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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Cailler Chocolate*

It was reading week last week and I took a trip home, via Paris where I participated in a macaron making class (more about that in another post), to see my mum and relax for a bit. Well, it was supposed to be relaxing. I actually zoomed around for the whole holiday and found myself in London 4 times!! The most unexpected visit also turned out to be one of my favourite days and a completely new experience. One of mum's friends passed along an invitation to a chocolate launch on the South Bank (Sea Containers's restaurant is very swish by the way).

The chocolate in question? Nestlé's prestigious swiss brand Cailler, now launching in the UK exclusively at Amazon. It's made at Maison Cailler near Broc and uses (unlike most chocolate companies) fresh milk in their  chocolates, not powdered. They even showed us a video about one of their cows, Gwendoline! All the milk is sourced from within a 20 mile radius of maison Cailler, which is a nice touch and helps to keep the brand close to home - apparently there are some locals who say you can taste the difference between the chocolates made in the summer and winter, when the cows eat different things. I think they must have insanely good tastebuds!

We started the day by being told a little about the chocolate and the brand (founded in 1819) before being taught how to taste chocolate. First, you must look at the chocolate and look for the texture and shine; then you smell the chocolate for a hint as to the flavour - floral, caramel, obviously the milk chocolate smells strongly of milk; and then you finally get to taste the chocolate, and experience those flavours you smelt, as well as finding out how smooth the chocolate is. We tried three different strengths of Cailler's chocolate (82%, 74% and a milk chocolate) before moving on to their filled chocolates - a praline, a ganache and a caramel cup, all of which were delicious. I think my favourite style of their chocolates has to be the L'Art du Bruit bars, due to their stunning way of displaying their filling. Who wouldn't want to see the inner workings of a chocolate bar? All the fillings were delicious but for me the best is the milk chocolate with almonds, hazelnuts and raisins as the taste blends perfectly with smooth milk chocolate while their whole forms add texture to the bar.

After the tasting, we were given goodie bags (I'm eating the contents of mine as I write this) and pointed in the direction of a pop-up airstream near the oxo tower to try more chocolates and the raw ingredients - almonds, hazelnuts, raisins and, interestingly, cocao nibs - for me the cocao nibs were far too bitter on their own but worked well with the nuts, a snack I may have to try in the future as they're supposed to be a healthy(ish) snack.

To buy a pair of L'Art du Bruit bars will set you back £8, and a 16 piece selection box £16. Pricy? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely. The thing that makes these chocolates truly special, in my opinion, is not just their taste, but their packaging. Each wrapping has a papercut on the front, depicting a scene related to the chocolate (for example the milk chocolate box has a papercut of cows and farmers on it). The information about the chocolate is also well presented, with a little leaflet attached to a ribbon around the box, so you don't have to turn the box upside down to see what you're eating!

If this review has tempted you to buy some of Cailler's chocolates then you can purchase them here, or find more information about them here. Let me know what you think!

Photos courtesy of Cailler


  1. I tried them and they really were good

    1. Good thing you enjoyed them as you ate most of them!!!


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