in Auckland. Is Auckland the next new Chocolate mecca?
My tasting session started with Chocolate Brown’s Florentines. I was interested to try these first as I remember tasting the biscuit version in Europe. These are just as tasty. Instead of a biscuit base, the three florentines were simple discs of milk chocolate topped with a chewy mixture of almonds, peel and glace cherries. Glace cherries are not always my cup of tea, but they work in this instance.
Next up was Flint’s Hazelnut & Orange bar. The thing I noticed first was the beautiful jungle print on the wrapping. I love that so many companies put as much thought, love and care into their packaging design as they do their chocolate. Once unwrapped, the organgey aroma was lovely. The chocolate was dark and smooth, despite containing ground hazelnuts, and had a crunchy hazelnut layer on top. The hazelnut flavour was stronger than the orange, but they worked well together.
I am a big fan of Caramilk, so I was really looking forward to trying House of Chocolate’s Caramelised White Chocolate & Hazelnut tablet. The caramelised chocolate wasn’t as sweet as the supermarket variety, which is a good thing. What sweetness there is is balanced by the delicious, crunchy hazelnuts. It’s a combination I wouldn’t have thought of, but it’s a delicious match.
Honest Chocolat’s Bonbons were almost too pretty to eat.There were three flavours. The Raspberry & Ginger was a cute, little, square morsel topped with a zing of freeze dried raspberries. The filling was dense and rich, somewhat like a raspberry drenched, fudgy chocolate cake with a hint of ginger, inside a chocolate shell. The circular, orange, white-flecked bonbon was an orange and cardamom pairing. The filling was cakey, orangey and cardammomy, as expected. The last bonbon was Preserved Strawberry. The outer layer was a deep pink with white speckles. The filling was fudgey strawberry. Just delicious.
My absolute favourite was Honest Chocolat’s Fig & Almond Tablet. Again, I loved the packaging for this bar, but this time it wasn’t about the look of it. What I enjoyed was the description of the chocolate on the inside of the wrapper, along with tasting instructions and an explanation of where the beans came from (Ecuador’s last pacific cloud forest). I opened up the inner wrapper to find four mini blocks of chocolate, with individual little pieces marked out as with a larger chocolate bar. They were too small to break apart and eat individually, but very visually pleasing. The chocolate itself was lovely and smooth, juxtaposed with the crunchy fig and almond pieces. This was by far my favourite mixture of flavours.
Having tried March’s satisfying collection, I have to admit that I’ll now be on the lookout for more Fruit and Nut combinations to keep maturing my palate!
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