Friday, August 11, 2017

Chocolat Suisse: Chocolat au Lait

Probably this is more the type of chocolate I would have reviewed a few years ago than what I tend to select nowadays. It's a Swiss milk chocolate that came to me by way of the friend-of-a-friend type situation--and I believe it did make its way all the way from Switzerland. Since I have it and since foreign chocolate is an interesting sub-topic of chocolate to cover (since we all get used to the styles of chocolate that are sold in our home countries), I'll go ahead with a review.

The packaging implies that this is a pretty standard chocolate in Switzerland. No "fine chocolate" style but also not really the candy bar look. I'm not sure if I should be referring to the brand as Confi Swiss or Chocolat Suisse, so we'll go with the latter. As you can see, this particular bar is simply labeled as Lait: Chocolat au Lait, or Milk Chocolate. The ingredients list tells me that the cocoa content is 25%, which is, once again, a pretty standard lower end of the cocoa content spectrum for casual milk chocolate.

The shiny surface of the chocolate contains an interesting design. While the simple rectangles are nothing new, they do have a curved rectangle pattern inside them that is less usual. For some reason the look reminds me of Willy Wonka. The chocolate gives off a creamy, caramel, lightly nutty scent with a sweet richness.

Texture-wise, this chocolate is very smooth in the mouth, possibly too smooth. The texture is thick and sticky, almost like peanut butter. While interesting simply as a novelty, I don't ultimately care for this kind of texture. The flavor quickly works up to a nutty caramel and finishes off with a warm cocoa aftertaste. I was expecting it to taste milkier than average, but I don't find it to be so after all.

Basically, it's just a milk chocolate, sweet and greasy. But it is rather different from most milk chocolates I come across. (There was another chocolate that had this same type of plasticy texture and possibly a similar flavor, but I can't quite remember what it was.) It's okay--and maybe some people will enjoy that thick texture because it gives the chocolate more of a munching quality. I said that the outside didn't look like candy bar style, but in fact the effect of the texture and flavors isn't entirely unlike a chocolate candy made with caramel and nougat.

So I am going to categorize this chocolate in the candy category, not my loosely-defined "casual" category. I could see it for sale in the U.S. and doing just as well as Hershey's and Mars and Nestle (Nestle is, of course, also a Swiss brand, though I think most Americans don't realize that). But would I seek out this brand again? Probably not.

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