“ Brand: Lindt „
You know how at weddings, people often say things along the lines of 'the first time I set eyes on so-and-so, I knew it would be a love that lasted forever'? Well a similar beginning-of-a-love-affair moment sticks in my mind from late last year when I was having an evening of, ahem, chocolate appreciation at a tasting session in the Lindt store in Sydney. They gave us full run of the shop afterwards complete with a tempting 10% discount off all items, and one of the many things that fell into my basket was the Tarte Citron Meringue flavoured bar of the new Petit Dessert range. It's hard to pinpoint what it was that did it for me - perhaps the crisp white box packaging, perhaps it was the swirly gold writing on the cover, perhaps it was the tempting picture of a huge slab of lemon meringue they showed alongside a representation of what the chocolate inside would look like. I had a sneaking suspicion it was something I was going to like Very Much Indeed. Needless to say, it lived up to expectations and about 90 minutes after opening it, with no friends worthy of sharing with in sight, it was all gone. 150g in 1 ½ hours? No bad work, and it would have gone even quicker if my work that morning hadn't based me on the renal ward in the hospital where, no matter how hard you try, sometimes the whole place does just smell of wee.
Yep, the love-affair had truly begun, but it wasn't until I got back to the UK and saw it on the shelves of Tesco that I realised just how firmly it was going to stick around. The bar is easily available in the UK (this is simultaneously a Very Good Thing and a Very Bad Thing), with most supermarkets stocking it, including in their Local / Metro / similar small city centre branches.
This product is much more than simply another run-of-the-mill bar of chocolate, in both appearance and taste. It is presented foil wrapped in a thin yet sturdy cardboard box covering which keeps it looking neat and un-squished even if you accidentally put all the rest of your shopping on top of it. It comes in one size - the aforementioned able-to-be-eaten-in-one-go 150g - and this has 10 large square pieces. The people at Lindt who, quite frankly should know better, suggest 2 pieces is a good serving size.
Inside the foil the chocolate looks healthily glossy and freshly made. The bar is very thin so it's hard to believe they could manage to fit in the filling they claim on the front (a lemon filling, meringue and biscuit pieces), but of course they do. The chocolate tastes like an extra thin version of regular milk chocolate Lindt - smooth, creamy, delicious. The whole bar is covered with this, top and bottom, both sides, so every bite contains as much chocolate as filling unlike some other products. I approve of this since I like this chocolate very much, and also because it balances out the flavour of the centre. The main filling component is a lemon crème which tastes like lemon curd but much thinner and lighter, and slightly more tart / less sweet. Again, the lemon is everywhere, filling every corner of the chocolate shell, so no matter how you eat it, every bite is essentially a chocolate/lemon bite. The remaining ingredients add to the product without becoming the main part - the tiny biscuit and meringue pieces introduce a vague crunchy texture to the filling and are evenly distributed throughout the lemon (rather than being layered on top). Keeping track? This now means every bite is an ever-so slightly crunchy chocolate/lemon bite. This is in no way a biscuit bar, but rather a crème filled bar with a slight kick, and it is really delicious. The tart lemon is balanced out by the sweet chocolate in the same way the smoothness of said chocolate is complemented by the grainy biscuit. I can understand why they call this brand 'Petit Desserts' as it is a pudding in its own right, much as the original lemon meringue pie that provided its inspiration is. And you can really taste that inspiration: if someone blindfolded you and asked you to taste the chocolate and then say what it reminded you of, dessert-wise, 9 out of 10 people would correctly name its predecessor. However, there are subtle differences and many of my issues with the original (namely not enough chocolate, and too filling, plus too big to get in my gob all in one go) are addressed by the bar, meaning its even better than its inspiration. Awesome.
Chocolate such as this is ludicrously expensive in the UK. The typical selling price I've seen is £2.49 for a 150g bar. While I understand that it's (a) good quality, and (b) sold under the famous Lindt name, this is still expensive in my mind, especially when you go online and see you can buy it in continental Europe for under 2 (£1.35) a pop. However, help is at hand in the form of my favourite new shop Quality Save (aka Home Bargains in some parts of the country). At my local QS / HB you can currently purchase bars of this delightful chocolate for 79p each, and not only are they the genuine article, they're also well in date with a best before of December this year, about 3 and a half months longer than any sensible connoisseur would need.
In case the star rating and rave review haven't shown this enough, I would like to go on record to say I LOVE this chocolate. It is delicious and well-constructed - I'll say it again, the way every bite has a smidge of every ingredient in it? Fab! It feels like a luxurious treat, looks good on your shelf and is even posh enough to be given as a gift. The price is slightly off putting but also prevents me from splurging constantly meaning simply that the treat factor is amplified when I do get my hands on it. I just can't fault it in any way.
<< Coming soon to a review site near you a fellow Lindt bar that is disgusting and a disgrace to the good Lindt name. Ooh, controversy. >>