I was walking through a shopping centre recently, looking for a particular store. Like all those things that you find in the last place you look, the store I wanted was waaaaaay down one end, and I started looking at the wrong end. In a modern shopping mall, that means it’s a long way from one end to the other. Something good came of this mistake though: I found a Haighs store. And had a few minutes to spare. So I went in. Oops.
Haighs stores are special. Everything looks fantastic. The presentation is precise, clear and clean. I suspect I could eat my dinner off the counter, and probably the floor. The staff wear white coats, and even more amazing, they want to help! And something you never see anywhere else – when handling the chocolate the staff put on a pair of white gloves. Now that’s how these things are supposed to be done!
I could have chosen from a huge range of boxed gift chocolates, or freshly made chocolates from the glass counter available individually. Instead I opted for a big man-size block (which will be the subject of a later review). But the reason for this rambling write-up is the impulse buy. On the counter were small, plastic packs of “product of the month” – Choc Berries. So I had to have a pack of those as well.
And thus it happened that watching television a day or so later (yes, they did last that long), I was overcome by an attack of the chocolate munchies and decided to break into the pack. I even shared them with The Lady of The House.
The pack contains two types – a milk chocolate with Strawberry, and a dark chocolate with Raspberry. Both are best enjoyed by letting the chocolate melt slowly in your mouth.
This begins with a very rich, fairly sweet dark chocolate which is both earthy and very fruity at the same time. Although called “dark”, this is not a bitter chocolate at all. It just melts away to leave a sweet fruit centre. This centre is not a dried berry as is sometimes found. Instead, it’s some kind of fruity confection, soft, sweet, and intensely flavoured. On trying this my immediate reaction was “oh my goodness, you have to try one of these!”
The milk chocolate reminds me a lot of the milk chocolates we don’t seem to find a lot of in Australia. The aroma seems to resemble that of some European brands. While I found it difficult to identify the dominant aroma, it reminds me a little of condensed milk. The flavour though, is subtle, rich, quite sweet and not as fruity as the dark chocolate. Milk chocolate lovers will go into raptures over it. In a similar manner, the inside is fruit confection which delivers a burst of flavour at the end.
Both of these little balls of joy are simply outstanding. Although a small pack is not cheap, if you are near Haighs – pop in and pick some up. You don’t be disappointed.