It was another beautiful day here in the island, which was perfect for wandering around the city’s downtown area. While some grey clouds did appear, it didn’t rain, thankfully! With it being the ideal weather for exploring, I had fun walking around and admiring the cityscape. And along the way, I even said “hello” to the legendary Raffles Hotel!
As much as I adored admiring all of the architecture, my day was also filled with excitement through impromptu chocolate-shopping, which is where this week’s foodie adventure begins.
Browsing all the tempting chocolates, I was drawn to the ones from Finland. Chocolates from Finland aren’t available in every shop here in the island, but they are present in imported confection shops (especially in touristy areas). One such shop is The Cocoa Trees, which is where my chocolate bar came from. Finnish chocolate isn’t a stranger to my snack stash, though. Another version of the Geisha chocolate made its debut in the snack stash two years ago.
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been spotting bits of random Finnish and Nordic appearances now and then. For example, some relaxing videos on Helsinki have been coming my way, and I have been enjoying them. The Nordic vibes continue to flow while I’m out and about in the island – especially when I step into large malls and become surrounded by cozy home décor and designs in Nordic-inspired shops. In a bustling city where soaring skyscrapers are aplenty like the Lion City, it’s always fun to add some snugness through little soft Nordic-like touches – that most certainly includes Finnish chocolates – while enjoying the city’s tropical weather. It’s the best of both worlds!
A Little Foodie Glimpse Into Finland
Finland is known for various eats such as the traditional cardamom pulla bread and the ever-polarizing salty liquorice (sorry liquorice fans, I’m on team ‘nay’ for all forms of liquorice), and it is home to wonderful chocolates too. One of Finland’s most iconic chocolates is the Geisha chocolate by a local brand called Fazer. Fazer is very famous in Finland’s chocolate scene. Not only does it produce chocolate confections, it also has cafés in Helsinki with sweet and savory options on the menu.
The original Geisha chocolate comprises of a milk chocolate coat and a hazelnut nougat filling. This time, we’re taking a bite into the dark chocolate version. Also, the chocolate comes in a variety of forms – from large chocolate blocks to little bite-sized chocolates that are wrapped individually like little toffee candies. The in-between of those is probably the chocolate bar, whereby you’ll get more than a single bite but it is still easy to pop into your bag when you are on the go.
Hei, Suklaata! Hello, Chocolate!
It was time to unwrap the chocolate bar! A block of 5 delightful-looking chocolate pieces sit inside the pink-colored wrapper. Each block is perfectly thick and the entire chocolate bar’s potion size is nice too. It also looks like a dessert!
In my introductory bite, the first flavor that arose was the dark chocolate, particularly because I took a bite into one of the dark chocolate-covered ends of the chocolate bar. This dark chocolate possesses the signature taste of European-style dark chocolate with a prominent cocoa note. Much to my delight, it doesn’t have an overpowering bitter note. Dark chocolate pairs very nicely with the hazelnut nougat filling, and it elevates the nougat.
While the dark chocolate coat is thicker and firmer, the nougat is softer (in a tropical climate at least), However, the nougat does become firmer when the chocolate bar is refrigerated. In the chocolate family tree, this hazelnut nougat-filled chocolate bar feels like it belongs in the same lineage as chocolates filled with soft pralines and truffle chocolates.
The nougat, which somewhat resembles peanut butter fillings in chocolate bars visually, is where the hazelnuts enter the chocolate confection puzzle. It contributes a depth of hazelnutty flavor to the chocolate bar holistically.
The hazelnut nougat filling’s consistency is a combination of smooth and crunchy. The nougat’s gentle crunch, which seems to be from hazelnuts, is rather unique. Instead of including hazelnuts that are chunky or chopped into smaller pieces like in most hazelnut-filled chocolates, the crunchy component in this chocolate bar is much finer.
While chewing on a piece of chocolate, the crunchy bits reminded me of wafer biscuit crumbs texture-wise, which I personally love. These bits also contribute in featuring hazelnut’s signature flavor, which shines in the nougat’s overall taste. Recollecting my previous Finnish Geisha chocolate post, I realized that this nougat-tasting experience is identical to the nougat I enjoyed from the relatively-recent past. I’m glad that it hasn’t changed (to my palate)!
Flavor-wise, dark chocolate pairs with the filling harmoniously as both elements are pleasant together. The primary flavors – dark chocolate and hazelnut – are well-loved classic flavor notes in the chocolate realm, and they contribute in delivering a delightful experience in this chocolate-munching adventure.
All in all, I enjoyed this foodie ‘reunion’ with Finnish chocolate!