I found these in John Lewis and I have to confess that I was attracted by the packaging (and the name). According to the box, Charbonnel et Walker are “Established as Britain’s Master Chocolatiers since 1875″. But that’s just the kind of thing that sets alarm bells ringing for me – whenever someone tells you they’re the best, it’s usually a sign that their products aren’t good enough to speak for themselves.
A glance at their web site didn’t raise my hopes much either. The copyright date at the bottom still says 2006, and whole sections of the site simply don’t work for me.
I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. The presentation was good, the chocs looked great and there was a strong champagne aroma. There are two layers of truffle-filled, 33.5% milk chocolate balls. So far so good.
But as I bit into one, my heart sank again. The milk chocolate was fine.. the truffle filling was fine (although it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as it smells)… but it was just so…. ordinary. They were nice enough but there simply aren’t any exciting textures or flavours here.
I have to say that it concerns me that we have so many medium to high end chocolatiers that are churning out stuff that tastes and looks the same. Yes, there are a few chocolatiers trying new and exciting things… but if I had to judge by this box alone, Charbonnel et Walker doesn’t appear to be one of them.