I have a soft spot for Italian chocolate, I think it's my love of Gianduja and their fondness for using hazelnuts/hazelnut pastes in their chocolate, but how does it fair when it doesn't have my beloved ingredient in it? Vanini is a brand new chocolate range that has been launched under Italian chocolatier ICAM SpA, that own a range of chocolate brands - including Go*Do, that I've reviewed on here before.
Looking through some of their other sub brands I got the impression that Vanini was meant to be the cream of the crop, the upper crust of their selection, made with cocoa beans grown in Bagua, part of the wild Peruvian territory of Amazzonia, where research has suggested that cocoa has been cultivated since 3000BC, it is a bean to bar chocolate bar, with an emphasis on being "Made in Italy" by using other locally sourced ingredients, their 'slogan' as such underneath the brand name is "in the heart of cocoa" - "NEL CUORE DEL CACAO", emphasizing their closeness to the cocoa production and their commitment to sustainability and ethics within the Bagua region and the workers that reside their.
I was sent a range of 6 bars to review in total but today I'll kick things off with their simple milk chocolate bar; when trying a new chocolate brand I always tend to head for the simplest bar first, which in my opinion enables me to fully gauge how good they are as a chocolate brand.
Looking at the back of the bar I was surprised to see that cocoa butter was the leading ingredient, I rarely ever see this in a chocolate bar and it gave me the impression that this bar was going to have a beautiful creamy melt. Opening up the card packaging you are met with a lovely side page of information about where the cocoa is sourced from and Vanini's ethics in terms of taking care of "people, planet and palate".
The bar itself is quite thin, split into large size chunks, a similar size to Lindt. A deep cocoa colour and a clean firm snap, this chocolate bar is absolutely delicious. The melt is so luxurious and smooth, due to the high content of the cocoa butter; whilst the flavour is gorgeously rich, with lovely light notes of caramel and vanilla against a creamy milk chocolate backdrop, with a flavour that lingers on the palate long after the chocolate has gone.
This is one of the best milk chocolate bars I've had in a long time; quite often with higher % cocoa solid milk chocolate bars I find them slightly too bitter, straying into the territory of their dark counterpart; however this bar manages to maintain it's creamy, sweet milk quality whilst also being satisfying and rich at the same time, without providing a ridiculous sugar rush. Spectacular.
Taste - 9.2/10 - One of the best milk chocolate bars I've had for a while.
Texture - 9.0/10 - Superb, creamy, smooth melt.
Appearance - 9.0/10 - Beautifully packaged and loaded with information.
Price - 9.6/10 - Currently under discussions to be stocked in UK suppliers but sold online at Vanini's website for €3 for a 100g bar, what a bargain for such a great quality chocolate bar.
Overall - 9.2/10 - When this pops up in a UK shop I strongly advise anyone to snap it up, it's utterly delicious.
Anyone looking for a more indulgent quality milk chocolate affair.
WHERE TO BUY?
The brand is currently in negotiations with UK suppliers but you can check out Vanini's full range online here.