Box Chocolate Review

Andrea Bianchini

Info Details
Country Italy   (Florence)
Style New School      (+ a nod to the Classics)
Lambourghini may look better, but this is the barely street-legal equivalent of a Ferrari... gathering momentum & performance along the way
Presentation   3.9 / 5
overall sleek, though pieces themselves unassuming square medallions or round truffles of irregular prints & fits
Aromas   4.8 / 5
triple layer of concentric circles: outer ring of hazelnut, middle jam (strawberry & raspberry), & inner chocolate wafer
Textures/Melt   7.6 / 10
Shells: thin containers / soft snap
Centers: cream paste
Flavor   45.2 / 50
less about clarity, more about combinations & their flavor-altering properties; obvious elements fuse into challenging patterns, even the sweet-sided glucose-laden pieces weighed down in viscous syrup re-interpret traditional notions though occasionally indelicate, bordering heavy-handed, in danger of obfuscation
Quality   27 / 30
Young & good, fearlessly whipping up the combines. Considerable intuitive understanding compensates for experience-in-the-making. Ample power & maturing finesse in its coloratura.
Couverture: Domori; Valrhona; Felchlin
Lampone - needs no translation; just in case the red-stippled design or the aroma leads astray, the taste is all raspberry in a Milk Choc mousse center against a shell providing solid Dark Chocolate backing to support the fruit; so concentrated it almost comes off fortified w/ alcoholic spirits – a nebbiola exuding tar, roses, tobacco & berries; juicy despite the occasional pip
Finocchio e Arancia - stellar cross-axis movement; progression travels laterally from orange leading onto fennel while a vertical chocolate column simultaneously trans-sects; outstanding geometry, pairing, & force
Mandorla - sweetly-smooth marzipan-spread studded w/ contrasting micro-crystal crunch, yields ever more into a persistently bittersweet almond cream brushed in Milk Choc
Nocciola - hazelnut spread encased in Dark couverture, destined for glucose on a malted maple syrup slide; good if overly stage-managed & nearly nukes the fridge
Caramello e Fior di Sale - a flavor that rapidly assumes benchmark status in the Boxed Choc World; another glucose-heavy filling, darkly amplified in salt; thick caramel knots up in a dense toffee &, similar to Lampone, practically distills alcoholic vapors

Reviewed January 2010
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