Box Chocolate Review

Pascal Caffet

Info Details
Country France   (Pont St. Marie)
Style Neo-Modern      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Athletic & balletic; strength & grace. Dances on the head of every taste-bud, setting them up with vertical lift to the flavors, followed by pirouettes & pliés, before bowling them over & knocking ‘em down.
Presentation   4.5 / 5
well-groomed & polished
Aromas   4.3 / 5
spiced darkness: anise, licorice, caraway
Textures/Melt   8.4 / 10
Shells: snapping
Centers: gelatinous
Flavor   46.6 / 50
exuberant w/o being obnoxious; generous sweetspot yet hardly perceived as cloying or identified as sugar; flavors cross-fertilize w/ exceptional clarity & tenderness rarely experienced; couverture renders equally good presence
Quality   28.3 / 30
An embarrassment of talents – so many & so much aplomb
Selections
Couverture: Chocolaterie de l’Opéra
Troyen - finesse highly expressed; 70% Venzy of confident snap doused in champagne; rare equilibrium for this pairing, the grape bubble never bursting on an equally poised chocolate; ditto for sugar
Favorite Lait - classically creative; salted caramel w/ praline of sonic-crunch but micro-touch, then enrobed in silken Milk Choc; ideally balanced, each component playing a role w/o overshadowing the others
O’Bois - light caramel taste from thick-paste heavily encased in a 70% couverture bearing Valrhona-type raisin & licorice inflections; an exceptional instance where chocolate gets the upper-hand on caramel
Pimpinella - almond praline the ballast that crunches its way thru star anise, then pimped-out by the tarragon-like complex from unrelated anise-seed –- the complement to the contrast; all of it sweetened & affixed in White-Chocolate; skillfully crafts the unusual to feel familiar in the way of William Least Heat-Moon's Roads to Quoz
Framboise - unmistakable raspberry nestled in a Dark bed that subsumes it; excellent match of proportion & contrasts in tone between tart & tannic

Reviewed January 2011
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