My secret chocolate kiwi fruit shame

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À la recherche du temps perdu: Anthon Berg marzipans

Back in the 90s in London I was doing a lot of Valrhona. Specifically, Manjari. I would hop on a moving Routemaster – the 137 – and sneak up to the Kings Rd to score big chunks of the stuff and Valrhona truffles made with Normandy cream and calvados.
A friend was complicit in it encouraging me to bring Mangari to his Clapham South dinner parties. We were into some really hard core food porn too, a short lived magazine called À la carte.
It was dangerous stuff I was doing. 150g of Manjari, an equal amount of cocoa powder, a dozen egg yolks, 250g of sugar, 275g of butter and almost a half litre of double cream. 100g of honey.
It was outrageous, a dark dark dense terrine that any sane person would eat in wafer thin slices.
Needless to say we were living on the edge doing thick slices. And too many of them before retiring with Fundador brandy to listen to vinyl – mainly, with a sense of irony, Rolf Harris and Bernard Cribbins in those days.
The volume of terrine consumed did strange things to me. Once I woke in Hyde Park and may have even got a shag. Another I swam the Thames naked and had my clothes stolen by a poison dwarf.

The truth is that I was – still am – a real obnoxious food snob who took his cues from the culinary hero Nico Ladenis who in his time made Gordon Ramsay look a pussy.
I poured scorn on people who started their meal with a gin and tonic and ate well done steak.
We had these huge dinner parties where to squeeze us all in we sat on planks which pinched our bottoms between chairs.

Then a barrister  friend brought something into my Brixton home, Anthon Berg chocolates – large discs of chocolate surrounding a marzipan centre with a kiwi jelly and liquour at the centre.

Fucking hell I thought. Who brought this shit into my house?
After we’d set fire to all the Amaretti biscuit wrappers which floated to the ceiling and then spotted (in bushfire parlance) over my pastel Laura Ashley sofa I was so drunk that I resorted to eating these chocolates.
It was love at first bite. Soon I was buying a couple of boxes at a time and eating them in one go.
In Australia I could feed my habit from the David Jones Food Hall. But they stopped selling them.
I’ve searched al sorts of dodgy chocolate shops. I’ve searched online. The only place I can find them is in Singapore Airport.
This is probably a good thing. But does anyone know where the hell I can find the fuckers in Melbourne?

18 Comments

  1. Shekillsjuly,

    That would be great I’d love some if you get the chance. Let me know.

  2. i’m holidaying in melbourne in 1 week from 24th. i’d love to bring you some if i can find them when i leave singapore dfs! 😀

  3. Ah, you don’t have to have kiwifruit liquer – there’s th eplum or strawberry. But I sort of know what you mean.

  4. No – it was the kiwi fruit bit I didn’t like – chocolate and marzipan are my middle names. But I’m always open to revisit – I will seek them out in duty free next week and retry!

  5. Kerry, perhaps you don’t like marzipan. They aren’t too far off the Cacao marzipan genache.

  6. These are the worst chocolates I have ever tasted and I’m not a smoker. Always a big pile of them at duty free shops left behind by smart shoppers. Be thankful that you can’t buy them.

  7. I’m looking for them also, they are the best.
    Anon you must be a smoker….your taste-buds are are being destroyed.

  8. On an unrelated matter, Mr Tomatom you are a twitter fiend. Do we dare introduce you to instant messenger?

  9. You were right the first time thinking they were fucking shit. Mind you, I had to find that out myself, as anyone would think from the box that they really are the beez knees fit for a king. I came across them in Nice airport, or maybe it was Copenhagen….ah, no it was between the two in mid- flight. So I scored and with duty free chocolates in hand I presented them proudly to my (chocolate) lover when I arrived(I mean she was my lover and loves chocolate, she’s white) and received some quite faint gratitute, to which I continued to offer her one from the virgin box. Still, the reaction was week, she could hardly choose even aided with the color key describing their ooziness. Then I got it, they weren’t her favourite. They weren’t anyones favourite…not anyone with any taste anyhow. They were flogged off to naive foreigners and=2 0supermarket chains.
    They are shit, maybe after a few cones they’re alright, I dunno. I am from the 90’s too. I highly recommend you leave them there in your memories of alien fashion, caesar salad and the dodgy minicabs in Coldharbour Lane.

  10. I understand that the importer had stopped bringing them into the country as their shelf life is too short, given the time it takes to get them here. We used to stock them and still get requests for them. Our distributer can’t get them and no one seems to be importing them 🙁

  11. In the 1980s Target, yes Target, used to be the best and cheapest source of the full range of these marzipanic wonders. Many a student day involved nourishing oneself on these! It’s strange Anthon Berg hasn’t re-entered the Australian market properly, as their range has seen considerable growth in recent years (and yes, evidence to be seen at Singapore airport and other duty free spots around the world). For Australia, I have no solution:(

  12. I can’t help you but I have a secret chocolate shame too. I discovered an awesomely tacky but delicious thing called a Choco Pie while I was in Japan. They are much like a smaller, fatter, softer, tastier version of the Wagon Wheel (…oh the shame). Conveniently, they come in party packs.

  13. Fundador and A La carte, nostalgia I share, in fact I think I still have a stash of the magazines at my parents’ house.

    Marzipan – blaagh – induces projectile vomit in me. I recall as a child, some kind family friends giving me cute marzipan animals and maraschino cherries which always promptly reappeared as a technicolour yawn on their Flokati’s.

    As for Anton Berg, I think Sweet Port in Bay Street, Port Melb used to have them, but you might need to phone to confirm that they still do. They seem to be ubiquitous amongst the choc selection in Duty Free shops.

  14. WHAT?! (Yes, it deserves an interrobang.)

    Does it make your mouth smack together in a strangely disgusting, yet overly sweet and addictive way that makes you want to floss while eating it?

    I only ask because it reminds me of something I had as a kid and it is bringing up those exact feelings.

  15. Marzipan? Frankly I’m shocked.

  16. Hmmm, those chocolates sound disgusting. But I trust your palette.

    Will be keeping tabs on your search – I want to try them now 🙂