Box Chocolate Review

Charpentier

Info Details
Country France   (Paris)
Style Classic      (w/ Neo-Modern nod)
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Clositered a few steps away from the limelight shining elsewhere on Paris’ chocolatier all-stars, this small storefront hardly looks like much. Ditto the boxes & the pieces inside.

And run by some throwbacks who probably have no website (nice).

A kind of cult secret (all the more to like it).

There should be a Charpentier on every corner block.
Presentation   4.2 / 5
gets right down to it: unassuming petit carrés / tiny thumbnails in black ‘n white packaging
Aromas   4.4 / 5
clarion citrus / holistic herbs amidst nougatine graham crumbs
Textures/Melt   7.9 / 10
Shells: almost no bite, just an easy collapse; soft-on-...
Centers: ... –soft (despite relatively high cocoa-to-cream ratio)
Flavor   46.1 / 50
pretty intense (for the French) & highly refined (nothing unexpected there)
Quality   27.6 / 30
Only 3 pieces -- fooled by the ambience & vibe. Hesitant to extol over such a small sample but every aspect of each right on the mark. The Palet d’Or alone speaks volumes to suffice by itself, then the Esmeraldas just annihilates any doubts / questions.
Selections
Couverture: ???
Palet d’Or - ever the benchmark & Charpentier pronounces it well with a light breaking couverture (of probable Madagascar origin; basically Cluizel's Mangaro Lait bar but in a bonbon) folded onto fresh rich cream (the barn stall can practically be tasted); cocoa-threaded throughout; naturalistic / simplistic / majestic
Esmeraldas - peels of pure giggles & laughter as the whole world goes bubbles on citrus praliné; audacious contrast of exfoliate-grade nuts against citric ping yet very responsive to one another; nirvanic
Muscade - nutmeg, ginger & star anise, each rising in their isolates, then commingling to conjure up a sweet kind of curried móle; beguiling

Reviewed Febuary 2011
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