My friend Ines Stefanovic (check out her perfume and other goodies blog All I Am – A Redhead) recently sent me a box full of Croatian chocolates made by the Zagreb-based food company Kraš. I am American and have Taurus in my chart, so opening a package of never-before-tasted chocolates was a little like opening a present on Christmas morning. Since everyone everywhere always likes to see someone give a shout-out to their hometown/country, I thought I’d do a brief review.
I was sent five different candies: Bajadera (hazelnut almond nougat), Griotte (chocolate covered pralines with sour cherry filling), Dorina Ledena (mysterious filled chocolate bar), Dorina Napolitanke (chocolate covered wafers), and Cedevita Naranča (a candy flavored multivitamin). Some I shared with a couple of other friends (to compare the chocolates against our American palates, because I’m all about science and research you know), the rest I selfishly kept to myself. Here’s the verdicts:
Griotte: I shared this one with the others. The package says “sour cherry filling”, which caused some controversy in my taste group. One person thought “sour” should be replaced with “bitter” and made faces. However, the others not only enjoyed it but wanted more, with one going so far as ordering some online. I did find the filling a little too strong at first, but it grew on me the longer it sat on my tongue. It reminded me a bit of quality rum, which I liked. I wouldn’t eat it as a snack, but I think it would pair nicely as an after dinner treat.
Bajadera: I shared this one with my group as well. It was universally loved and adored. I’m not a fan of hazelnut flavored foods and I still loved this. The texture is *amazing*, light and fluffy but unlike American nougats Bajadera has lots of flavor without lots of sugar. My taste test group all agreed that the Croatian chocolates were better than average American chocolate candies for this reason – the Croatian chocolates actually tasted like what they claim to be and not like chemicals dipped in saccharine. Bajadera was, overall, everyone’s favorite.
Dorina Ledena: This one was the last one I shared with the others. The package only says “filled chocolate” in English, so we were left to wonder what the white filling would taste like. After tasting it… we still weren’t sure, except that it was familiar and delicious. Personally, I thought it had a menthol flavor to it as it seemed “cool” on the tongue. The others didn’t seem to agree, but I think that’s because menthol flavored products tend to be much stronger than this filling (which is why I generally don’t buy anything menthol). Whatever was in it, it was yummy and the milk chocolate covering it was smooth. That said, it was hard to beat the awesomeness that was the Bajadera nougats…
Dorina Napolitanke: This one I kept for myself after reading it was a chocolate covered wafer bar. My preferred junk food chocolate bar is a Kit Kat and I figured Napolitanke would be the Croatian equivalent. Actually, it was much better! The reason again being there was much more chocolate content and much less sugar – so essentially a Kit Kat done right. If ever I see this anywhere I’m definitely snatching some up.
Cedevita Naranča: I didn’t share these either, since techically they are some kind of multivitamin and didn’t think they would be as good as the candies. I was impressed by the citrus flavoring though, I could certainly pop these all day as if they actually were candies. Can you eat multivitamins like candy? A true scientist always finds out for themselves…
So, the verdict was that given the chance we’d all buy the Croatian chocolates over our own American ones. I’ve wanted to return the favor by shipping Ines some American and Mexican chocolates, but as the temperatures here have been extremely hot lately I’m afraid they will melt in the mail so we’ll have to wait to see if they impress her.
The takeaway lesson from all this: if you’re not sending your international internet friends food from your country, are you really doing your part in achieving world peace?