I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have too many chocolate options in the town that I live in, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any surprises from time to time, especially in the sales. That’s when I’m willing to take a chance and pick up the boxes of chocolates that nobody else wanted to give a home to, and that was the case with Lindt Variations Cacao.
I haven’t picked up a Lindt box in a long time, but this one looked more interesting than most because it appeared to have a theme. Instead of just a generic term like “Truffles” or “Collection” on the outside, I was under the impression that this was all about the chocolate – variations in the cocoa percentages or types. I was only partially right.
While there is a mix of milk and dark chocolates here, it isn’t particularly obvious because the fillings are almost given a higher billing. And with only five different types in the box, there isn’t a whole lot of variation in there. The five different kinds are:
Asaïcao – the most numerous chocolate in the box; there are six of them compared to three of all the others. And what did it do in order to deserve that honour? Well, it has a nice crisp texture and lots of hazelnut flavour in the praline but not much else. A very businesslike chocolate.
Rocao – a lovely dark truffle with a very generous number of cocoa nibs scattered throughout. Not too sweet with a fairly subtle flavour, but a little on the dry side which makes it a bit more crumbly than it needs to be.
Noiscao – some more of the hazelnut praline, but with some nibs thrown in to give it a bit of crunch. A bit too similar to the Asaïcao, but slightly preferable because of the sweeter milk chocolate and, of course, the nibs. I like nibs.
Caracao – definitely the prettiest chocolate in the box. The chocolate pod design looks great, with a nice chocolate caramel inside. Rather one dimensional, but a good rich flavour that stands up to the rugged 70% dark shell.
Giacao – just like the name suggests, this has gianduja inside the milk chocolate cup, along with some other chocolate paste. It doesn’t quite get the balance right because the flavour is dominated by chocolate with very little hazelnuttiness being able to break through. Nice to see more nibs on top; I’m loving all those nibs.
So while this wasn’t an unpleasant experience by any means, it wasn’t the most exciting box I’ve worked my way through either. With just five varieties, it is a bit one note especially with its love of hazelnuts that permeates three of the five chocolates and that makes the “Variations Cacao” moniker a little redundant. That puts my thumbs very much in the middle when it comes to this box.