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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Villars Milk Chocolate With A Praline Filling And Wafer Chips

Villars Milk Chocolate With Praline Filling And Wafer Chips 
Posted: 13 December 2010    7.5 
Villars Praline In Villars' praline bar, I could tell from the very first bite that I was eating something well above average, something tasty and, to some, addictive, without the bar representing the best the chocolatesphere has to offer.     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.04   Cocoa %: 33  Size: 100g  Swiss chocolate 

Even within the Chocolate Republic, it's possible to get chocolated out.  A trip to Korea a month ago, bringing in its wake bucketloads of Korjap chocolates to be tasted and sampled, took the sweetness out of chocolate tasting for awhile. Let's call that a learning experience.  In order to effectively compare and contrast chocolates, you have to balance tasting chocolates of similar type -- say, three different milk almond bars -- with chocolates that are vastly different from one another.

To get me back in the game, as it were, I selected this praline bar off the shelf of the expensive import market in town.  Pralines and wafers in a 33% milk chocolate base -- who wouldn't like that except someone who hates milk chocolate, pralines, and wafers.

The bar is manufactured by Villars Maitre Chocolatier, a Swiss company based in the French-speaking town of Fribourg, making chocolates since 1901 noted for their especially high percentage of nuts and almonds. Today, it's part of a multinational milk operation of 17,700 employees headquartered in France.   

Enough with the history.    You don't care where they're headquartered and what language they speak.  You just care if they're good. How is this for an analogy? Villars is to Swiss chocolate as Meiji is to Japanese. By this, I do not mean that Villars represents X% of Swiss market share as Meiji represents the same percentage of the Japanese market. This is a taste analogy. Villars represents that generic sense of "Swissness" in chocolate that all the major Swiss players share while Meiji serves the same purpose in the Japanese market. That's not a negative comment as "Swissness" and "Japaneseness" in chocolate meets a tasty standard.

In Villars' praline bar, I could tell from the very first bite that I was eating something well above average, something tasty and, to some, addictive, without the bar representing the best the chocolatesphere has to offer.  You could say the same thing about Lindt most of the time, too.  And that's a tribute.  These are multinational chocolate bars, still produced without cutting every single corner. 

Villars wasn't using the finest ingredients or all that much of them in this bar.  Milk solids were 23%, about standard for a creamy milk bar.  Wafers only constituted 5%.  Villars used vegetable fats in the form of palm kernel oil.   No chocolate professional worth his cacao would treat that inclusion as a sign of respect.  It's a sign of cost cutting.  The last ingredient on the label in English was listed as "flavors."  In French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish, it said "aromas."  If it were lavender essence creating the exotic flavors and aromas, believe you me.  The label would've gladly read "lavender essence."  Running those words through the Chocolate Republic's real dictionary, you're looking at artificial flavors/aromas as the last ingredient, another sure sign of cost cutting.

You're still in good hands with Villars.  Their Swiss expertise can make even the mundane taste marvelous.    

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Marou Lam Dong from Vietnam -- 74% cocoa solids
 Otto Organic White Chocolate from Italy -- 30% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index

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  Fribourg in Switzerland is home of the Villars company, makers of adequate Swiss chocolate. The Swss Villars Milk Chocolate With Praline filling and water chips is found worldwide. Recently Doug tried the Villars milk chocolate with pralines and wafers. The chocolate republic welcomed Villars milk chocolate in and Doug of Doug's Republic said it was okay