“ Brand: Marks and Spencer „
I was given a box of these chocolates by my Grandmother as part of my 'post-christmas-back-to-my-own-house' hamper. Not being the biggest fan of ferrero rochet (to which they look remarkably similar) they lingered in the cupboard for a few days until I needed a chocolate fix one evening. I intended to eat one...I ate a whole layer. I think that sums it up really! You cannot leave these chocolates alone! The outer layer has a decent coating of milk chocolate with a generous helping of chopped nuts, and a very satisfying 'bite'. Inside you have your wafer shell filled with a creamy praline and a whole hazelnut...rich enough without being sickly. There's nothing worse than feeling 'icky' after a chocolate binge, and these M&S operettas are just the thing for a self indulgent night infront of the tv without making you feel yuck. They're perhaps not the thing to have in the house if you're dieting...70 cals each isn't too awful, but a trayful makes 560 cals. Eek. But that's not what you want to think about when you're enjoying some 'me time'. So these are great as a gift, and also a self indulgent pick me up purchase for yourself. Go on...have another one...
...You aint seen nothing yet!
I don't normally shop in Marks and Spencers , but today I went past and saw a queue outside the shop . Never one to miss out on the action, I asked someone what the queue was for, and was told the store were running a Penny Bazaar, offering items at a penny to celebrate 125 years . I joined the queue, got in, and spent 5p on a selection of items, and as I was leaving, spotted a little free trial stand with a selection of tasty sweets .
Intrigued by some chocolate looking, nut coated objects, I popped one into my mouth, and was informed by the woman behind the stand that they were 'Operetta' and were available in the food hall , at £2.50 for a 200g box . I promptly picked up a box to enjoy at home!
The box is pretty classy looking, a nice gold colour, with some pictures of the chocolates and of some Hazelnuts , with the word Operetta written in scripted writing . Not something I'd be ashamed of giving as a gift actually.
Inside the box, there are two plastic trays , each wrapped in cellophane and containing 8 chocolates each . The chocolates are a lovely glossy brown, with a bumpy texture, and some lighter chocolate drizzled across .Taking a bite, these are delicious - imagine Ferrero Rocher, only made with better quality chocolate . The same Hazelnut is there in the centre, surrounding by a velvety smooth rich praline cream, and coated in some lovely quality milk chocolate studded with crispy wafer and chopped hazelnuts.The milk chocolate contains a minimum of 40% cocoa solids and minimum 18% milk solids, and it just screams quality, none of that awful fatty greasy aftertaste cheap chocolate can leave you with .
The whole things melts on contact with the tongue, the flavours coming together wonderfully . Naturally, anything that tastes this good has to be bad for you, but the lovely people at M&S have made it a little easier for me to work out just how bad by including the nutritional info per chocolate on the box.
One of these lovely little sweets will cost you 70 calories, with 4.6g of fat. I'd just displayed a huge lack of will power and eaten a whole tray of 8 before reading this nutritional info, but in all honesty, I couldn't give a stuff, these chocolates were lovely, and if I have to live on soup all day tomorrow to make up for it, I'll gladly do so .
I love these chocolates, and highly recommend them !
Marks and Spencer has really pulled something special out of the hat with these chocolates. They are an M&S take on ferrero rocher but in typical M&S style, they aren't just ferror rocher, they are M&S ferrero rocher. In other words, just that little bit better (ok I know you don't think ferrero rocher can be improved upon - I was just as naive before I tried these beauties!) I cannot quite explain just how heavenly they are - you really must try them. They are about £2.50 for a 200g box and so so worth it! Go on, treat yourself! Not convinced? Read on and I will wax lyrical some more about their deliciousness! I just thought I would do a summary initially so anyone who is a chocoholic does not have to waste time reading the whole thing and can just run down to M&S for some wholesome chocolatey goodness!!!
They have a hazelnut and chocolate truffle centre covered in a thin crisps flaky crunchy biscuity type thing and then coated in really good quality chocolate and hazelnuts. Just like a ferrero rocher but with little lines of white chocolate on the outside - just to make them look pretty and to add that little something extra. They probably have less nuts and more chocolate than ferrero rocher but that might just be my imagination.
Nutritional blurb that you probably don't want to know:
Per chocolate (seriously!)
4.6 grams of fat
0.5 grams of fibre
1.1 grams of protein
Ok, I hear what you are thinking, so nutritionally they probably aren't all that, but really, honestly, they taste so good. And even me (a proper pig) cannot eat more than 3 or 4 without feeling sick so they do last a while. At least two days!
FINAL WARNING!!! In case the indirect hints about the hazelnuts I should just explain THIS PRODUCT MAY CONTAIN NUTS!
My husband bought me some of Marks and Spencer's Operetta chocolates for Christmas and I've just finished them. I didn't start them at Christmas - I haven't got that much restraint - I only started the box a couple of days ago. They were part of a 'three boxes for £5' offer that M&S were doing for Christmas, but they are available all year round.
If you haven't heard of Operettas before, they're pretty much like Ferrero Rochers, but without the cheesy advert. You have a whole hazelnut layered with a rich praline cream (Nutella to you and me) and a crispy wafer, coated in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts and drizzled with white chocolate.
The best way to eat them (I found, after much practise) is to shove the whole thing in at once, let it melt a bit and start scraping off the chocolate and hazelnuts with your back teeth. The wafer then melts and the Nutella starts oozing out. Yum!
M&S chocolate is all made by Thornton's (according to my source who used to work at Thornton's) so it's of a pretty high standard. The milk chocolate contains a minimum of 40% cocoa solids and minimum 18% milk solids. It's pretty smooth (apart from the hazelnut pieces) and doesn't have that funny grainy texture or oily feel that cheap chocolate has. It probably wouldn't pass for a connoisseur's chocolate, but it works for me.
Like I said, these chocolates are virtually identical to Ferrero Rochers and in a blind taste test the only way I'd be able to tell them apart is by the fact that Operettas have more hazelnut pieces in the chocolate coating.
The chocolates come packaged in a rectangular box with the logo and a picture of the chocolates on the lid. There's also a picture of some hazelnuts, presumably to make the chocolates appear healthier than they actually are. M&S have started doing a cool thing with their packaging by printing on the outside what exactly the packaging is and how you should recycle it. Inside you have two (non recyclable) trays, each containing eight chocolates and sealed in silver film.
You get 16 chocolates to a 200g box and at £2.50 a box it's just about the right price to slip in with the rest of your shopping as a treat.
The nutrition information is printed on the packaging and is, predictably, pretty scary reading. Each Operetta contains 70 calories and 4.6 grams of fat. Yikes, I've just eaten three. On the plus side, each one also contains 0.5 grams of fibre and 1.1 grams of protein, but trying to use this to justify binging on chocolate would be very sad, so I won't even go there.
In case you're interested, the ingredients are as follows:
Hazelnuts, sugar, vegetable fat, wheatflour, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, dried whole milk, dried skimmed milk, fat reduced cocoa powder, lactose, emulsifier: soya lecithin E476, dried free range egg, caramelised sugar syrup, salt, raising agent: sodium bicarbonate, flavouring.
In summary, these are ace chocolates and perfect as a treat at Chirstmas, Easter, birthdays, Tuesdays......