On our recent trip to Europe (oh, how I like the sound of that, as if we do this sort of thing every few months, darlinks, rather than every 20 years) we scoured the supermarket shelves looking for a wee spot of chocky a bit out of the ordinary.
Europe varies widely – the big global brands might be omnipresent but what they offer varies from one country to another. This, and translating back to English only makes the hunt more exciting.
In Berlin we found Lindt Edelbitter Mousse Fig + Caramel. According to my sister, who lives there, the various Lindt fruity things are seasonal – depending on the availability of the fruit that goes into them. Naturally, we had to purchase a suitably impressive pile to bring home. And bring them home we did, surviving trains, plains, taxi rides, and Australian customs.
So it was with great anticipation that today, on the oldest sons 15th birthday we had a gathering of the clan and with much ceremony, opened the one of the spoils of travel – in this case the aforementioned Lindt. On first impressions, this is a nice dark 70% chocolate , well suited to a warm afternoon with a gathering of family. The dark chocolate is fine, slightly sweet, slightly bitter, and gradually, deliciously, melts. Inside this is the mousse and fig / caramel. The consensus from the gathered family was varied – yes, it’s definitely figgy. But there was something missing.
Whilst it has a presence of fig, the flavour is small and overwhelmed by the chocolate. And the caramel? Not sure where that ended up. I have a theory – anything apart from a plain chocolate needs to be consumed in one of two ways – either crunch it up fast to gather all the flavours together, or let it melt slowwwwwwly so the flavours emerge gradually, one after another.
So perhaps this is a crunching chocolate rather than a slow-melting-and-sucking chocolate? But no, the manner of the eating didn’t really make a huge difference.
If you ever walk near a fig tree during summer, you get a blast of figgy smell – something in the leaves long before the fruit becomes even remotely ready. Something that says “hey. watch and wait. great things are going to be happening here soon”. And when you have fresh figs, they have a flavour beyond compare.
I had hoped this chocolate would capture some of the smell and some of the feeling of figs and summer. We can’t blame temperature, it was a lovely day and the bar had been out in it all afternoon. All in all, the reality did not quite match the anticipation. We know Lindt can do wonderful things with chocolate. In this case, it needs something to give it a bit of an oomph, a lift.
Blame it on the figs, perhaps.