My husband’s family is pretty big on stockings at Christmas. They revel in the fact that while some people put bits of candy, fruits or small trinkets inside an oversized sock, they often need paper grocery sacks to hold the goodies. I thought this was a joke at first, but during our first Christmas together, I was amazed to find a bag from a local grocery about halfway full of smallish presents for me. Granted, some are a bit odd, like the rhino napkins my husband got in his this year (yes, rhino, as in the African animal). Some are very practical, like the purse-sized ultra hydrating lotion I got in mine (my hands are notoriously dry as soon as October rolls around).
Usually when his folks put edible treats in our stockings, they are things like steak rubs or fancy jams. They don’t usually drop chocolates in our stockings, so I was particularly excited to find a Butlers Almond Praline bar in mine. It wasn’t the brand that excited me, just the addition of a chocolate bar to my stocking.
Since my in-laws live several states away and were spending the holidays with my sister-in-law, we got a card with some notes about our presents. The Butlers chocolates (my husband got one too), came from their latest trip to Ireland. I couldn’t remember if I’d had any of their chocolates when I was in Ireland nearly four years ago or not. That was before the start of my chocolate blog and my fascination with recording the new and interesting cocoa goodies I sample.
I probably should have eaten the bar a bit closer to Christmas, but I had so many different and delicious chocolates on my plate, that it got pushed back a bit. Every now and then I’d glance at it and think about unwrapping it. However, when I looked closely and saw it was dark chocolate, my enthusiasm did waver a bit. I know I’ve said this quite a bit, but for those new to this blog, I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate. However, I do know lots of people, including a lot of Europeans, swear by it. I’m always a bit more reluctant to try anything that is dark, but I figured I’d be better for the experience, so today I dug in.
Thankfully the chocolate was not as bitter as I feared it might be. There was a hint of the usual dark bitterness, but not overly so, which made it easier to eat. The bar is divided into 6 pieces, each filled with almond praline and an actual crunchy almond in the center of each little rectangle. Unlike some nuts I’ve had mixed in to chocolate, this one was, in fact, still crunchy. The praline was creamy, but not overly “almond” in flavor. Now, that could have been because the chocolate surrounding it was so thick that it overwhelmed the praline flavor. In fact, the chocolate was so thick, it was actually hard to taste anything except the chocolate.
I’ll be honest, this is not a candy bar I’d buy for myself. It was basically just six pieces of dark chocolate with a bit of crunch in the middle. While it wasn’t very bitter, it was still dark chocolate. And sure, I like just letting a good piece of chocolate melt in my mouth, but aside from the bottom of a Godiva raspberry cordial (which I eat first), which has a hint of the heavenly raspberry goo inside of it, I haven’t really found a dark chocolate I want to just savour. This one was no exception.
Appearance: 5/10 (it looked like any old chocolate bar)
Price: 5/10 (I had to estimate a little, but it’s 18 Euros for 12 of them, which is about 1.5 Euro each. Not exactly sure of the exchange rate right now, but that’s gonna be about $3 per bar and I just don’t think it’s worth it).