Box Chocolate Review


Info Details
Country USA   (Missoula, MT)
Style New School      (sometimes in the guise of Industrial)
None too posh to push nor too vain to undergo a C-section for fear of scarring (although pieces do look suitable to glaze the bottoms with urethane, glue a magnet on them & use as fridge-magnets – they’re pretty like that).

Instead, this box pushes aside all fears, ready to labor on the frontier outpost of Big Sky Montana with a Latin edge & pops out daring if occasionally aborted flavors.

Presentation   4.6 / 5
nicely thought-out: 60’s World’s Fair chic-orange packaging w/ retro-cool logo (note French spelling of chocolate) replete w/ a freebie Posh Chocolat sticker for a notebook or palm device; u-fold-em box w/ clean, precisely-cut silicon inner parchment; interesting pop crinkle for those who like to step on plastic bubble liner - Jackson Pollack / Meredith Monk / Warhol-esque performance art, dudes – then strong double-ribbon seal which begrudgingly yields to a printed flavor-key that opens on some lovely, well-constructed (albeit Whitman’s Sampler™ slick) pieces sitting in a light-gold caddy; finished w/ a sprinkle here & a dab there…same mold, same covering; all works together beautifully
Aromas   2.9 / 5
open that inner liner to a mix of industrial-strength fumes to make the client weary of what kind of frankenchocolat lay in wait…. herbs ‘n spices overpower the box (black pepper, strong curry, dusty nutmeg, chem cinnamon & spun sugar) along w/ high-school gym floor wax, old cardboard shoe box, branch water, ozone, plastic diaper pail
Textures/Melt   6.3 / 10
Shells: gossamer thin in spots displaying track marks on bottom replete w/ uncovered patches of filling
Centers: ganache a one-note base (slightly sandy, dry & un-voluptuous)
Flavor   36.6 / 50
uneven split: a) antibiotic frankencandy in a few pieces (highly synthetic & unbalanced chemicals melded w/ poor chocolate base to coin a new concept: “petroleum-forward”)... basically supermarket clearance-aisle flavorings; b) stupendous & bold in many more instances, creative & reaching (to cite the couverture, again, an unusual choice), including a few synergistic blends extending well beyond the length of their elements
Quality   21.8 / 30
Smoke ‘n mirrors from a chemistry-set mentality exhibiting erratic mixology. In some places it works wonders; in others it reverts to a complexity even lower than, ah, a, b,c... uh, don’t say what comes next. The form & design skill-set are all here & only add’l substance is required to back it up.

Quality suffers from the outset with problematic couverture (República del Cacao) which comes blank (even the temper shows low gloss ala Crisco™) in some pieces (on the plus side it rarely obstructs flavor patterns). Suggestion: start with a solid, mid-line product like Noël or even Cacao Barry of decent manufacture, uniform & rather forgiving when working with oils & essences for ganaches & fillings, then move on from there. Everyone wants to reinvent the wheel or chocolate bar; sooner to build on a firm foundation.

These CIA grads (Culinary Institute of America, re: chef factory that often pumps out egos with a set of knives) are well into logging the years of work, apprenticeship, talent, passion, respect, knowledge & understanding of what works & why. They represent one more example that Americans, who’ve been the joke of the chocolate world for years, are getting on course.
Couverture: República del Cacao
Raspberry - the right balance of essence (even if the fruit is about as real as Pam Anderson’s tits) w/ good dispersion
Balsamic – uh, hello Posh, in the culinary world a 10-year balsamic is like screwing a 13 year-old ‘cause they “look old enough”; pink peppercorn dresses up Jon Benet Ramsey-style, a young flounce of tannin ‘n tart / sweet ‘n sour closeted by that roasted Ecuador cocoa; just a twee bit perverted
Coconut Curry - average Indian curry mix blended into the base ganache of little panache, just psychotropic Vindaloo w/ yellow bleed-thru on the shell
White Truffle Oil / Tahitian Vanilla – frightening oil can sprays thru White Choc gism ganache enrobed by inconsequential 74% Dark
South American Dark – buffed as if a spray-on colored-butter passes for a Brazilian bikini model’s tan (lucky South America doesn’t come up here & kick ass for slander); cream-centered Semi-Dark w/ fruit punch in the middle of that, then a roasted cocoa halo that fades on focus as a sponge painting of slight soap-astringency & ultimately washes out to dangerously approach Hershey’s™ ‘Special Dark’; respectable nonetheless
Lavender - Granny’s undies’ sachet, pulverized, then dusted in sugar… bit synthetic, nasty, & sweet
Garam Masala – possibly the shiner of the bunch; hits the 4-corners... nice fragrance, mouthfeel, heat & flavor that simulates pumpkin pie spice served in Mumbai
Mojito - please ship a 10-pound box of these to Mssrs. Bush & Barack for jobs well done in counterfeiting money; vapor-strong to cauterize teeth & tongue
Café con Leché - viscous, slimy lecherous; get out the insulin before trying this
Fennel Pollen – these pollen of fennel conjure up anise, licorice &, then, of all things, a brush of curry in a salted caramelized gestalt; excels wondrously

Reviewed Spring 2010

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