Box Chocolate Review

Le chocolat de H

Info Details
Country Japan   
Style Classic      
REDUX FLASHBACK REVIEW -- below are segments of Le Chocolat de H, initially in 2010, followed by a refresh in 2015. The rating & metrics (upper right) are a composite average of both.


Stupendous craft & careful engineering in this box of science. Right up there with swordsmith Masamune Okazaki, cutting a certain kind of coolness that goes to the Zen of the matter. Requires quiet sitting; initial impression very evasive before imprinting infusions, then indelible chocolate after-effects.
Presentation   5 / 5
the improbable koan - warm minimalism; serious HIGH-TONED gravitas; the Lexus of packaging; among, if not the, finest in the world; pieces are global contenders too - millimeter precise fit & finish
Aromas   4.6 / 5
deeply forested florals, nectar, & honey

very true; earth-bound treasure - exuding cocoa creams & massage-quality cacáo-butter/nut oils
Textures/Melt   8.8 / 10
Shells: paper thin
Centers: in the main softly dense; some unctuous
Flavor   44 / 50
slightly amped compared to their 2010 antecedents

quite the opposite of exhilarated or extroverted - very introspective (even the cream seems skimmed & diluted)
Quality   27.1 / 30
Tuxedo chocolate. Luxuriate in it.

Japanese in character: consuming precision & craft; think electronics & cars for which Japan now sets the standard - perhaps less innovative than the Americans & Germans, & shy of Italian level design, but extremely consistent / accessible.

Trésor du Venezuela -- a studied reserve of orange blossom spice cloistered in a milky Dark robe sans dairy at the subliminal limits

Yuzu et Thé Matcha -- research involving the 400 year-old tradition of the tea ceremony finds that it incorporated yuzu into the service; here H marries the 2 in a fab complex of matcha infused into a Milk Chocolate utilizing Costa Rican cocoa stacked atop a White Chocolate ganache supporting the citric yuzu; exuberant by Choc de H standards… fruit dominates the front lip + entire progression, & yet Milk Choc takes the finish while tea sub-lingers in the aft-chamber thanks to its tannic catechin stamina; stupendous

Hojicha et Praliné Amandes -- regular caramel entrance turns out anything but… a praliné of fine Spanish marcona almonds as well as those of Sicily to create a chewy, fleshy backdrop for the roasted Hojicha tea leaves further smoked by kiln-dried Indonosian cocoa; sorcery

Abricot et Umé -- sweet tenderness of apricot, plum & chocolate fused together – the admixture tantalizing, almost tantric -- accentuated in soft salinity; such serene chops compliments of chocolatier Tsujiguchi Hironobu


Truffe Noir - comes in its own individual bling-box; voluptuously unctuous which restrains, bordering on interferes, w/ the cacáo works, as an impossibly light pastry butter carries the profile until end stage when chocolate tannins - dry & rather astringent w/ black notes (berry + molasses) take over; highly subversive

Trianon - tropical villa of smoked Dark-on-Milk w/ surf-breaking wafers; what starts out a study in texture slips unconsciously into a meditation reaching the still-point of taste

Criollo - stardust silkscreen; softly dense; quiet flavor w/ cream ganache supporting fig-inflected cacáo; unbelievably non-obstrusive

Hime - tea-toned Dark-on-Dark lavender as a violet flower rather than medicinal herb, making for a chocolate hanami (a Japanese ritualized botanical garden)

Rustique - amped a little sweet; classic praline rocher chunked w/ hazelnut; just rocks it

Marbé - after serious rigor, H plays & goes straight for the manga in 3-D (Dark, Milk & White Chocolates) w/ shredded coconut; hilarious

Muscadine - tubed-shaped cylinder; Dark-on-Milk rolled in dust; plain & simple metaphor of cacáo as its own mystical grape seed fruit

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