My mom bought this for me at a Whole Foods in New Jersey. I had never heard of gianduja but she apparently had. It's basically a thick, creamy hazelnut butter -- but not quite a hazelnut cream. We'll discuss this at length below -- first, the basics:
Christopher Norman Chocolates: Hazelnut Gianduja
Cocoa content: unlisted*
Notable ingredients: hazelnut butter
* The exact percentage of cocoa solids is unlisted, but the website says that the shell is dark chocolate and the filling -- the gianduja -- is blended with dark and milk chocolates.
I've known hazelnuts in many different ways. Widely recognized as a natural companion for chocolate, hazelnuts take various forms so as to blend in. In my encounters with hazelnuts I've found them whole, chopped, slivered, creamed, creamed and blended with chocolate, or creamed and formed into a stiff, dense mass, such as this gianduja.
I've never met a hazelnut I didn't like, but I've definitely met some hazelnuts that blew my mind and some that just sated me. This manifestation would be an example of the later -- sure, it was delicious, but only because it had hazelnuts in it. Hello! I've said it before and I'll say it again: nothing really beats the Kinder Bueno. I can also say, pretty confidently, that hazelnut creams taste more delicious than hazelnut butters.
Why? It's definitely a mouth melt thing. Bite into a section of a Kinder Bueno bar and you can extract the creamy hazelnut content with your tongue with but a flicker -- it glides into your mouth and coats your tongue just as the chocolate casing starts to melt.. but this is getting disgusting. For having missed an opportunity for superior mouth melt, I award this bar a B-.