After reviewing the Cadbury Crispello on Monday of this week, I’ve got something today which is actually fairly similar in style to review. But unlike the Crispello, which will be (I’m sure) available in just about every shop going in a few weeks time, the Ferrero Duplo is something that I was totally unaware of until I found it and bought it. You’ve probably all gathered, from the strange foreign chocolate I occasionally review, that I like a good peruse of foreign food shops from time to time. And that was exactly how I found this 58p Ferrero Duplo bar.
The outer writing was in Greek, but the shop actually specialised in oriental foods from the Far East. Go figure.
Now, as I say, this was spookily similar in concept to Cadbury’s Crispello. I mean, there is a bit of nut in this as you’d expect for a Ferrero product, but ‘wafer covered with milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts and a soft filling’ basically sounded like the Crispello with a hazelnut in the middle to me. The description was hilariously ambiguous to an extent as well though- ‘a soft filling’. Right Ferrero. You’ve managed to give both an unbelievably unhelpful explanation of what this is, AND managed (at the same time) to make the chocolate sound really dirty with an innuendo any teenager would be proud of!
Mind you, the description makes me (as a man) slightly uncomfortable…because if women find a new favourite way to get a soft filling…well, what else are us men good for other than pretending to be good at plumbing/electrics?
The similarities with the Crispello didn’t end at the description either; not only did this weigh just 26g and contain only 150 calories (less than the Crispello bar) but it even looked a little similar too. The difference visually of course, was that Ferrero- rather than giving you three separate pieces in the wrapper) join the three lumps up with wafer in between. So this is an actual single bar of chocolate rather than Cadbury’s ‘bar’ which isn’t a bar at all.
I was hoping that this was going to be, in all but name, a Ferrero Rocher bar. Rochers are decent- not as classy as they were always made out to be (but then I was pretty poor growing up so Ferrero Rochers were about as classy as things got) but definitely nice as a one off chocolatey ball. And with Ferrero using their chocolate and hazelnuts (the exact components of a Ferrero Rocher) I had my fingers crossed the Duplo was going to be three Rochers joined together with some wafer.
And that’s EXACTLY what it looked like it was from the underside of the Duplo bar! See above- it’s clearly three separate balls which have been joined up rather than a smooth, cleanly cut single bar of chocolate.
The name ‘Duplo’ immediately makes me think of the number two (probably because it sounds like duo I presume). But this was three, rather than two individual pieces. They snapped apart very easily because the gap between the chocolatey domes is purely crispy wafer covered in a thin layer of chocolate…meaning it is very easy to break cleanly into separate pieces. Which is most helpful- there is nothing worse than the chocolate/snack which goes everywhere when you try and eat it… I mean, anybody who can eat a Cadbury’s Flake without showering chocolate all over themselves deserves some kind of reward. Well, I say ‘nothing is worse’ than messy chocolate. That’s obviously a bit of an exaggeration. I’l admit that world poverty, war and death push it close.
Ferrero’s Duplo smelt rather good indeed. The predominant scent was of warming hazelnut, and that was supplemented with a pleasant chocolate smell. It was kind of like a Kinder Bueno- creamy, nutty and chocolatey. And it definitely reminded me of a Ferrero Rocher from the smell.
From the cross section, you’ll be able to view the Duplo a little better. The whole hazelnut at the centre of the chocolate was crisp under the knife, with the ‘soft filling’ (no laughing please)…well, soft, and then the crunchy wafer around that.
The soft centre, in addition to the unsurprisingly soft texture, is a delicious praline. The melt is velvety smooth, and the flavour is an excellent fusion of milk chocolate and semi sweet hazelnut. To be perfectly honest, it absolutely smashed the Crispello centre out of the park. It was smoother, silkier and a bit more indulgent in flavour because it had a great creaminess to it.
The whole hazelnut found buried in the middle of each Duplo piece was terrifically firm and avoided the dreaded soggy nut syndrome. But each nut was absolutely tasteless. Not bad in taste, because there was no taste whatsoever. It was basically the same as if air had a great bite to it- all texture, no flavour. And that criticism can be extended from the hazelnut to the wafer as well, which was dry and crispy as you bit into the bar, but rather than the sweetness and slight malty flavour that most wafers have… there was nothing.
And finally there is the milk chocolate coating to all of the previously described components. It was pretty ‘meh’ and average. Normally a chocolate has a defining flavour, be it cocoa/milkiness/creaminess/fruitiness/acidity or whatever. This covering was just a bland sweetness. Not offensive, but not memorable in the slightest.
The Ferrero Duplo ‘works’ though. I think it is a prime example of something being greater than the sum of the individual components which make it up. The wafer and hazelnut don’t taste of much, and the milk chocolate is bland to be frank. However the delicious (and very strong) praline filling ensures the Duplo has enough flavour to it overall. And that means that the wafer and hazelnut can afford to be more about texture than taste. They offer a fantastic crunch as you bite into the bar, then you get the creamy and nutty soft centre. Job done Ferrero, job done.
I quite enjoyed the Duplo. Given that I only reviewed the Cadbury Crispello at the start of the week, it’s natural that I’m going to subconsciously compare the two as they’re such similar concepts. And this shades the Cadbury bar. With it only containing 150 calories, but feeling a little more luxurious because of the extra creaminess of the praline centre, it’s a more satisfying bar.
This has some undoubted weaknesses alongside a couple of nice strengths. But overall it’s a strong offering from Ferrero.