Despite hitting the shelves of the large Italian retail in the fall of 2018, I never felt the motivation to buy a whole box of Baci Perugina Limited Edition—the traditional gianduja-filled pralines covered with the novelty Ruby chocolate.
The right opportunity for taking the risk came the day before yesterday. While waiting to get salt-cured anchovies for my favorite “tomato sauce with anchovies” at a local deli, a large glass jar loaded with shiny pink-wrapped chocolates enticed my attention. At the price of € 0.70 each, trying those chocolates was a deal I could no longer worm out of. (And if even the convenience store of a 2,000-inhabitant village in one of the most remote Italian regions sold at least one confectionery product with Ruby chocolate, I thought the novelty should already have gone mainstream.)
As the spaghetti with the red anchovy sauce would be on the menu today, so followed the moment to taste the glamorous pink chocolates after the delicious Mediterranean dish.
Once unwrapped from the aluminum foil, the Bacio Perugina praline coated with a 2-mm Ruby chocolate layer was totally neutral on the nose, without any olfactory scent that could anticipate a prelude on the palate. Only after letting it slightly melt in the mouth before slowly chewing the mix, the bite revealed a surprising harmony with the gianduja and hazelnut filling, without releasing excessive sweetness or artificial sensations. It was like tasting a gianduja praline delighted with a touch of white chocolate slightly acidified with cranberry-flavored yogurt.
To make a comparison test with a more “familiar” chocolate recipe, I ended the tasting with the Bacio Perugina Extra Dark 70% version. The plastic and flat sensation from the start of the extra dark praline remarkably unfolded less satisfactory, thus making me pointlessly prefer the pink counterpart with Ruby chocolate.
Although limited to this only experience, my honest considerations as a lover and researcher of fine chocolate lead me to conclude that in the niche of ingredients for premium chocolate and chocolate confectionery Ruby chocolate lends itself exceptionally well because of its sensory profile to the eye and palate. It is not a type of chocolate I would choose as the first choice for mindful tasting, given that it doesn’t provide any excitement to sniffing. Still, as an innovation in the field of premium chocolate, it must absolutely be respected, demonstrating creative and alternative possibilities for vivisecting and controlling the chocolate production process from the most eclectic fruit seeds on earth, known as cacao.