Box Chocolate Review

Marcolini

Info Details
Country Belgium   (Bruxelles)
Style Neo-Modern      
lo
med
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CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Supercraft wizard of cacáo.... where few dare go because only a special few can - to the summit. For the combined category of bars AND boxes, Pierre Marcolini ranks among the very best all-round chocolate makers on the planet. There are better bar labels (Domori, Amedei, Valrhona, etc.) & boxed chocolates (Genin, MDC, et. al.) - even that’s contestable - but almost none of the competition approaches his mastery in both. A phenomenal line save for a couple rare near-misses. Belgian in name only, redefining traditional cream-created ganche: subtlety of the French (where he apprenticed; culinary guru Pierre Hermé pays the highest compliment proclaiming him “French” chocolate) matched with unadulterated sense of his Italy heritage, bridging whatever continental divide separates Euro chocolatiers.
Presentation   5 / 5
already full of taste: unassumingly simple, classic formal-black
Aromas   4.6 / 5
insular folds of reserved, subdued essences
Textures/Melt   9.1 / 10
Shells: firm exteriors collapse effortlessly
Centers: even flow
Flavor   47.2 / 50
simply won’t believe your tastebuds; innovative then paradoxical: lives on the edge of forward yet subtle flavorings & ganache magic of extended length driven into abrupt deceleration that’s achingly tender
Quality   29 / 30
Blue-chip investment quality
Selections
Couverture: in-house
Palet D’Or Fondant (gold-flecked Dark-on-Dark) – tour de force purist w/ just a teaser / cream caresser; ego-free sign of culinary maturity reaching for a piece of greatness that even bar-only junkies can mainline
SUMMER COLLECTION Escargot White Chocolate – vanilla rising intercepted quietly by salt stream; tame & timid
Dark Pave de Tour – wafer consistency; hazelnut bark whose bite is surrounded by dark mellow glow
Violette – a Queen Royale; pulls raspberry-intensity right thru the couverture’s firm certain snap then coulis recedes after cocoa’s own fruit-flush asserts itself toward the end
Earl Grey – the tea’s astringency subdued mercifully by direct equilibrium of other elements
Thyme Orange – faint oral penetration tastes better than it sounds; initial orange wisp flares out to a thyme-less dive into dark oblivion
Quatre Epice – soft-surfaced golden caramel in a beguiling inter-play between traditional 4 spice (slightly cinnamon dominant); outstanding
Madagascar – more true black & blue; first flush berry riot smoothed by the cream reins
Coffee Fondant – Java twister; smoke, roasted & robust
White Summer Line (White Chocolate couverture over a primarily 72% ganache; infusion dominant as cocoa takes a deep rear seat, in reverse of his regular line)
Greek Olive Oil – almost impalpable until the softest unctuous ending
Brazilian Passion Fruit – full passion spray & sweet pervasion w/ a splash of citrus
Basil & Italian Lemon – shades of cinnamon, streaks of lavender & none of either; great combo all its own that blends into unique fusion signifying more than nothing but neither basil nor lemon per se
Star Anise & Mexican Sesame Seed – excellent anise strength sequenced w/ sesame breakthru at the back; naughty & nice
Fresh Moroccan Mint – tantalizer; fooled by rumors of marjoram & some kind of zest; best of the mint breed
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