Box Chocolate Review

Poco Dolce

Info Details
Country USA   (SF, CA)
Style Neo-Modern      
Brings more than a little sweet to the table... a lot of salt & burnt cocoa too, which works the witchcraft on its Grey Salt Tiles as oracles of black magick... but sprinkle disasterous omens just about everywhere else.
Presentation   4.8 / 5
juxtaposed contrast: a hodge-podge of odd pod & mesa ziggernauts w/ waxed gloss tucked inside a little baby blue / navy blue cotillion box + vellum papyrus inscribed w/ each piece’s shape & name; nice
Aromas   3.9 / 5
spice-nut city
Textures/Melt   7.8 / 10
Shells: pretty much a uniform continuum between exterior/interior (excepting the Tiles which have firmer cover)
Centers: mud sludge w/ grit & granulars for the filled assortment; brittle toffee in the Grey Salt Tiles
Flavor   41.6 / 50
chocolate hash of a texture suffers from over-reliance on salt (& over-stated too) just drawing extra attn to burnt-bulwark couverture (is Guittard slipping or does Poco re-temper at extremely high heat?; in any event someone must’ve burned their face roasting this); Tiles demonstrate better sweet/savor balance as toffee butter effectively soothes the cocoa ashes allowing for depth & perspective rather than a mere dieback to decomposition
Quality   23.1 / 30
Highs & lows in a single package. Unprecedented range from a 1-note diva with the Filled Chocolates (dominated by overbearing salty licorice accent) to true superstardom in the Toffee category (unanimous blockbusters; luxotica in little squares). To its credit, this label works off of no standard blueprints, guaranteeing an ‘adventure’ which is another word for poor planning when it fails or innovation when it succeeds.
Couverture: Guittard
FILLED CHOCOLATE - generally blech
Coconut-Almond Praline - glue-like stick on the texture cut by praline crunch that savors up salted almonds & a back-brownie temperized in coconut
Pistachio - gritty evasion
Hazelnut - nut paste comes up against truculent cocoa abrasion quelled by a salt poultice leaving little but scarred tannins in the backlot
5-Spice - burnt gingerbread FXs w/ salted overkill
Turkish Coffee - either this is mislabeled or it experienced major bleed-in from both the 5-Spice & the Hazelnut; either way, a slosh pit

Grey Sea-Salt Bittersweet Tiles - generally phenomenal
Almond – Nirvanic well worker; double-roasted nuts add that extra thrill-layer sounding the ohm tone
Ginger – intriguing clash of provocative opposites; fractious & productive
Toffee – good consistency (perhaps could go a little more brittle); malted grain needs to be scaled back; higher chocolate ratios required to efface cereal aftertaste
Pecan – yet to realize full maturation point; on this side of confection’s edge; too toffee dominant; could tuck the crunch apparatus in & back, adding more couverture to the mix, w/ (dare say) an extra pinch of salt to let the clash play
Aztec Chile – hallucinatory hologram from Mesoamerica; sequencial salt, chocolate, pepper rising, pumpkin to spread & seal it all; soul-fire heat w/o the burn as butter cools the embers; inestimable

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