While I was in Paris recently, I thought it was only appropriate that I treat myself to some typically French artisan chocolates.
But I bought these instead.
There is a method in my madness. It’s been so long since I’ve had a mass produced chocolate assortment that I wanted to see just how much my tastes had changed – and whether the likes of Lindt have improved with the rise of the artisan chocolatier.
This little 155g selection box looks as though it’s aimed at the tourist market (that’s me!), but apparently it’s a Christmas special – albeit one you can still buy.
While I have to admit, I quite like the design on the front of the box, open it up and it’s a different story. Inside, the chocolates are pressed into a very cheap and flimsy looking gold plastic tray.
The chocolates look uniform and mass produced. There are some interesting shapes, but to me they just look like they’ve been designed by computer and dropped straight into the box without any kind of human involvement. These days, I’m so used to chocolates that look and feel handmade, I’d almost forgotten just how samey mass produced chocolates can be.
There’s a variety of pralines, caramel and “ganache” fillings. They’re all passable, but quite bland and a little oily. The caramel in particular was more of a flavourless, sweet gloop. But at only 6 Euros for 14 chocolates with a shelf life of a year, I guess that’s to be expected.
My advice? Always avoid chocolate that’s targeted at tourists, even if it’s just a gift. I’m sure the recipient would much rather have a smaller box of fresh, handmade chocolates. And there’s plenty of those to choose from in Paris.