“ Inexpensive, tasty Belgian chocolates - great for a bit of self-indulgence, without the big price tag. „
So I was wandering around LIDL last week getting my final bits of shopping, loaded my items onto the checkout and staring me in the face were some praline seashells, my favourite, so I thought why not, and very cheap at under £2, how could I go wrong. The answer is...I really couldn't.
The packaging is not as appealing as you would expect, it did not catch my eye on the shelf which is why I also think they are situated at the checkout as last minute impulse buys. The packaging is mostly black and white with silver writing.
Okay so they are not your average pralines, don't get me wrong they are not as good as the more expensive seashells that you can buy in other mainstream shops but I wouldn't grumble over them as they tasted surprisingly good, a lot better than what I was expecting.
In a box you get them in rows of 6 x 4, so that is 24 praline seashells altogether, they come in different shapes and sizes, some more chunky and containing more filling than the others, these are the ones I like as they seem to melt in your mouth more.
The praline itself is well, tasty, the chocolate is smooth and they melt in your mouth, like good chocolate pralines are meant too. They are very moreish and with the help of my partner I think we polished the box off within about ten minutes. I will be honest I did feel a bit sickly afterwards, and I think this was down to my own gluttony rather than the sweets themselves.
Overall I would buy this product again as it was a very good cheaper alternative to Guylian the more expensive praline chocolate seashell make. Although the quality is maybe lacking slightly, it is not something you would complain over as they are great value for money compared to the more expensive alternative. So if you are in LIDL and fancy a cheap and cheeky treat then these seashells are for you. I think for a present I would however dig a bit deeper in my pocket and opt for something else, as you cannot please everyone! :)
So I do enjoy something sweet with my coffee after dinner. These chocolate shells fit the bill nicely. One is just enough to satisfy that craving and weighs in at 62 calories.
My husband discovered these pralines at Lidl. Okay so they don't have the same certain 'cachet' of Guylian shells but in a blind taste, I doubt that I'd be able to tell the difference.
J D Gross make a lot of chocolate for Lidl from chocolate bars to these praline shells. It seems that they've won a lot of awards - and rightly so in my opinion. The seashells come in a box of 20 - like their posher Guylian counterparts, they have a mottled appearance - half of them are milk chocolate and white, the other half are more of a caramel colour with dark chocolate. The filling is a smooth and creamy hazelnut praline.
The packet states that the chocolates are suitable for vegetarians and contain no artificial flavourings, preservatives or colours. So just lovely chocolate and hazelnuts.
A Lidl 250g box contains 20 shells and costs no more than £1.94 - often it's on offer so even more of a bargain. Compare this to Guylian - a 250g box has 22 seashells and usually costs £4. It sounds as if I've got it in for Guylian - I haven't at all. I'd be highly delighted if someone to give me a box but but when it's my own money I know which I'd rather buy.
This is great tasting chocolate at an amazing price. Definitely worthy of a 5 out of 5.
---How I Got Them---
These were given to me as a little treat.
I have never had the Guylians Shells before these Lidl ones so I am not able to offer comparisons.
I have also not had any other Lidl chocolate products.
The famous seahsells that everyone knows are the Guylian ones and the box of these Lidl chocolates is a fair copy of the Guylian one.
The box is a nice square shape with a cream background.
On the top is a coat of arms and 'J.D.Gross' and the dates 1809-1918
The front of the box has a clear window to allow you to see the chocolates inside.
There are two large images of chocolate shells on the top and smaller images all around the sides.
Classed as 'Sea Shell Shapes - Chocolate Pralines'.
The box contains 250 grams and 100 grams yields 550 calories.
Made in Belgium and you are advised to store in a cool place.
The ingredients contain 23% hazelnuts and it also says they may contain traces of other nuts.
The lid is a flap which when lifted reveals the chocolates inside.
The underside of the flap states that the chocolates are praline chocolates - nut and noughet filling covered in fine dark, milk and white chocolate.
The chocolates themsleves are nestled in the usual moulded plasic tray - in dark brown.
The box cntains 20 chocolates arranged in four rows of five.
The chocoaltes are in the shape of seashells and covered in a combination of swirling chocolate - some more white, some more milk - and arranged in alternate rows.
Some of the shapes are - Seahorse, Oyster, Sunrise Shell, Shrimp, Snail, Harpshell, Starfish and Mussel.
I do no go to Lidl myself but have found these for sale online with Lidl at 2.49 euros.
I have read online that some people beleive these Lidl seashells are made my the same manufacturr as the Guylian ones - I am not so sure and not been ale to find firm evidence either way. The Guylian boxes do not appear to have a starfish shape.
They are presented well and arrived in great condition and would look good arranged in a dish.
These are nice sweet chocolates - but you would not want to eat many at once - but then I always ration my chocolates anyway.
On opening the box you get a good chocolaty aroma. I am not very keen on too much white chocolate but as these chocolates are covered in a mixture of the different chocolate swirled together it does not taste of the white chocolate as such - you just get a general chocolate taste = not really white or dark.
The filling is a good firm texture and is covered in a decent layer of the swirling chocolate - not too thick or thin. The covering does not splinter everywhere when bitten into. I did bite into them as I did not want to put a whole one in my mouth in one go.
All in all a good tasty treat from a budget supermarket - but I doubt you would wnat to buy it as a gift - unless you knew the person actually liked them.
Although these tasted quite nice I am always one who likes to know the make of the food I am eating - and I tend to be put off before I start if I cannot recognise the manufacturer - probably I am way too fussy as these and other chocolates made under the 'J.D.Gross' brand have some great reviews online - but please give me a make I know!
---Would I Recommend?---
Yes definitely - though if giving as a gift I can understand you would probably rather hand over Guylians.
4 stars - taste is ok but not a make I recognise..