As I was poking about in my local Foodland supermarket a few days ago, I stumbled upon LU Petit Écolier biscuits.
Part of the attraction / interest was that these sell themselves as “European Biscuits”.
Down here in the wide brown land at the bottom of the planet, we collectively have slight tendency to think we can’t do things very well; and that stuff from Europe represents better quality and sophistication; something that’s worth paying extra for the associated cachet (go look it up). It’s also been my experience that many of the goods sold offering “European” quality have only one really special thing going for them: they come from Somewhere Else.
Anyhow, in my perverse way I found it a strange idea to send biscuits half way around the world; to then be sold with “European” as a positive attribute. Perhaps a sign that the world really is a crazy place.
A quick check found that LU biscuits come from France, and are these days a part of the giant Kraft empire; but they do have a history going back to 1846. The image of “The little schoolboy” dates back to about the same time.
If the web advertising I found this is anything to go by, LU want to stake their reputation on the Petit Écolier biscuits. The company make a range of other biscuits, but this one has prominence.
In terms of presentation, these really stand out. The biscuits are well made, cleanly formed, no excess crumbs, and the chocolate is very elegantly formed and attached (somehow) to the biscuit without making it soggy. They look really, really good.
On to the tasting. As the pack says, the biscuit is quite buttery, it has a nice texture and a similarity to a good shortbread biscuit. The chocolate (which is what we are hanging out for) although stated as “dark” is only 45% cocoa, and quite sweet.
My biggest difficulty here is getting the taste of the chocolate. By the time you have crunched the biscuit the chocolate has not really had time to melt and release flavour. What you do get from the eating is primarily a sort of richish sweetness, but the chocolate does not really have any great highlights and flavour to reach out and grab you. I tried all sorts – eating one upside down, scraping the chocolate off with my teeth. I really struggled to get a chocolate hit no matter what I tried.
In quick summary: An extremely well-presented, well-made, chocolate biscuit which will offend nobody. Because the chocolate is not as chocolatey as it could be, nor will it have chocolate lovers singing its praises or raving about it.