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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Lotte Almond Choco Ball

     
Lotte Almond Choco Ball 
Posted: 19 November 2010    4.5 
Lotte Almond Choco Ball With 28% almond content, no chocolate lover is going to be so turned off by the Lotte milk-almond combo. But at the same time, no chocoholic in his right mind would go out of his way to seek these bars out as an import or to even go out of his way to pick these up while in Korea.     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.039   Cocoa %: 28*  Size: 40g  Korean chocolate 
       

           *estimated cocoa solid percentage


Just last week my girlfriend's mother, sick for years, passed away.  On short notice, we flew back to Korea to attend the funeral.  While there, I made it a point to scout among the shops to see what locally made chocolates I could procure to feature on the Chocolate Republic.  Korea may officially be a democracy, but it's not a democratic chocolate outpost.  The Family Mart shelves were dominated by just three companies:  Mars, Hershey, and Lotte, with Lotte grabbing the lion's share of shelf space by a tremendous margin.  The Mars and Hershey products, strict imports manufactured in lands afar, were all but ignored.

Lotte is a gynormous Korean-Japanese conglomerate which has its fingers in many pies.  Food and chocolate are just a tiny part of their empire.   Their chocolate products are anything but innovative and cater to the indifferent chocolate eater.   No certified chocoholic would try to get his fix from Lotte.

Lotte manufactures its lines in both Korea and Japan to, I presume, the same minimal standards.  Doing some research online, I came across bars I bought in Korea but with Japanese letters upon them.  If this were another brand, like Cadbury, I'd assume the same product would be manufactured to different tastes in each country.  Not with Lotte.  After tasting a half dozen of their bars over the course of a week, I am pretty damned certain the Japanese and Korean versions would taste identical for reasons I'll get into on other Lotte reviews.

The Almond Choco Ball is exactly what the name implies.   It's whole almonds enrobed, one-by-one, in Lotte's standard below-average milk chocolate and inserted onto a tray inside the box to resemble fine chocolates individually placed in a box.  The chocolate tastes good in a slick sort of way, but it's not fine chocolate and made with palm oil.  No serious chocolate manufacturer would consider palm oil.  Only a cost cutting conglomerate would. 

With 28% almond content, no chocolate lover is going to be so turned off by the Lotte milk-almond combo.   But at the same time, no chocoholic in his right mind would go out of his way to seek these bars out as an import or to even go out of his way to pick these up while in Korea.  You're not going to make friends giving this bar as a gift  Starving North Koreans flooding across the border would likely wait until a Whittaker's Almond Gold bar arrived from New Zealand before sinking their teeth into this.

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Chocolate Monggo Raisin & Cashew Nuts from Indonesia -- 58% cocoa solids
 Theo Ultimate Dark Chocolate from USA -- 85% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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Insights From A Travel Mastermind

  Korea is home to Lotte, a Korean conglomerate. How is Korean chocolate? It's got almond and choco balls. The chocolate is made with almonds and choc balls galore. Let the chocolate republic review it all with Doug of Doug's Republic