When a parcel from Lindt arrived at my office this week, I clapped. I didn’t know what the new Excellence flavours were, but I knew I wanted them. After all, Lindt 85% is my work-drawer staple, and my Mum is hooked on Lindt Excellence Chilli. She’s even been known to turn down freshly-baked friands in favour of her chilli love.
In other words, I hold a favourable view of Lindt chocolate as an affordable everyday treat. Today, I bring you Part One of my Lindt Excellence review.
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Strawberry Intense
When I picked up the Lindt Strawberry Intense bar, my heart immediately cried: “Ooh! Look at the purdy colours!” Then my head interrupted with: “Why are there Spanish translations on the package? I work in the CALD sector, and I know for a fact that Spanish isn’t even in the top five of Australia’s most-spoken-languages-other-than-English*”. And then my memory whispered: “You’ve never liked chocolate-covered strawberries.”
Already, this chocolate was proving complex.
* Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Mandarin. You’re welcome.
Like most of the Lindt Excellence range, the Strawberry Intense bar has a 47% cocoa content. I was skeptical of the “natural flavourings” in the ingredients list, but pleased to see freeze-dried strawberries included.
The strongest note in this chocolate’s aroma was that of strawberry-flavoured lollies, and in fact reminded me of Bubble O’ Bill’s face. This would be good if I liked eating faces, but I’ve always been a Golden Gaytime girl myself.
In flavour, too, I found the strawberry a tad too artificial for my liking. It tasted like Neapolitan ice cream, and I was a kid who scraped out the vanilla and chocolate stripes from tubs of Neapolitan, leaving behind the hyper-pink middle section. (That said, candy-like strawberry flavour is better than devil-fruit-orange.)
E.Moonbeams, however, enjoyed this flavour, and I’d posit that those of you with a soft spot for Neapolitan ice cream would too.
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Coconut Intense
As soon as I unwrapped the new Lindt Excellence Coconut Intense dark chocolate, I knew I was going to like it far more than its strawberry cousin. (I first wrote “kissing cousin” but that creeped me out, because the only cousins who should be allowed to kiss are the distantly-related Mary and Matthew Crawley.) This chocolate’s aroma swept me right back to buying Golden Rough chocolates in primary school, and I was delighted to see that Lindt’s version is filled with not just coconut, but caramelised coconut.
Sugar, I adore you.
Happily, Lindt’s Coconut Intense bar tasted far better than the Golden Roughs of my early years, as the former’s dark chocolate is volumes better than the latter’s greasy milk chocolate. I liked the crispity-fresh-crunch of the caramelised coconut, and how the flavour reminded me of decadent coconut-based cocktail despite the fact that I’ve never actually imbibed a decadent coconut-based cocktail.
One small element prevents me from loving Lindt’s Coconut Intense dark chocolate unreservedly, and that is its subtle yet persistent note of coconut essence. This artificial element isn’t overpowering but, like the Strawberry Intense bar, it leaves me wishing Lindt would forego its use of “natural flavourings” and simply let the true ingredients (caramelised coconut, freeze-dried strawberries) shine. However, I know some people like coconut essence (just as I personally love almond extract), so it’s not a deal-breaker. Overall, I found this Lindt Excellence Coconut Intense dark chocolate quite delicious and would eat it again.
Question Time: What’s your favourite fancy cocktail? I’ve only ever liked the one my friend designed just for me.