As a child, I loved advent calendars. It didn’t matter so much about what the treat behind each door was, it was purely the anticipation and surprise.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had an advent calendar myself, primarily because I expect more from my chocolate than the cheap pieces of greasy milk chocolate that generally fill them. So I very happy to learn that Valrhona had produced an advent calendar this year.
Now before I go any further, I should say that this probably isn’t the calendar for you if you like to be surprised by what’s inside. The exact contents are proudly displayed on the back of the box: 23 small (5 gram) Valrhona chocolate squares of different varieties, and a single 70g bar of Guanaja for Christmas Eve.
There. Now I feel bad for having told you. But you would have found out anyway.
There’s a mixture of dark and milk chocolate squares of various origins and cocoa percentages. I’m not going to talk about them individually here, as we’ve already reviewed most of them at one time or another.
Suffice to say they’re all quite tasty, and a cut above the average advent calendar treat.
But at the same time, there’s no escaping the fact that this really isn’t very Christmassy. The only real nod to Christmas is some simple decorations on the sightly flimsy box. And although you don’t know which square you’re going to get on any given day (apart from Christmas Eve), it also lacks the element of surprise. Those chocolate squares just aren’t different enough to make it exciting.
Perhaps this is a calendar for those who just like good chocolate, and aren’t that fussed about quirkily shaped chocolate. But I think £19 is a lot to pay for 185g of Valrhona. It’s good, but it doesn’t feel like a great amount of effort has gone into making a truly festive product, and neither does it have the luxury feel that would set it apart from the crowd.