Look what my personal chocolate courier, my dear sister, brought me from Belgium! It's a set of 18 tiny chocolate bars, or chocolate sticks, with eight different flavours! That's a really lovely box, a true chocolate sampler's dream.
The package is pretty, with a picture of a present (very appropriate!) and a window that lets you have a peek inside. Each chocolate minibar has been individually wrapped in a stylish Galler wrapping with a dark lower part and a top of a different colour. Unwrapping reveals the text “Galler” in a simple, stylish font in each bar.
But let's take a brief look at each bar:
Praliné Lait, milk chocolate with praline filling
The scent is soft, and so is the taste. The milk chocolate is silky smooth and sweet, but not too much so. The filling is also soft, with tiny pieces of praline in it. They taste sweet and nutty with a lovely hint of burnt sugar.
Pistaches Fraîches, white chocolate with fresh pistachios
This has a very fine, barely-there scent. The pistachios are a nice addition, their crispiness provides a contrast to the creamy texture of the chocolate. Likewise, they create an almost salty sensation, which acts as a delicious counterbalance to the sweet white chocolate.
Piémontais, milk chocolate with crispy filling
Again the milk chocolate is smooth and sweet, but not too much so. The filling is soft with something crispy in it. I can't quite identify what those little crispy pieces are, they remind me of crunchy cereal.
Praliné Noir, dark chocolate with praline filling
This is a dark chocolate shell with praline filling. The tiny wrapping didn't mention the cocoa content of the dark chocolate, but the box itself states that the cocoa content of the dark chocolate pieces is at least 60 %. This is one of the best dark chocolates I've ever tasted. There is not a hint of bitterness, it's smooth and intense but not overpowering. And the filling! It has a lovely, melt in your mouth texture and it simply tastes delicious. The combination is perfect, this might well be my favourite in this selection!
Praliné Blanc, white chocolate with praline filling
This is a white chocolate shell with praline filling. The white chocolate is creamy and sweet but it doesn't have the sugary, overly sweet flavour that some white chocolates have. And the praline filling is very tasty!
Café Liégeois, dark chocolate with mild coffee filling
Again, the dark chocolate is lovely. The coffee filling is silky and creamy, with a mild coffee flavour. It's a nice combination of mellow coffee and intense chocolate, but if I had not known what the filling was supposed to taste like, I might not have guessed what was in it (granted, I had had quite a lot of chocolate before tasting this one, so my taste buds might not have been at their most active).
Croustillant, milk chocolate with crispy praline filling
Another piece of that lovely, smooth milk chocolate. The filling, titled crispy praline, is very similar to the fillings in many other pieces, praline and/or crispy. Don't get me wrong, it's delicious. But at this point, it becomes difficult to tell the different pieces apart (especially when you're not tasting them all at the same time).
Praliné Aux Noix, dark chocolate with walnut praliné filling
More tasty dark chocolate! In this one, the smooth filling contains pieces of walnut, or rather, walnut praline. The walnut flavour is easily detectable and deliciously natural, and the praline isn't too sweet.
I first assumed that the box contained bars of nine different flavours – there were 18 altogether and it seemed natural that there'd be two of each flavour. However, at least in this box, there were eight different bars, because four of them were Praliné Noir. As it happens, that was perhaps my favourite, so I'm quite happy with the arrangement.
When I was a child, I was told that a proper review never includes mere praise but also a suggestion for improvement. If I had to come up with something, I would wish for a little more variety in the flavours. All these bars are very good, but many are rather similar in taste – including a wider variety of tastes would make the experience of sampling these chocolates even more interesting.