Christmas is over, but it’s still winter. So, the duck and I decided to try this year’s Ritter Sport chocolate winter mix – this time without waiting until the end of the season to look for a box of miniatures. Nevertheless, we still had to conduct our (now) traditional visits to four different stores until we found a box. When we had finally gotten a hold of one (the last one in the store, it seemed), we took a closer look at the individual chocolate bars for the first time and then realized why they had been so hard to locate even though astronomical winter was less than a month old:
Even though they are called ‘winter edition’, the chocolates are definitely Christmas-themed, as is the shiny packaging. Like most other Christmas snacks, those Ritter Sport chocolate varieties disappeared from most grocery store shelves as soon as Christmas was over, with only one box of miniatures waiting to be picked up by the duck and me so that they could be tested by two of the most unsuitable taste testers out there:
Longing for Christmas in January
I should mention that my hand has been hurting for the past two weeks which means that – this time – I might actually be successful in typing up the duck and my super subjective taste opinions with an almost adequate word count.
Since all varieties feature typical German Christmas flavors, here’s a link to a previous rambling session all about Kokosmakronen, gebrannte Mandeln, Spekulatius, and all their friends/rivals. The duck and I found it funny that while the ‘Fernweh‘ chocolates we tried last summer featured different chocolate varieties but similar textures, this set featured diverse textures, but all covered with milk chocolate. We like Ritter Sport milk chocolate which is why we will ignore that part in our reviews and instead focus on how we liked the overall taste of each variety, starting with:
This one features a coconut cream filling with little Kokosmakronen – coconut macaroon – pieces for a slight crunch. When we first saw this, we thought that it would probably taste a lot like the coconut variety we tried last summer; however, to the duck and me it tastes less coconut-y which made it more enjoyable for our particular palate (as weirdos with ambiguous feelings about coconut flavors). The coconut cream tastes slightly less obtrusive than that of this chocolate bar’s summer counterpart, maybe because it is a bit milkier, and the coconut macaroon pieces remind us of toasted coconut and cookies(?) so that we got a nice Christmas vibe, which is okay even in January, if, like us, you love Christmas season. The duck and I give this 4/5 Ducks… and I honestly don’t understand why. But we like this. A lot (for being so weird about coconut flavors).
This variety comes with tiny crunchy pieces of gebrannte Mandel – toasted almond – within the milk chocolate. If it weren’t for the specific taste of caramelized almond this would be like any other chocolate with small pieces of nut, which we like. But since we’re not huge fans of gebrannte Mandeln, we had to deduct one additional Duck from our final rating, which makes this 3/5 Ducks. We wouldn’t mind eating this again (especially during the Christmas season) but we would probably not buy a full-size bar if we had the choice between this variety and others.
Okay, this was a weird one for us: it’s basically a whole piece of Spekulatius, a spiced Christmas cookie variety, covered with milk chocolate, much like the Butter Biscuit variety they sell throughout the whole year.* The duck and I think that this is brilliant: creating a variety that, if you love Spekulatius and milk chocolate, you will love. The cookie has a nice crunch that works super well with the smooth chocolate. Unfortunately, the duck and my Spekulatius appreciation is at an all-time low at the moment (for cookies – I love cookies and the duck dreams of them every night. Spekulatius is still way cooler than brussels sprouts or marshmallow candy in our books); we have probably eaten too much Spekulatius in the past so that our Christmas treat preference has gone in the direction of more ‘bland’ flavors, i. e. anything that makes do with few distinct spices. Are we getting super old? Has Japan and its subtler flavors ruined our German Christmas treat appreciation? Who knows? Personally, we have to rate this 2/5 Ducks, but, at the same time, we think that this is the most ingenious variety of the three!
That’s (almost) all my hand allows me to write today (let’s all thank my hand for shorter blog entries!). Overall, we loved this Christmas/winter edition of Ritter Sport chocolates, because if you close your eyes while you eat them, you might actually think that it’s still Christmas (the duck and I sure did). If it weren’t so hard to find, and if we had tried this earlier, we might actually have eaten more of these miniatures last month. Even though we didn’t love all of them, they complement each other well and we would eat them again, all three of them – as miniature chocolate bars because they allow you to mix all those flavors without feeling like a glutton because you’re eating from three 100g Ritter Sport chocolate bars at the same time (and of course, you have to finish them quickly once opened).
Have a nice, happy, and painless post-Christmas season, everyone!
*Well, according to the description on the wrapper this actually is a spiced butter biscuit and a spiced cream filling with cocoa within milk chocolate. To the duck and me the mini chocolate bar did taste the way we described it – maybe we didn’t notice the cream filling because we tried the miniature instead of the full-size bar.