This French bar is an unusual combination. It's your typical creamy white chocolate bar. Nothing new under the sun there. But instead of the usual fillings, like nuts or fruits, Casino is inserting coconut. Okay, that's nothing revolutionary either. What makes Casino's bar a little bit different is that the coconut is caramelized and resultant combo has something bordering on an aerated texture. White chocolate bars like these don't grow on trees in Thailand.
price/gram: USD 0.017
Cocoa %: 21*
* Estimated cocoa butter content
Less than two weeks ago, I
was at a holiday party held by the hotel where my wife
works. It was a Christmas party and everyone
attending selected in advance a gift recipient at random out
of a hat. My selection was a pastry chef. I went
on the internet and did a little research about him ahead of
time in order to discern what sort of gift he might enjoy.
He described himself as a chocoholic, so I knew immediately
that I could not buy him a chocolate collection.
At the party when I met him
for the first time, I mentioned the Chocolate Republic.
He wasn't much interested. He kept a sort of chocolate
blog himself, more like a food and lifestyle assessment.
In conversing with him, I realized a pastry chef was no man
to helm the Chocolate Republic. This man recounted the
fine cacaos he used in his pastry confections, most of which
I never heard of and would have no ready access to buy in
the retail markets. He judged everything from a
professional chef's standpoint. He didn't or couldn't
see it from the consumers'. First and foremost,
consumers don't care if chocolate is made from rare Arriba
beans from Ecuador. They only delight in those obscure facts
if the chocolate offers a unique taste treat and is sold at
a price commensurate with its quality, and that's only if
they have any interest whatsoever in eating better quality
chocolate. It's only in the last twenty years there's
been a real market among the commoners for premium
Here's an illustration of
that chef's philosophy vs that of the Chocolate Republic. At
this holiday party were a variety of cakes and other sweets.
On the mantel was an Oreo cake made by the wives of some of
the staff, all amateurs, with off-the-shelf Oreo cookies and
other common supermarket ingredients. On the table
were three luxurious cakes the pastry chef had made himself
using some premium high quality cacao only chefs would know
about it. No one would deny his cakes were well made,
but the oreo was more chocolatey and pleasing to the mouth.
If we priced it all out by gram, his cakes wouldn't appeal
to most people, only pastry chef judges at a competition.
Casino from France is a
Chocolate Republican kind of bar. I'm certain
the pastry chef, who boasts French citizenship among a total
of three nationalities, would find Casino repulsive. For
him, France's elite
Valrhona brand is overrated. Casino runs
hypermarkets, supermarkets, tiny markets, probably someday
markets on the moon and the sun. I recently
tried one of their tomato sauces. The company's niche
seems to be in producing well above average home brands at
lower prices than the big brands. Casino makes no
pretensions at being the best, the finest, the most gourmet.
The implied promise I take from Casino now that I've tried a
variety of their food items and chocolates is that I'm in
for a quite a good value tasting when I put Casino in my
This French chocolate bar is an unusual
combination. It's your typical creamy white chocolate
bar. Nothing new under the sun there. But instead of the usual fillings, like nuts or fruits, Casino is
inserting coconut. Okay, that's nothing revolutionary either. I've seen coconut before, quite often, usually in milk or
dark chocolates, however. What makes Casino's bar a little bit different is that the coconut is caramelized and resultant combo
has something bordering on an aerated texture.
White chocolate bars like these don't grow on trees in Thailand. Or anywhere else, as far as I know. Combine the creamy
flavors and bubbling coconut in your mouth at these prices, for a bar made in Europe and not
choco-failure Malaysia, and you'd be asked to get psychiatric counseling
if you weren't nibbling away on these to the point of
contracting diabetes type 2.
Can you get better white chocolate? Is the sky blue? Casino never ever said they were trying to be the best. They're trying
to be delicious, and value for taste received from the
consumer's point of view, I'd say they're doing a lipsmacking good job of it.
If the pastry chef could stand in Casino's shoes, he'd be
making the cakes that got fully consumed at holiday parties. Bon appetit!