Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Perugina Baci

Perugina Baci (Nestle)One of the seasonal imported candies I looked forward to as a kid were Perugina Baci. They were one of my earliest recollections of hazelnut candies. It’s a simple construction, a chocolate cream filling with crushed hazelnuts, topped with a whole hazelnut and then dipped in dark chocolate.

They’ve been made since 1922 and were very successful from the start. The hook with Baci though isn’t just the hazelnut textures and chocolate, it’s the packaging. Each little chocolate is individually wrapped, and inside the wrapper is a glassine paper that has quotes about love, now in multiple languages.

Perugina Baci (Nestle)

I ate plenty of these as a kid. They used to come in larger boxes, I think they had either three or four chocolates in them. Now they’re only available in this duo box or in the larger gift size versions (which change depending on the season). They were first introduced to American consumers in 1939 when Perugina opened their own shop on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1939. But then they went away. Nestle bought Perugina in 1988 and the brand was less emphasized. Perugina concentrated their sales efforts on Italy and Europe. Baci weren’t as easy to find, though still turned up in Italian delis and import shops. When internet sales came along, it was a bit easier, but still, the impulse of buying a little tube of Perugina Baci was long gone.

That supposed to change now, as Nestle has an agreement with Colavita olive oil (not a Nestle product) to handle imports for Baci and other Perugina products. They made a big splash at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, so perhaps they’ll be easier to find now.

Perugina Baci (Nestle)

The pieces are about a half an ounce each and have about 75 calories in them. It’s a rich mix of dark chocolate on the outside, a filling of hazelnut paste and cream along with crushed hazelnuts. Then there’s a large, whole hazelnut on top.

The ingredients list for a complicated candy like this is very short: sugar, hazelnuts, chocolate processed with alkali, cocoa butter, milk, milkfat, soy lecithin and vanillin.

Where you find friends, there you find riches.
- Plato

Perugina Baci (Nestle)

Baci are only for chocolate eaters who love hazelnuts. There’s a lot of hazelnut in there. The filling is jam packed with crushed hazelnuts (the chocolate was invented to make use of excess crushed nuts in the chocolate factory) but the real appeal here is the fantastic whole hazelnut on top.

They smell sweet and nutty. Bite is easy, the center is soft enough to give easily, but not sticky or syrupy. It all melts well together, with a lot of woodsy and roasted nut flavors. Personally, I like biting off the bottom and consuming that first, leaving only the chocolate covered whole hazelnut at the end.

One is satisfying, two is downright indulgent. I think a box of three would be the perfect serving and put a fourth in to at least create the illusion of sharing.

While Caffarel are still my favorite Italian hazelnut chocolates, I do love Baci and I’m glad they’re going to be more available.

There’s no statement about the ethical sourcing of the chocolate on the package or Perugina Italian website. (The US website hasn’t launched fully yet.) The product contains hazelnuts and possibly traces of other tree nuts, plus soy and dairy. There is no statement about gluten on the package.

Related Candies

  1. Pernigotti Gianduia: Piedmont Hazelnut Paste
  2. Milka L’il Scoops
  3. Die Besten von Ferrero: Mon Cheri, Kusschen & Rondnoir
  4. William diCarlo Perle di dolcezza
  5. Laica & Caffarel Chocolate Eggs
  6. Short & Sweet: Hazelnut Bites
  7. Baci Bar
  8. Caffarel Gianduia 1865


Name: baci
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: samples from Fancy Food Show
Price: $1.50
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Chocolate, Nuts, 8-Tasty, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:27 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewNestleChocolateNuts8-TastyItaly

Comments
  1. I love these! And it’s true,the little saying was what I enjoyed most(though the chocolate itself was delicious) I bought a giant tub of imported chocolates during Christmastime, but there were only about 4 of these in there :C

    Comment by Elizabeth on 2/12/12 at 11:46 am #
  2. Found these today at my local Hy-Vee(Midwest Grocery Store) 10peice box :D

    Comment by Magoo on 2/12/12 at 4:12 pm #
  3. The white chocolate ones are the best ever!

    Comment by IP Daily on 1/06/13 at 10:00 pm #

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