Box Chocolate Review

Marcie Blaine

Info Details
Country USA   (Philadelphia, PA)
Style New School      (w/ Classic nod)
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Philadelphic.

At times cryptic like the prophetic oracle at Delphi (the serpentine priestess Pythia), as if inspired by the vapors of the cacáo gods drifting about Mexican & Indian cuisine.

Described by dissident feminist Camille Paglia in one her riveting lectures: "possessed by Apollo, the Delphic oracle went into paroxysms after intoxication by fumes from a cleft in the earth". (Fault lines have recently been identified in the bedrock at Delphi by an archaeologist & geologist, who speculate that the priestess was maddened by oozing petro-chemicals like ethylene prized by modern glue-sniffers.)
Presentation   4.3 / 5
urban chic; good-looking, dark & handsome crew (some enrobed, a few molded, & couple rolled); a few irregular fit & finish
Aromas   4.5 / 5
perspired scents of Marcie’s playground emanating from the garden of Earth that smells of sex & candy: herbs, spices, nuts & seeds, plus hard-working sweat
Textures/Melt   8.7 / 10
Shells: variable (encrusted; dusted; generally thin & malleable)
Centers: soft erogenous zones
Flavor   44.9 / 50
intelligent, well-proportioned combinations free of haphazard clashes (excepting nut pieces which trend toward imbalance) including a couple that muddle along before plumbing some profound depths
Quality   26.1 / 30
None of the skullduggery & secrecy by which so many in this industry operate. Instead, a big picture-window at the rear of a flower shop called Verde right in the heart of Philadelphia, PA – plain for all to see the labeled couverture, equipment, & chocolate pieces being made in an open kitchen to bend tradition with creative purpose.
Selections
Couverture: Valrhona; Barry Cacao; Callebaut
The Classic - pure ‘n simple truffle ganache; Valrhona’s Manjari tamed by the cool forces of cream; nonetheless a slight tug to the tart side before butter fat predominates, drawing a bit of pastry blank until an underriding tannin rekindles it to finish off a ravished kiss of star anise
Mint Julep - a dark smoking storehouse as much caraway-inflected as mint-possessed (in fact, very little of that) to conjure up bourbon at the back of a speakeasy
Green Tea - rustically potent (including dried tea leaves), well layered, & Dark yet transparent thru & thru; exceptional
Passion Fruit Caramel - caramel an early non-factor on brassy orange-twisted passion wisely covered in White Choc, then a subtle butterscotching tones it down; sweet... but good cut & geometry to the flavor’s shape
Coconut Marcona Almond - chocolate absent (for the most part) around this nut sack of a truffle; the Spanish Marconas (smaller & softer than regular almonds) sweetening the coconut into a hi-class macaroon
Spicy Peanut Gianduja - chocolate again minimized in a micro-crunch of peanuts that pop out in praline-like layered-sheets against increasingly warm chili at the back that never ventures too far forward; well-sequenced with good movement across the palette of this dramatic variation on a theme
Rose Tattoo - no simple floral spray; unique for the collection; thick hard shell encases soft caramel unfolding roses as cacáo’s own structure (easily the most brooding of the set) blends seemingly with stinging alcohol followed by just the lightest soap-bubble chaser to imprint chocolate cognac; an acquired but excellent taste
Balsamic Strawberry - another caramel deception, this one holding berries & grapes in suspension thru a slow prism of chocolate to a mysterious laggard end that some could mistake for confusion; profound

Reviewed Summer 2010
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