Having been dazzled by the displays at Chopin’s Al Saad branch, it was time to sit down and taste a few of their offerings.
I was given three chocolates to try, all of which turned out to be milk not dark chocolate (obviously a language barrier there – perhaps I should have said ‘black chocolate’).
They all come in very shiny, posh looking silver and gold wrappers, reflecting the premium brand status that Chopin enjoys out here.
First up was this long, thin stick which turned out to contain small pieces of biscuit.
The milk chocolate itself is quite well rounded in flavour, if a little on the sweet side. I suspect Arabs have a bit of a sweet tooth. The small pieces of biscuit were very crunchy and did make themselves known, adding a little sweet and buttery flavour to this one.
Next up, I found myself unwrapping this silver oval.
It was pretty obvious from the shape that I was about to sample something with coffee in.
Sure enough, healthy sized fragments of dark, rich coffee bean were lurking in among a creamy, slightly darker tasting filling, adding a crunchy counterpart to the buttery flavoured cream. I found myself wishing I had a couple more of these to hand. Very enjoyable.
Finally, I unwrapped this golden block.
Here was the cornflake chocolate my friendly female assistant had told me about.
(apologies for the poor photo)
As you can see (just!) it’s a hollow centred chocolate filled with a stack of tiny flakes of corn. I couldn’t help wondering how they’d managed to put this one together. The flakes were perfectly crispy, slightly sweetened and satisfyingly crunchy, melting away with the chocolate for a well rounded finish. This was definitely the first time I’d tried anything like this, and I was suitably impressed.
Overall, I have to say that these are definitely chocolates for the sweeter tooth. I haven’t yet seen any 70% or above Arabic chocolate, and I have the feeling that milk chocolate is the norm. The chocolate itself is very smooth with good rich cocoa flavours, but perhaps a little sweeter than some of the ‘posher’ milk chocolates we’re starting to see in the UK and Europe. It’s not all style over content though, and I think I might buy a few Chopinn chocolates to take home for friends and family over Xmas.