/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Villars Milk Chocolate With A Praline Filling And Wafer
Villars Milk Chocolate With
Praline Filling And Wafer Chips
Posted: 13 December 2010
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.
price/gram: USD 0.04
Cocoa %: 33
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
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.
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