Some chocolatiers have to work hard to capture the hearts of chocolate buyers at Christmas, and some a bit too hard. Whilst others just create chocolate gifts that people in their millions pick off the shelves and know exactly what they’re getting – and one of those companies is Lindt. I know they’re a huge company and I’m biased towards the smaller guys and those with praise-worthy ethics, however I really do think Lindt do a good job when it comes to seasonal treats.
Lindt do vigorously protected their intellectual property with a healthy dose of patents, but what if you’re looking for ethical chocolate at Christmas? Surely all big business should be avoided if you’ve got a conscious? Well, abdicating my assessment of this assessment to Ethical.org.au I can find nothing to indicate that I should pass up this opportunity to review their some of their festive range.
Stuck in my mind is the scene from my local Tesco store around the turn of the near year. I stood there looking at the bulging shelves lined, as far as the eye can see, with ‘golden’-wrapped Lindt bunnies. I’ve purposely stayed out of the chocolate aisles of the supermarkets recently but can only imagine the abundance of these chocolate bears with parents, teenagers and children alike placing them in their baskets. It’s not surprising why this is the case. For all the chocolate gimmickry at this time of year, people just love those family favourites. Why else would people by Cadbury Roses, they’re not even all that nice? But Lindt chocolate? Don’t they fall in the same category?
Many of the chocolate Christmas gifts have been made with woeful levels of cocoa solids – 22% seems about the norm. Here you get 30% but if you expect more of the characteristic cacao taste then you’ll have to reconsider as this is very milky, creamy and velvety. I was actually trying to pin-point the exact nature of one element of the flavour. On inspection of the list of ingredients, I saw that it included barley malt extract – which I found interesting. Also something worth noting is that there’s no vegetable oil in this chocolate, which, to me at least, is very important.
So how do these Lindt bears manage to combine cuteness with a mild dose of ethics? When it comes to chocolate stocking fillers do many people actually care? Well what I’m sure many people do care about at this time of year is keeping the cost of gifts down. If you compare the cost of one of these 100g chocolate gifts with that of the chocolate mince pies from Hotel Chocolat at £7.50 at 95g, then these things would win hands down on that front.
Of course they’re bordering on being too sweet for my taste buds which naturally prefers a bitter chocolate experience, but I’d put good money on Lindt selling a couple of hundred thousand of them this year – and how can those chocolate lovers be wrong?
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