I spoke a few days back about the relationship between aesthetics and palate, and how important I value a careful balance of the two to create something truly spectacular. I consider good food to be like good writing- anyone can do it as a task, be it cooking or blogging, but when true artistry comes along, it's incredible and very special.
I can safely say that tonight, Keepitcoming and I had what was probably, to date, the best chocolate I've ever consumed. I mean, it takes a lot for me to willingly consume twenty of anything, and even after a large dinner, we just shared twenty truffles. This was only Keepitcoming's second experience with consuming an entire box of chocolate, the first being Maison Du Chocolat, equally as comparable.L'Artisan du Chocolat is based out of LA, too far away for me to visit, but as soon as I saw flavors like Kalamata olive, mango and wasabi, and Korean red bean, I knew I had to have these. So three days later, the truffles arrived, and we ate them today.
Let me start by emphasizing how pretty these truffles are. I feel like a lot of thought was put into emulating some of the flavors in the outer shapes and patterns on top, and each one was different and pleasing to the eye. My personal favorite was the Italian pistachio, because it looked like little trees in different shades of green, giving a nod to the inside colors as well.
It was hard to pick our five favorites, but in no particular order, here they are. The rosemary and lavender chocolates had soft, creamy interiors. The herbs were delicately sweet, but noticeable in the composition of the truffle and easily recognizable. I think that was what won me over for a majority of these chocolates- the subtle yet distinguishable flavors that accurately mimicked the real product.The pineapple and coconut truffle, surrounded by white chocolate, tasted like a fresh pina colada with chunks of pineapple inside. It was decadently moist with a fruity pulp, and I was surprised that it embodied such a textural similarity instead of simply the essence of both fruits.
Another white chocolate success was the Japanese matcha truffle, another flavor with a softer inside and a earthy flavor. It was fabulous, with an intensity rivaling many other tea-flavored treats I've had in the past, and with another really beautiful exterior. The white chocolate added some sweetness to cut the natural bitter tea flavor and made it creamy. I loved the pairings of chocolate with these- I felt like a good deal of thought went into discovering which chocolate percentages went with which flavors to really accentuate the vibrancy of both elements, and found the chocolate to be equally as high of a quality as the filling.
The last of our favorites, which longtime readers will be shocked to discover, was something I'd previously refused to eat. I have to admit, this was really all about timing. If this was the first truffle we'd tried, I might have turned it down. But twelve truffles in and I had a pretty good idea about how good these were, so I trusted the chocolates and dove in. And I loved the Shitake mushroom truffle. That's right. I ate a mushroom truffle and I adored it. I don't think I'm going to start eating beef Wellington or start sniffing around in crap for actual truffles, but this is a start. It was earthy and meaty and incredible with dark chocolate.Another honorable mention goes to bacon, passion fruit, and curry kiwi, two unique successes that we also loved with textures and flavors that really popped. There were a few truffles that didn't sit well with us, the most memorable being the Aztec truffle. The concept was in the right place, with apricot and three chilies, but unfortunately ended up tasting remarkably identical to cherry cough syrup, right down to the menthol eucalyptus numb factor. Others were palatable, but just didn't have the same pinpoint accuracy as others, bumping them down a few notches. And it goes without saying that despite saving it for last, Korean garlic was one of the strangest and least congruent flavors I've ever had. I'm glad I tried it, but it was so intense and pungent that I could barely finish the small bite I took. Oh well. You can't win them all.
Really, these were stupendous. I'd order these again in a heartbeat, and I'm anxiously awaiting the summer, when I can sample the tomato and cucumber vodka truffles. These were incredible in every single aspect of what makes chocolate good, and to have unusual flavors instead of the standard quotidien really satiated my inner gourmand.
Labels: 10, chocolate, dessert