Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Baci Perugina Double Layer Candy Bar

DSC_7298rbPerugina is one of Italy’s best known chocolate brands sold in the United States. Perugina was formed in 1907 and developed their best-known product, the hazelnut Baci (review) in 1922. Perugina was bought out by Nestle in 1988 but production remains in Italy.

The Baci is a whole hazelnut on top of a layer of gianduia (chocolate mixed with hazelnut paste) and chopped hazelnuts all covered in dark chocolate. They’re wrapped in silver foil with blue lettering, inside the wrapper is a little slip of glassine with a love quote in English and Italian.

Perugina is making a bit of a comeback in the United States, after being a bit hard to find for a dozen years or so. Not only are Baci now found at grocery stores and drug chains, they’re also releasing new versions.

Earlier this year Perugina announced the Perugina Baci Double Layer Candy Bar.

Perugina

The bars are available in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, I got samples of both from Perugina representatives to try. They’re big bars, at 5.2 ounces (150 grams), while most tablets these days are about 3.5 ounces (100 grams). They’re priced at about $5 or $6 retail.

Inspired by Perugina’s signature Baci confection, this new bar combines Perugina’s legendary Luisa Dark chocolate, made of 51% cacao, with a layer of gianduia that is chock full of hazelnuts. Sample this premium creation that engages the senses, with a combination of flavors and textures.

Perugina

The top layer is a solid, chocolate-like gianduia. It’s a milk chocolate with a finely ground hazelnut paste and some added crushed hazelnuts. The base is the 51% dark chocolate and the whole thing has whole hazelnuts mixed in as well.

The gianduia layer has a quick and smooth melt with a rather cool effect on the tongue. The hazelnut bits are crunchy and the flavors are generally roasted and nutty. The Luisa Dark is not terribly complex, but has a fruity note at first, like cherries with a touch of honey and toffee but it’s very slight compared to all the hazelnuttiness. It’s not that sweet, but quite silky overall.

It’s a wonderful mix of textures, the nuts are fresh and crunchy, the layers melt wonderfully and balance each other.

DSC_7299rbThe alternate version of the Double Layer Bar is available in Milk Chocolate. The wrapper doesn’t say anything about the percentages of cacao, but there are 10 more calories per serving in the milk chocolate version (more sugar, less fiber than the dark chocolate).

The interesting thing to note about both bars is that they use sunflower lecithin, instead of soy lecithin. This is something that I learned about while touring confectionery factories in Germany a couple of years ago. European companies are making a switch from soy to sunflower for two reasons: the first is to make their products as low-allergen as possible and the second is to steer clear of any possible genetically modified ingredients. With the price being virtually identical, it seems like a great idea. The allergen statement does list the presence of hazelnuts and milk (of course) as well as the fact that they’re made in a shared facility with wheat and other tree nuts. There’s no statement about the chocolate sourcing. Unlike some other chocolate products that use hazelnut paste, there are no additional vegetable fats in here like palm oil.

Perugina

This bar has a little more sodium than the dark bar, and it helps. It’s much sweeter, as it doesn’t have the bitterness of the base layer to counterbalance the sweet gianduia. However, if you’re a fiend for sweet, smooth milk chocolate and hazelnuts, then this is definitely a bar to consider.

I haven’t actually seen these in stores, though they’ve been out since June. I’d buy this again, though the fun part of unwrapping the foil is gone, I did like the larger proportion of dark chocolate in the bar versus the kisses.

Related Candies

  1. Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)
  2. Gardini Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia with Sea Salt
  3. Poco Dolce Hazelnut Bar
  4. Perugina Baci
  5. Pernigotti Gianduia: Piedmont Hazelnut Paste
  6. Milka NAPS Mix (Assortment)
  7. Die Besten von Ferrero: Mon Cheri, Kusschen & Rondnoir
  8. Choceur Nougat Bites & Marzipan Bites
  9. Caffarel Gianduias


Name: Baci Double Layer Candy Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: samples from Perugina
Price: $6.00 retail
Size: 5.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 158
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Nestle, Chocolate, Nuts, 8-Tasty, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:12 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     Candy

Comments
  1. I grew up on Baci in Europe and Canada! Saw these bars at World Matket but haven’t tried them yet. I enjoy the hazelnut Nutffles from there too!

    Comment by Sylvia on 12/03/14 at 12:45 am #
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