One of the advantages of my career as a pastry chef is that people are always bringing me “foodie” gifts. Every event I host I end up with decent bottles of wine, jars of chutney, interesting cookies and other food-based stuff. My personal favorites, of course, are those gifts which revolve around chocolates or candy.
So it was I found myself sampling a recent hostess gift – an entire box of Lindt Fioretto. These are (according to the box), “a refined assortment of chocolates with soft centres of Hazelnut, Caramel, Cappuccino & Stracciatella in a crisped chocolate shell.” Wrapped in corresponding colors of brown (caramel), cream (cappuccino), blue (hazelnut) and white (stracciatella), these little nuggets look like they are going to be good before you even open the packet.
I’m sorry to say that they are not as fabulous as I wanted them to be. I had hoped for a pimped up version of the Ferrero Rocher but what I got wasn’t that at all. Yes, there was chocolate. Yes, a soft center, and yes, a crisp shell. That’s about it, though. When you unwrap these, they all look very much the same, with the same vaguely dark chocolate stripes across the top. Because the shells are all the same chocolate/crunch combo, and quite thick to boot, you don’t get much of the soft filling. What’s there does taste nice, but it’s nothing to get excited about.
The coffee flavor is quite strong, as is the caramel – nicer than the stracciatella (basically chocolate chip) and the hazelnut flavors.
I’m not sure why these weren’t such a hit with me. Perhaps it’s because I adore most Lindt products (especially the truffles or “balls”) and so I expected these to be truly outstanding. If there had been less shell and more filling, I might have liked them a bit more. As they are, they pretty much fall into the category of “Hey thanks” instead of “You’re coming to dinner every week!” While I would accept these as a hostess gift in future (hey, who doesn’t like free chocolate?) I also wouldn’t shed a tear if I had to re-gift them to someone else.
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