This September, the Swiss chocolate makers Lindt will launch a new range of bars. Though already available in few selected supermarkets, expect to find Lindt 'Creation' nationwide soon.
In the UK, we know Lindt for its 'Excellence' range, mouthwatering thin bars made of large of 70% cocoa squares. However if you have been holidaying on the continent, you may already have had the pleasure to dive into the world of Lindt's creations.
In France, it's already possible to buy the Lindt's Creation range, each bar encasing flavours within Lindt's trademark smooth chocolate. But don't be fooled, this is not a question of straight export. I was told that, "The bars on sale in the UK have been designed with Britons in mind". They are not radically dissimilar from their continental cousins, but they are different enough to make them unique.
Let's begin with the weight, each bar is 100g in the UK, against 150g in France. 50% difference would seem to indicate that we are much more restrained than the French. A theory which is blown out of the water when it comes to the shape of the squares. On the continent, the pillow shape is rather flat, here it will be round and plumpy.
Yet, it's not only a question of looks, the major differences reside in the taste.
Luscious Caramel has been redesigned and adapted. It's still is a milk chocolate bar, flavoured with a smooth caramel which is layered on the top of a subtle milk truffle. But, allegedly, in the UK, we don't like our salted caramel too salty therefore the flavouring has been much reduced. I have got to say that I never understood the enthusiasm for salted caramel chocolate bars until I tried this one. The balance is just right, the salt kicks in at the start but soon melts in the smoothness of the caramel, leaving no after-taste.
With the addition of a moreish praline, Divine Hazelnut is the crispiest bar of the range. It has a long slow melt, leaving only very few little nugget of nuts on the tongue.
The last two bars in the collection: Velvety Vanilla Almond and Sumptuous Orange could not be any more different from one another. The former is appropriately name, a layer of vanilla flavoured truffle seats on a bed of caramel. The squares break up neatly and biting on Velvety Vanilla is a bit like licking a spoon of flavoured dulce de leche or laping concentrated milk, without the "sickly" sweetness. This bar is an unpretentious but nevertheless very pleasant.
The other, Sumptuous Orange, is poles apart. It screams at you from its loud snap to the moment you put it in your mouth. It's the only one in the collection which is wrapped in dark chocolate, full of tiny little fun and 'zesty' orange bits. It certainly makes an impression and leaves a long lasting taste of chocolate and orange.
Working my way through the range, I found it consistent. Depending on personal taste, some bars will be better received than others. But as an overall collection, Lindt has brought us something which the consumer can rely on. I don't think any of the bars are masterpieces but each is definitely a little snippet of indulgence which devilishly calls you back for some more.