As for the author of this article, she is a sweet tooth, loves chocolates, tasty (!) cakes, candies and etc. that is why she knows everything about this theme.
Concerning the topics on the website I can proudly say that Russian chocolate is one of the Russian well-recognized brand, loved not only by the natives but also by the foreigners. Russian sweets are not less popular among travelers, but not very discussed in a non-Russian speaking social community.
That is why I decided to share some information for those who want to have a great gastronomic impression while being in Russia and also to bring a great tasty souvenir and present to their nearest and dearest.
This article contains personal advice, it is your decision what to buy/try.
I do have a lot of foreign friends so while buying them chocolate as a Russian present, I always choose these 3 brands:
• «Фабрика им. Н.К. Крупской» – is the leader of confectionery market in the North-West region. Also it is a famous brand of St. Petersburg (its logo shows Griffin of St. Petersburg Bank Bridge proudly looking forward). In addition to amazing taste of the merits of these confections you can include a great number of gift packages and exclusive art decorations of the products;
• «Вдохновение» – famous Russian chocolate brand, which recipe was created in 1976. The new product quickly gained the love and acceptance of millions of consumers not only for its high quality and special taste, but also for the original format – within a 100-gram package there were are ten chocolate sticks, each of which was wrapped in foil;
• “Бабаевский” - the company offers a high-quality dark chocolate made of selected cocoa beans and cocoa butter. The history of the “Babaev” brand began over 200 years ago with a small confectionery shop founded in 1804. The factory received its formal status with a management of Alexei Ivanovich Abrikosov – Moscow merchant of the first guild (a summary of the chocolate is taken from the official site http://www.uniconf.ru/assortment/catalog/).
Russia is well known for its bitter chocolate – well, it is really tasty there! For the bitter chocolate I prefer buying “Бабаевский” brand (attention, the first two chocolates are really bitter, others contain about 50-55% of cocoa – you can read it from the label):
- Бабаевский горький (Classic dark chocolate)
- Бабаевский Элитный 75% (Elite sort of dark chocolate, contains 75% cocoa. It received the diploma of the 1st degree and a gold medal “For high quality products”, it was the winner of the contest “The Best 100 Goods of Russia 2011″, also it was a best-seller, as it was mentioned on the official website)
- Бабаевский фирменный (Branded dessert chocolate made according to a special recipe with the addition of brandy, grated almonds and tea extract, according to the description on the official site)
- Бабаевский Люкс (Dark chocolate. Produced according to the original recipe 1939.)
- Бабаевский с цельным миндалём (Dark chocolate with whole almonds. Was the winner of the “Best 100 Goods of Russia 2011″)
- Бабаевский с цельным фундуком (Dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts.)
Concerning chocolate and sweets of «Вдохновение» factory – I like everything they produce. Their classic chocolate bar is called “Классический”, contains crushed roasted hazelnuts. It is produced according to the original recipe since 1976.
You can see the whole variety of flavors on the official website of a holding http://www.uniconf.ru/assortment/catalog/ by clicking on the 5th brand picture of the slide show (it has a blue color). You can translate the page with Google translator or Word Lens app that is mentioned everywhere on my website ;-)
Another favorite brand is “Фабрика им.Н.К.Крупской” – I love practically all their products and buy those for my friends (as you have already read above, in addition to great taste the production has attractive wrapping).
They have the following categories of chocolate:
“Вернисаж” – chocolate, decorated with well-known Russian pictures – there you can find bitter chocolate, aerated bitter chocolate and aerated milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts and raisins. The wrapping of the bars have different background color with a picture of a person in the middle – you will not miss such a chocolate! I do not include the photos there, because the wrappings of it are always different (to my mind).
“Особый” – dark chocolate with salt. The wrapping has brown and red color and a lot of dots. I prefer the chocolate with a wrap of dark brown color (plain chocolate with salt) and of red color (with salt and crushed hazelnuts)
“Классический” (classic) – I like these three types:
- “Горький 70%” – bitter 70%
- “Летний сад” (горький) – also bitter
- “Санкт-Петербург” – Dark chocolate with crushed almonds
“Мишка на Севере” – a special type of milk chocolate with air rice, you can try it if it sounds interesting (although it is not a de lux type)
Boxes of Sweets of “Фабрика им.Н.К.Крупской” are absolutely great – you can buy any and get the best quality and taste.
They also offer sweets sold by weight –praline sweets stand out among all. I recommend “Мишка на Севере” and “Сказки Перро”- Конфеты, глазированные шоколадной глазурью, с начинкой между слоями вафель – those are the candies with chocolate coating, that have a filling between the layers of wafers – they are so tasty!
In the brand shops of “Фабрика им.Н.К.Крупской” you can buy the sweets decorated with St. Petersburg views – they are called “Ленинградские”= “Leningradskiye” (of Leningrad) – Candies with chocolate coating. They have whipped egg-white mass with the addition of milk grated nuts, alcohol and with the scent of punch (if they say the truth on the official website).
To my mind Russian aerated chocolate of “Русский шоколад” brand it is not better than the ones mentioned above or the foreign analogues.
As far as I know, there is a variety of Russian-stylized chocolates and sweets which seem to be a good present. I haven’t tried them all, so I can recommend you to read the wrapping carefully. DO NOT buy the chocolates where you see the phrases “пальмовое масло” (it means palm butter, I think you know that it is not very good for your health) or “шоколадная глазурь” instead of “шоколад”(chocolate) “какао-бобов” (cocoa) – it will mean that you get not chocolate but simply chocolate glaze, which has nothing in common with famous Russian chocolate (I haven’t checked any of the chocolates on the 3 photos above).
Enjoy your trip, enjoy your purchases!