Box Chocolate Review


Info Details
Country Japan   (Kyoto)
Style Neo-Modern      
Emerson wrote that life is but the angle of vision; that a person is measured by the degree at which s/he looks at objects & by what that person is thinking of all day. This is our fate & our employer. Knowing that the measure, by how much we know, so much we are. And nowhere else on Earth does acuteness exist like in Japan.

From bonsai, perfectly manicured miniature trees, to the delicate perfection of a Haiku poem, where creating then serving the perfect cup of tea becomes ceremony, artificial perfection is a Japanese cultural obsession... updated on the contemporary scene with "Real Dolls" & entire districts of "2nd Lifers" (witness the otaku culture of Akihabara - an area of Tokyo filled with hundreds of Electronics & Anime shops saturated with animation & porn).

Unsurprisingly, Nama is highly exacting too, but also real - in the original un-simulated sense.

Nama gets it, all of it: the spirit, the sensory load, the metaphysics.
Presentation   5 / 5
total Zen; ultra simple & quiet; pieces of sand-stone pavé-suede

Aromas   4.4 / 5
dark cream of arctic chocolate sends over a quivering chill
Textures/Melt   8.9 / 10
Shells: all-ganache so non-applicable save for its conceptualizing ‘negative space’
Centers: in keeping w/ overall philosophy, the center is the circumference is the center marked by high cream-to-cocoa ratio for chocolate belies its fat content
Flavor   45.1 / 50
iced-cream, gelato, or cold-wave chocolate?; meant to be consumed right out of the freezer – a heresy on most accounts – until this experience-cum-revelation demonstrates the thermodynamic & entropic properties of cool cacáo (versatile – well enough at home if served at room temperature although the synthesis & scale depreciate as fault lines in the couveture become apparent); very non-temporal / virtually extra-terrestrial; intensely introspective both in preparation &, at the risk of sounding contradictory, projection; endowed w/ certain inalienable rights & correctness so even inflections of dirt feel cleansed by the interior winterized-mode so serenely expressed that ultimately leaves one speechless at its fragile equilibrium
Quality   27.4 / 30
“Paper, Petal, Blossom, Flower”, the somewhat incongruous Nama motto. Does it mean ‘meaning is meaningless’ just as Theobroma cacáo is a tree & paper could theoretically come from thee & if no one hears it fall in the forest it’s as loud as one-hand clapping? The sacred heart purified; the organic mind rarified... that’s all the explanation needed.

Exclusive tabernacle-reserve ensconced within the temple. In the words of the creator/maker himself – Hirofumi Nakanishi: The essence of chocolate, not just as confection, but the sweetness that comes of it. The sweetness it gives to people who in turn mirror that sweetness. And it has to be because chocolate is so simple, so basic. Without this simplicity, naturalness, people wouldn’t truly relax, feel at ease, & enjoy. It’s very profound, this magic of chocolate, in the way that it connects & reflects what it means to be human.
Couverture: sourced from Dominican Republic (probably Cacao Barry)
What follows are the recommended ‘cold-fusion’ method (right out the freezer) which oddly accentuates the tannic force of cacáo over dairy fat compared to the same pieces at room temperature:

Bitter - shivering arousal; tongue warms, then before the senses recognize it - a quik melt & gone... evanescent - casting behind lasting tannins in its wake, the backside heat to that cool beginning
Bitter Liqueur - cognac in the grass, a monastery herbal liqueur - spirit sans alcohol; chill gives way to tempered heat, nothing hot, almost temperature-stasis where the still-point of balance holds off chaos
Sweet - tantalizer soft & oh-so-sweet cream seemingly sugar-free, just natural pitch & register of the ingredients (possibly including honey vanilla)
Green Tea - silage, clay, & mineral-rich soil scrub together a stringent tea on the break-wall of blue-green algae

Reviewed Winter 2009-10

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