I slipped up yesterday. I erred. I reneged on my word. After eating three blocks of Lindt Chilli in as many days and having wrestled only four hours of sleep from the night before, I needed something new on the palate.
And so I metaphorically covered the eyes of my chocolate embargo, and opened a new bar.
(It was worth it.)
That chocolate is not, however, what I’m presenting you with today. Instead, I’m continuing with playing catch-ups, and as a result am showcasing two Italian chocolates from very different sources. The first I found in an upscale gourmet food store, the second in a budget supermarket.
Maglio Bitter 60%
First up, Maglio’s Bitter chocolate has a beautiful glossy appearance. Sadly, apart from looks, this bar provides little more than a basic dark chocolate sweetness. Its aroma throws in a few vague notes of coconut, but the flavour itself does not move far beyond brown sugar and light cocoa.
This chocolate is not “bitter” in any sense, and the flavour is too restrained for my liking. Instead of immediately providing a rush of chocolatey richness upon hitting the mouth (like, say, Valrhona or Askinosie), the Maglio Bitter was nearly tasteless during its initial moments. After a time it offers a few almond flavours to counter the sweetness, but these moments of depth are few and far between.
Not a keeper, but not horrid. Just a basic, sweet, uncomplicated chocolate – but even in that category, I’ve had better.
Cioccolato al Latte con Riso Soffiato
Okay, so with the Maglio bar I was bored by its one-dimensional sweetness and lack of interweaving flavours. With this bar, I was expecting to be disappointed by a similar boring sweetness and bland rice bits.
How wrong I was.
Coop’s Milk Chocolate with Puffed Rice has a surprisingly respectable 32% cocoa content, and its puffed rice is made of rice, sugar, salt, and malted barley. So no boring bland bitsy bits here, but instead powerhouses (okay, that’s stretching it a bit) of flavour inclusion goodness.
Upon unwrapping this chocolate, I was immediately assailed with the glorious aroma-memory of Mars Bar Slice; you know, those school fête treats made by combining melted Mars Bars and butter with rice bubbles?
When I took a bite, my first thought was that the chocolate was quite firm and sweet… and then there was CRISPY and MARSHMALLOW and CARAMEL and MALT and SALT and SURPRISE! The supermarket’s el cheapo chocolate wasn’t boring or sickly at all.
The caramelly, marshmallowy, malty, Mars-Bar-sliceness of this milk chocolate made it a winner in my book. Sure, I’d be unlikely to choose it over a good dark chocolate, but stacked up against Maglio’s forgettable nature?
I’d opt for the puffed rice anytime.