Once every four years, an epic battle takes place between the nations of the world. Or at least six nations. In Queens.
Which country will earn the title for the best mass-produced milk chocolate bar with hazelnuts? Whose chocolate is the creamiest, whose nuts most plentiful? Ok, this is starting to sound weird.
What I’m trying to say is that last night, my husband and I tested out six different chocolate bars from six different countries. All brands were of the mid-range variety. All were milk chocolate, except for Russia, who misleadingly entered the competition under the duplicitous guise of “special chocolate.” (Apparently, “special” means “dark” in Russia.) All contained hazelnuts — some crushed, others whole.
But only one could win the honorable World Choc-Cup.
Each bar was ranked from 1-5 in the categories of texture, taste, and nuttiness. The winner was clear:
From Germany, Ritter Sport!
With plentiful hazelnuts, a smooth consistency, and a not-too-sweet flavor, Ritter Sport took the title. I am not surprised — I have always been a fan of Ritter Sport, which comes in myriad flavors and is widely available in Europe and the U.S.
In second place, ION chocolate from Greece!
This chocolate had a reasonably creamy texture and buckets of hazelnuts, however both judges agreed that the flavor was too sweet and the hazelnuts were not as potent as they should have been.
The losers: Italy’s Perugina chocolate was cloying and sticky like toffee due to its “caramelized hazelnuts.” Meanwhile, Croatia’s Kraš hardly tasted like anything at all. Belgium’s team, although handicapped (see: “sugar free”), offered a wonderful texture.. but not nearly enough nuts. Russia has been temporarily suspended from the league for participating under false pretenses.
2014 has been a sweet year for Germany, indeed.