Box Chocolate Review

L’Artisan du Chocolat

Info Details
Country USA   (LA, CA)
Style Classic      
Tradition meets innovation. Adventurous, in a purposeful playful way, without trekking to extremes or capricious experiments.
Presentation   3.4 / 5
utilitarian - neither stark nor simplistic - just business, save for lipstick-red & lime-green box colors; standard molds, a few hand-cast pieces
Aromas   3.8 / 5
big pastry butter & cream w/ a few punctuating
Textures/Melt   9 / 10
Shells: modified French (semi-thin)
Centers: overall softly luscious & somewhat unique, around 1:1.5 to create that fine flow line between viscous & liquid
Flavor   40.3 / 50
quite literal; flavors tend to stack & stick out (vs. fully integrated)
Quality   23.2 / 30
Unsettled hand for measuring amplitudes – some shy, some forward, some thick, some thin – still searching for the center point which, along with stratified flavors, results in a conglomeration of factors rather than culinary art.
Couverture: secret French (you can guess)
Classic Truffle – wood-tannic cocoa dust gets creamed by soft yet firm structured ganache, leaving vestigial coconut astringency
Pavé – textured glob; almond notes dominate before chocolate makes a stand resulting in quasi-marzipan; underwhelmingly mundane for a self-inscribed signature piece
Caramel – tractor pull grip & fleur de sel to help spin out of the butterscotch’d ditch
Tomato – rare combo & entirely compatible as cacáo & tomato are technically fruits (both have seeds); seemingly sun-dried &/or heirloom, marinated in olive oil, incredibly voluptuous interior encased in solid chocolate armor; overall effect beyond móle pizza topping to ingrown pasta (which pure, unsweetened, high-bred cacáo can & does suggest); a sensation
Cucumber Vodka – built-in cool... feel the temp drop as the flavors droop: cuke/heat-free alcohol/chocolate triangle cancels each other into shyness until the end where a modulated cocoa hits a bursting point; ill-defined, even the texture (especially the White Choc center) is unstable
Rose Petal – overstated in a rose otto manner
Fennel – fennel almost in name only; Dark shell falls easily onto collapsed cream interior w/ very little at home
Chestnut – light chestnut puree / soft caramel by virtue of an even gentler Milk Choc cover; rich excellence
Basil – 1 of the better versions around; upfront herb overtaken by molasses-accented cocoa
Lavender – nicely recessed next to sweet Milk Choc... flourishes briefly at end
Mint – Dark center surrounded by White; clear, clean, & cake-like; among the best integrations of the set

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