My favourite shop has expanded. This means more of the best from my local butcher, and of course a greater range of strange imported chocolatey things. Yes, that’s right, the Vietnamese butcher has moved to new premises – bigger, better, shinier, and more chocolate than ever before.
Todays selection leapt out just because it is a little unusual: Hamlet “Chocola’s” looked a lot like chocolate Pringles. Something unusual – reason enough to give it a try.
The back of the pack is labelled in 23 languages. For a change, I am not exaggerating – this Belgian company is selling these all around the world. You should be able to find them in a sweet shop in Uzbekistan.
First point about these is that unlike so many products, the picture on the packet has not been doctored to brighten up the colour. What it shows is what you get: brown chocolate wafer things with lumps. OK, that does not sound very appealing, it’s a lot better than that: the wafers do have a cute sort of shape, and the lumps are some kind of biscuit which gives a crunchy texture. Checking the packet, the lumpy biscuity pieces seem to be puffed rice: so cocoa pops for grown-ups.
Opening the pack immediately releases a pretty powerful whiff of strong earthy chocolate aroma, so there is promise. From there, it’s all sort of a bit ordinary though. The chocolate is pleasant enough, and the crunch is pleasant as well. Letting the chocolate linger on the tongue to melt releases a pleasant flavour as well. But there is no “wow” factor.
The rest of the family think so too: The Lady Of The House says they are OK but nothing to cross the road for. Oldest son (aka “The Vulture” because he eats vast amounts of anything) agrees.
Don’t get me wrong – these are a perfectly acceptable product. If you put them on a plate on the table after a dinner party (does anybody even do dinner parties any more?) then they would get polished off without a single complaint. But you wouldn’t come away saying “Wow I have to track me down some of those critters.”