Box Chocolate Review

La Tène

Info Details
Country USA   (Somerville, MA; closed 2008)
Style Classic      
Iron-Age dust up, looking to the past & overseas for inspiration (re: the Euro La Tène culture centered around Lake Neuchâtel). No harm there... John Cage did it too - then liberated himself, to use the words of Charles Simic, from a long apprenticeship / that has as its last/ & 7th rule/ the submission to chance.
Presentation   4.2 / 5
true colors of heirloom cacao – orange & deep mauve packaging; pieces form precious little jewel set from ancient past, seemingly excavated from some Meso-American archeological tomb
Aromas   2.8 / 5
Textures/Melt   7.2 / 10
Shells: semi-thin
Centers: full-bodied, nearing a 2:1 ratio
Flavor   35.4 / 50
classical French-truffle approach, signaled early on by the aroma; dry, dusty cocoa profile throughout, w/ few exceptions; infusions in some cases hardly rate, while in others still trying to find their bearing
Quality   20.8 / 30
Uncertain hand in a developing situation that’s missing some valence at the moment.
Couverture: Valrhona; Taza
Palet d’Or – in South America turf wars they say ‘take the silver or the lead’; here a Venezuelan bean supplies the dessicated profile, further stripped w/ cocoa powder; nonetheless, this kills w/ riches, under the motto, more is not better – better is better
Dazu – intriguing lemon zest, candied ginger, & Sichuan peppercorn, in amuffled & muddled attempt to burn religion right into the taste buds like aTang dynasty rock carving
Savarin – ode to the brilliant Jean Savarin, but the master himself is called for to rescue the elements (triple-crème cheese & Tellicherry peppercorn) from being bowled over in a cocoa dust storm
Irish Stout – emphasis stout, of a more cocoa variety than Guinness
Madagascar – direct taste from the Red Island... a pastel red berry flush, the cream held almost in reserve simply to soften the usual edge of this origin’s acidity
Apricot Madeira/ – cuts against the house grain; smoother, cooler ganache holds the most apparent infusion of the collection - puréed apricot supported by that fortified wine imparting plum-ness

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