Thursday, April 24, 2008

13. Neapolitaner Waffel (Flavour of the year!)

Dan and I are terrible human beings. Our REAL flavour of the day was the Diät Joghurt Ritter Sport. We both looked down at that dull white packaging in my guilty hand, gave each other a quick glance of utter disgust, and Dan growled: "Put that back RIGHT NOW!"

I gladly obeyed, and back into the box it went.

No point in ruining a perfectly beautiful sunny day, right? Of course, our biased thoughts could be completely wrong and the Diet series could be a chocolate wonder of the universe, but... NO! It is just not possible! Diet and Chocolate just don't belong together!

Anyway, the coy vermillion packaging of the Neapolitaner Waffel peeked at us, along with the gorgeous golden label that boasted: "Sorte des Jahres", or "Flavour of the year". We greedily grabbed it and smiled. It felt right.

Ugh, we are SOOOO going to get all the diet and "bad" flavours in the end, and we have noone but ourselves to blame for it. Oh well.

The Neapolitaner Waffel consists of two light wafer biscuits topped with a scrumptious thick layer of my favourite Ritter Sport ingredient: the nougat.

With that gleaming label, this chocolate bar has a HUGE reputation to live up to!

Sweetness: 4 out of 5

It was flirting dangerously with the borderline of being much TOO sweet, but no. That gently neutral wafer biscuit created some sort of barrier that stopped the nougat from overthrowing the balance of this delectable item.

Texture: 5 out of 5

The light crunchiness of wafer mixed with the creamy, rich, sweet nougat? My idea of HEAVEN!

*insert harps and angelic singing here*

Devourability: 5 out of 5

Being the "Flavour of the Year" made me want to savour it in a slower and more relaxed manner since it was such a "special" sweet.

But I couldn't control myself! I wanted more of that crunchy BITE, followed closely by the succulent creaminess of the hazelnut creme. MORE AND MORE AND MORE. I didn't want it to ever end, and I wanted to drown in an AVALANCHE of wafer mixed with smooth, smooth nougat!

And you know what? I STILL want MORE! In fact, methinks that I will grab another one of these tomorrow!

Frequency: 4.5 out of 5

Yes yes yes!

Overall: 18.5 out of 20

Oh how I would have loved it if this flavour hadn't lived up to its title. Oh how satisfying would it have been if I had had the opportunity to type a catty comment such as: "Yes Mr. Ritter, you think you know us and what we want in chocolate? Well, master chocolatier, think again. You couldn't be more wrong."

Of course it didn't happen, and I really want the Neapolitaner Waffel to be my best friend. Forever.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

12. Weisse Voll-Nuss (White Chocolate with Whole Nuts)

Aah, the Weisse Voll-Nuss Rittersport. A lot of people I know have a snobbish attitude towards white chocolate, because it isn't "the real thing". Me, I'm not that picky. Even though it isn't my favourite variation of chocolate, I tolerate it, and once in a blue moon when I'm feeling WILDLY SPONTANEOUS, I will actually make a purchase.

And this might be a blasphemy to some chocolate lovers, but WHITE CHOCOLATE also contains cocoa butter which is why it ALSO qualifies as chocolate! mmkay?

Thank you.

Sweetness: 4 out of 5

One of the sweeter variety of the Ritter Sport chocolates - pleasantly milky and smooth.

Texture: 5 out of 5

GIANT WHOLE HAZELNUTS! CHUNKY FUN! And if THAT wasn't enough, it even has a generous sprinkling of surprise CRISPIES in it! What an adventure of CHUNKINESS! I really couldn't get over this CHUNKY CHUNK OF YUMMY CHUNK CHUNK!

Devourability: 5 out of 5

My teeth were having a BALL with this chocolate bar, they were exercising rapidly and having a GREAT TIME. I couldn't get enough of the CRUNCH CRUCH CRUNCH and the occasional cheeky CRISP that would sneak in there once in a while. The rate I went through this chocolate bar was quite impressive.

Frequency: 2 out of 5

Ok, even though I loved the nutty crispy ORGY in my mouth, let's face it. It is still white chocolate, and given the chance of choosing between white, milk or dark, I will probably dump the white chocolate to the end of the line, unless I was in an exceptional mood that day. I know that I started off this post defending white chocolate and how overlooked they are, but I guess sometimes I can join that snarky club.

Overall: 16 out of 20

Due to my luke-warm liking towards white chocolate, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I ingested this chocolate bar and the extent of how much I enjoyed it. Kids, today we learn a valuable message: never discriminate and always look at things at a more than superficial level.

And white chocolate has feelings too. They deserve a chance. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

11. Mousse au Chocolat (Chocolate Mousse)

We decided to break the routine during lunch today, and the whole bunch of us at work decided to go to the university cafeteria and snag ourselves some nice cheap food. After my 2 euro meal (no complaints here), I was ready to finish with a healthy banana for desert, but everyone started bombarding me with their leftover Chocolate Mousse. I really must have a face of desperation and constant hunger.

We then decided that it was a great day to have the Mousse Au Chocolat Ritter Sport! We could compare it almost directly to the real thing... what a fun chocolate explosion!

Sweetness: 4.5 out of 5

The outer shell is made of the ever-reliable dark chocolate, which enhances the rich, dark and slightly bitter center to perfection. Bitterness is almost always associated with harshness and distastefulness, but sometimes it can be oh-so-beautiful.

Case in point - the Mousse au Chocolat Ritter Sport.

Texture: 4 out of 5

What a lovely texture! As you take a ponderous bite of the dark chocolate coating, you reach the...

wait for it...

WAAIT for it...

WAAAAIT for it...

...a SOFTER and slightly CREAMIER version of what seems to be the SAME DARK CHOCOLATE! Much more velvety than the Juicy velour sweat pants I never wanted to have, the poetic merger of the two dark chocolates just plays GAMES with your tongue. Lusciously tasteful games.


The only reason why I subtracted points in this category is because I had anticipated it to be much SMOOTHER and OOZIER, like a real chocolate mousse. More "MOUSSE-Y", to be exact. So I felt cheated by this little delicacy.

What a little enticer, you.

Devourability: 4 out of 5

Ate it all, enjoyed the complex sweet-bitterness of every bit of it.

Frequency: 4 out of 5

I believe I have found another Ritter Sport to add to my ELITE repertoire of guilty pleasures (along with laughing at people who slip and fall, the acclaimed TV show Flava of Love, gossip blogs, and jumping in public places with half-nude over sized plastic dolls - yes, I am very mature).

It is one of the heavier Ritter Sports, both in satisfaction of hunger, density and taste, which is why it is not the every day candy bar, but I'm sure my fertile imagination will help me figure out excuses to chow down on this good, good stuff on a regular basis.

Overall: 16.5 out of 20

An adult version of the Nugat Ritter Sport that I love so much.

Monday, April 21, 2008

10. Trauben Nuss (Raisin and Nuts)

The topic of raisins in chocolate has polarized opinions for years, almost to the extent of other CONTROVERSIAL subjects such as moustaches, cigarrettes, and George W. Bush. You either love it or you hate it. Luckily for me, I think that this particular dry fruit makes a tasteful complement to milk chocolate. Yay for more opportunities of being a GREEDY PIG!

Today's flavour: the Trauben Nuss (Raisin + Nuts).

Sweetness: 3.5 out of 5

It was a TINY bit too sweet, but sometimes you're just in the mood for an extra bit of sugar to flick you in the face, especially after a terribly lulling lunch of Burger King at the Reeperbahn. *cholesterol-ingested snoooooze*

Texture: 4 out of 5

No puny, shriveled little things here - BIG CHEWY RAISINS rule! The pulpous dried fruit balances out the crunchiness of the chopped up hazelnuts incredibly well, making for a nice snack to chomp on. nyom nyom nyom...

What will be next to hit those eager molars: the grapey softness of the raisins, or a hefty munch of hazelnut? *excitement!*

Devourability: 4 out of 5

I ate it all. Pretty quickly, but not like a deranged animal or anything like that.

Frequency: 3.5 out of 5

It was gratifying, but I'd have to be in some special mood for the sweet nutty and grapey combo in the chocolate. Perhaps when I am feeling in a drowsy slumberous mode.

Overall: 15 out of 20

Raisins and Nuts are two opposite elements (soft vs. crunchy, sweet vs. salty, SASSY vs. AWESOME) that in my very personal opinion, work very well together alone or in chocolate. Just like a mismatched couple that has been together for 30+ years who bicker once in a while, but at the end of the day, learn to live on each other's differences.

A MUCH better couple than that annoying Mr. Peanut Butter and Mrs. Jelly who just can't seem to get along, even when a thick crusty piece of bread mashes them together in a romantic pulpy mess. BLEGH!

I would have never considered buying the Trauben Nuss Ritter Sport before this because it would have never crossed my mind, but I can see myself buying a bar again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

9. Nugat (Nougat)

I was feeling pretty cranky on Friday, and being the whiny lil' package of annoying self-pity that I am, I asked Dan if we could have the Nougat flavour that day. This has been one of my favourite flavours EVER. It just makes me happy, so I kind of needed it.

I think my love for nougatty-scrumptiousness started ever since I was a youngin', and I have always obsessed over any nut/chocolate/creme concoction I could stuff into my piehole - Ferrero Rochers, nutella, etc.

I know, I know... all the rules of picking a Ritter Sport randomly each day have gone down the drain. Hopefully we'll get back on track next week.

Or not.

Wow, how spontaneous are we?!

Sweetness: 5 out of 5

The milk chocolate combined with that delectable hazelnutty-nougat is absolute bliss.

Texture: 5 out of 5

I would have given it a higher grade if I could. In fact, I would give it all the smiley faces, golden stars, rainbow sparkles and bonus points in the world!

It's like some sort of MAGICAL biological reaction every time I bite into each square - the milk chocolate just melds gently with the nougat filling and it just melts in my mouth effortlessly - AMAZINGLY YUMMERS...

I would basically SLATHER the filling all over my FACE if it weren't FROWNED upon by society.

Devourability: 5 out of 5

The Nugat Ritter Sport is my weakness, it really is. The usual speed I eat the entire BAR is just ridiculous. Every time I rip open the wrapper, I get into a CRAZED automatic mode where I lose any flicker of self-control I may have, and suddenly, that glossy purplish-blue packaging is empty.


Frequency: 3 out of 5

This would be one of the cases where a bar of chocolate is SO GOOD, it's BAD. If it were up to me, I would eat 4 of these things a day, which is of course absolutely ridiculous. This is why every time I pass the Ritter Sport aisle I fight my urges, and convince myself to pick something else - something that doesn't send me into an UNHINGED MANIA.

Overall: 18 out of 20

One of my all-time favourites. Always puts me into a better mood.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

8. Eierlikör (Special Spring Edition)

For some reason, this was the most evasive flavour of all. It was the only one missing from the Spring Edition trio (Marc de Champagne, Eierlikör and Ramazzotti) at the supermarket. We kept an eye open for it everywhere: at smaller grocery stores, some gas stations, kiosks, and nothing.

I had remembered seeing them at a particular gas station several weeks ago, but had avoided purchasing them because they were double the regular price - 1.45 euros... typical gas station inflation. I went again, but no, they were no longer in display at the counter. *gasp* The Ritter Sport Challenge is in danger!

But fret not, I was with my friend Talke - hoorah for native speakers - and she asked the shopkeeper, who proceeded to head to the back. Turns out they still had a few in stock, and the shopkeeper emerged from the darkness with the desired bar.

After that endeavor, the Eierlikör (Eggnog) Ritter Sport was just BEGGING to be flavour of the day.

Sweetness: 2 out of 5

It was on the sweet side of the Ritter Sport spectrum. I can probably count the number of times I have had eggnog my entire life with two fingers (MAX), so I wouldn't be a good judge of whether or not the filling tasted like authentic egg nog, especially the German kind. The alcoholic taste, however, was milder than the Marc de Champagne flavour, which made it less GAG-inducing to me.

Texture: 5 out of 5

The default milk chocolate, always delicious - and the filling was lush and smooth. I am not a fan of alcohol in chocolate, but the texture of this silky light yellow middle "saved" this chocolate for me.

Devourability: 1 out of 5

The creamy filling made me cram the chocolate into my mouth at quite a rapid pace, which is quite strange for me considering the liqueur/chocolate combo. But once I reached square 4, I realized that it was waaaay too sweet for the greedy speed I was stuffing my face with, and I had to stop and safeguard it in my office drawer.

Frequency: 0.5 out of 5

I wouldn't really buy it again though, especially with the extra effort that goes with finding it. I didn't HATE it (yes, "hate" is quite a strong word, 'innit?) as much as the Marc de Champagne, but it wasn't "THE" chocolate bar that would make me change my mind about alcohol-tainted candy. If someone offered me a little square though, I'd accept it politely and even enjoy it a tad.

Overall: 8.5 out of 20

For me, eggnog has always been associated with the Winter holiday season, which is why I thought it was strange that it was included in the Spring series. WELP, to each its own, I'm sure Germany has extremely valid reasons for why egg nog is a Spring flavour.

I am not sure if I truly enjoyed this flavour more than the Marc de Champagne, or if I am merely tolerating liqueur in chocolate more and more. I guess the Ramazzotti will be the ultimate test for my immature palette.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

7. Feinherb 60% (Bio)

Since I had the honour of picking yesterday's flavour, it was only natural that Dan picked today's. Being the to-the-point MANLY MAN that he is, he settled promptly for the Feinherb 60% (Dark Chocolate 60%) chocolate bar from the Bio series.

One of my favourite flavours from Ritter Sport is the Halbitter 50%, so I thought to myself, this is my chance to push the chocolate envelope.

I love reading the descriptions of the chocolate bars in the Bio category because they are just so damn fancy and exotic. A blend of chocolate from Ecuador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic? That's a little tropical vacation in a tiny chocolate square right there.

Sweetness: 3 out of 5

Of course it wasn't that sweet at all. It was nice, strong, bitter and very cacao-y with a mild aftertaste that I cannot really describe. Somehow it made me think of the Olmecs and the Mayans, DISCOVERING the cacao tree and exploring its uses in its purest forms. My mind wanders too much sometimes. Now if only I could focus on work a bit more...

I liked it, but I realized that my palate isn't really as mature as I would like to have thought it is. Oh well.

Texture: 4 out of 5

Pure chunk of dark chocolate - almost as dark as my black black heart.

Devourability: 3.5 out of 5

Once again, the 65 g Bio Ritter Sports are a lot smaller than the 100 g regulars, so my portion disappeared into thin air in a matter of minutes. Even the individual squares were smaller! I understand that with fine quality, you have to sacrifice quantity, but I am a greedy little bastard who wants it all.

Frequency: 1.5 out of 5

Eh. Once again, my cheapo self rears its nasty head, and I am just not willing to buy a smaller chocolate bar for a higher price just because it was handled in a cleaner and more earth conscious way. The taste, while quite nice, was not enough to make up for the price and size difference.

Aren't you proud of me?

Overall: 12 out of 20

Superior chocolate makers such as Ritter Sport have the advantage that because of their high-quality ingredients, they can be more transparent about their product and offer such an unadulterated product. With this chocolate bar, I realized that I am not a mature chocolate taster or a purist at all. I am in fact, quite a fan of when non-cocoa-y gunk mixes into the final product.

It was a good little stepping-stone to face the most cacao-y of the Ritter Sport brand though: To the monster, the mighty, Edel-Bitter (75% cacao), I declare: "I am ready!" (methinks)