My earliest memories are chocolate coated. Mum started a hand-made chocolate business with her best friend when I was four years old. They made chocolate truffles and marzipan fruits in our kitchen, where I was usually to be found scraping off the last remnants of melted chocolate from a wooden spoon, or the sides of a saucepan – dog by my side, waiting, anticipating.
I know sugar is the big, bad, bogeyman of our time. I’m not endorsing any over-indulgence here. Too much of anything, by definition, is bad for us. But chocolate was always available to eat whenever we fancied it when I was growing up. It was on display at home, which meant we didn’t binge on it, or squirrel it away.
I’ve tried to instil the same ethos in our kids. There are sweets and chocolates on a tray in our dining room, but the kids don’t abuse its easy availability. They always ask if they can have a treat and they eat sweets and chocolate in moderation.
Mum’s chocolate business was sold many years ago, but I remember the chocolate years vividly and still love browsing the chocolate counters in department stores.
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Cailler, Switzerland’s oldest chocolate brand, invited me to a chocolate tasting event last week. They created the first milk chocolate back in 1875 with fresh (not powdered), condensed milk from local cows which graze within 20 miles of the factory; which they still produce today.
I would usually go straight for dark chocolate, the darker the better, but Cailler’s milk chocolate is amazing. The condensed milk creates a creamy texture and caramel notes to the flavour.
We tried a new range of milk and dark pralines, ganaches and bonbons, all delicious and beautifully packaged. These boxes will make fantastic gifts.
The large ‘tablets’ (bars) contain nuts and fruits which are exposed through the chocolate, so you can see what you’re biting into.
At the moment Cailler is only available in some duty free shops and on Amazon – click on this link to see the full range. They do have plans to expand in the UK in the future.
Now that I’ve written this article I can finally open the chocolate boxes Cailler gave me after the tasting session. The hubster will be happy.