Monday, February 14, 2011

A Nestle NOIR Valentine's Day Treat

For the dark chocolate lover, Valentine's Day is not complete without some kind of dark chocolate truffles.  And for someone like me, who lives very far away from any high end truffle shops, and who's husband never remembers to order gourmet truffles online in advance of Valentine's Day, I rely on commercial chocolate brands to provide me with a special treat on Valentine's Day.

So when I was recently shopping for Valentine's chocolates for my family (they like the commercial stuff), I saw a box of  Nestle NOIR L'Assortiment "Les Favoris des Connoisseurs".  I hadn't tried these yet, so I thought, "why not?" and bought the box.  To justify the purchase, I promptly gave it to my husband and told him to hide it for Valentine's Day, when he could take it out of hiding and give it to me as my present.  I was happy and he was even happier.

After having eaten about eight of these chocolates today, I am compelled to say that I am happy with the flavours that Nestle has chosen for this box of truffles.  I am not, however, completely happy with the ingredients list.  It starts out okay, with "sugar, cacoa paste, hazelnuts, milk powder..." but then it gets into items like vegetable oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil and 'flavour' (listed only in French on the box as "arome".  I am particularly turned off by the use of hydrogenated vegetable oil. I just think that, with all we know nowadays about being healthy, no manufacturer should be using hydrogenated oils in their food products anymore.

That said, in reviewing the taste and flavours, I liked the "Exquise" the best, which is a smooth dark chocolate truffle that has crispy rounds bits on the top, which add a nice textural element.  I ate the crunchy bits off the top first, then indulged in the smooth centre.  The "Coquillage" was also very good, as it was another smooth dark truffle, but with the addition of crunchy carmelized cocoa nibs. 

The one flavour I was not as enamoured with was the "Viennois".  The box said it was a "harmonious blend of creamy mocha and dark chocolate".  The centre was coffee-flavoured but rather light in colour and not very dark chocolaty. It was okay, but sort of bland compared to the other flavours in the box.

So that was my Valentine's Day chocolate indulgence. Since this Valentine's gift to myself was so successful and well-received by my husband, maybe next year I'll order myself some very expensive all-natural gourmet truffles and just charge it to his credit card.

For more information on Nestle NOIR L'Assortiment, go to

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