Reviewed by Kat Carr Harrison
I love chocolate. I’ve tried my fair share of brands, but Pierre Marcolini was a new one on me. Tastebuds tantalised, I was ready to review an item from the company’s Easter Collection for our Easter Gift Guide.
A package landed on my doormat with a thud. On opening it, it became clear why some of Pierre’s creations are labelled ‘Exclusively available in store’. The ‘Orange little Basket’ is one such item that isn’t delivered because it’s simply too fragile. And as such, you’ll only be able to get your hands on one if you can get to one of their stores and in the UK, we’re talking London.
The ‘Orange little Basket’ is a small, bright, cardboard holder filled with an assortment of 12 little Easter Eggs and 4 mini, chocolate-shaped animals. Unfortunately, on arrival at my house the eggs looked like they’d hatched, the bunnies were a little battered and the container crushed. As the saying goes, ‘you eat with your eyes’, so we weren’t off to a good start. However, the product photo displays how the potential Easter gift looks on the shelf and all the crushing and cracking in the world, wouldn’t stop me from sampling said treat!
The ‘Orange little Basket’ is marketed as being ‘perfect for a moment of indulgence’, suggesting it’s more of a gift for grown-ups. The product seems a little confused as the inclusion of bunny-shaped chocolates suggests it’s aimed at a much younger audience, yet the inclusion of dark chocolate products would appeal to an older palate. That said, my young girls wolfed the chocolates. Chocolate’s chocolate. No noses turned up here. Again, the product description would entice customers to buy for a child; ‘To take a walk in his enchanted garden, Pierre Marcolini has thought of the perfect accessory: a cheerful little basket filled with little eggs.’
The basket includes a mix of white, milk and dark chocolate. I don’t know about you but when tucking into a box of chocolates, part of the fun is looking at the little ‘menu card’ and making my selection. With only 12 chocolates but two children and a sweet-tooth husband, there was no chance I was going to get to enjoy all the delights on offer. I was disappointed I didn’t even get the opportunity to select my favourite flavour, it was all down to chance. A lucky dip.
The taste of the chocolate was perfectly acceptable. Nothing remarkable but entirely enjoyable. Some eggs were solid, some filled with caramel, some pistachio… and beyond that, I’m not entirely sure.
As well as being committed to sustainable chocolate, (the Maison pledges to respect three fundamental ethical criteria in order to protect the planet and its people) Pierre Marcolini is one of a very small number of chocolatiers to have mastered the entire chocolate production process and roasts the cocoa beans himself. This goes some way to explaining why his chocolate is on the expensive side. However, with the company’s three UK shops being in London, including in Harrods and Selfridges, the £14.33 price tag for the Orange little Basket, when put into perspective, could even be regarded as competitive.
The website states that the product we tested should be consumed within 2 months. The basket sat on the kitchen table for all of two minutes before the first request to try ‘just one Mummy’.
Pierre Marcolini has created an entire Easter collection. Most of the more traditional egg themed gifts are only available to buy in store but there a couple of other chocolate box style Easter gifts which look very tempting, if on the pricey side. If an extravagant Easter gift is required, this could be a good port of call.
The Orange little Basket is only available in Pierre Marcolini stores. Many other chocolate products can be ordered online for delivery. For more information, visit https://eu.marcolini.com/en/