Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Run, Forrest, Run!

Sorry for the hiatus! I've been insanely busy with speaking engagements, which in this economy is a mighty fine thing!

Valentine's Day candy is out already. I'm still trying to finish all my Christmas candy! I may have to miss a season. (Yeah, right!)

I'm going back to the Chocolate Show in this post. Please come with.

These gorgeous chocolates are from Oliver Kita:

Aren't they gorgeous? They should be. You're looking at a $40 box of chocolates. But before we talk about the chocolates, I feel compelled to mention the pretentious stuff that comes with these gorgeous babies. There's the corporate tag line: Mind. Body. Chocolate Every Day TM Yes, this is trademarked. Puleeze.

The chocolate is described as joyful, powerful and conscious. Under powerful the little brochure that came in the box says, "Buying this chocolate supports human rights. The power of your giving or receiving it is aligned with universal values of the global community." Huh? Considering the current state of the world, violence seems to be one of the few universal values of the global community. What do you think $40 worth of chocolate will do on the Gaza Strip? You make chocolate, Mr Kita, you are not the Dalai Lama. Stay inside the box.

Sorry - you know how I am. I have to call BS when these fancy high-end chocolatiers start saying that buying their chocolate is going to help fulfill mysterious global values. (Maybe the writers of the redundant Chex Mix copy weren't so bad after all.) Just make amazing chocolate. You don't also have to save the world.

More important to me as a consumer is what I'm eating. I do not subscribe to the Forrest Gump "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get" theory. I want the Whitman's Sampler road map. I want to know where the orange cream is so I can avoid that thing like the plague.

Oliver Kita did have some pictures and descriptions, but they were not all inclusive. Some of the chocolates in the box were not listed. Some chocolates not in the box were. It was partially helpful. For example:

Green stripe is Pistache - pistachio almond marzipan - VERY good!

The red one below it is Scarlet Caramel which is strawberry and caramel and blew me away!! It tasted like fresh strawberries and caramel, not that yucky strawberry cream stuff. This was simply amazing.

The purple/yellow one is Lavendar Citronade and was too lemony for me.

The other one looks kind of like the picture for Coconut Voile, but I couldn't taste any coconut, so I'm not sure.

Several of the other ones I have no idea about. They were good, but I was clueless as to exactly what they were. I would rather have a better guide to the CHOCOLATE than a cheesy we-are- the-world story.

A couple of these were fantastic - Galaxy Way - the one covered with nuts - smooth, chewy, gooey caramel with a twist is how Kita describes it. Delish! There's also a salted caramel - this one with Pink Hawaiian sea salt. Whoa! This is a mind blower. Extraordinary.

Also noteworthy is the Espresso Double Shot which has crushed cacao nibs, giving it a great texture. And I didn't think it was too bitter - it was excellent.

Questionable was White Peaches & Cream. Personally I want no peach and chocolate combo.

Only two were outright awful - Shiki Matcha Crunch - a green tea infused ganache with croquant crunch (in normal words - a weird green tea thing covered with weird white balls - yucko). You can see it in the lower right hand corner. Looks like an alien pod. Tastes like one too.

And Palet d'Opium - described as seductive blood orange, lapsang, hypnotic spice - immediately reminded me of the bacon bar - eew! Turns out lapsang is a black tea with a smokey flavor. I want no smokey tea in my chocolate. And I don't know what hypnotic spice is. Maybe it's a human rights thing.

I would like to see more information about the chocolate and the different ingredients and less on the alignment of universal values. If I'm going to be eating Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt, I want to know about it!

Overall I found the Oliver Kita Chocolate to be pretty amazing. Ingenious flavor combinations, most of which tasted fantastic. Some simple, yet unique (Scarlet Caramel) and SO well done. And a tip to all these chocolatiers - educate us and you'll build and expand your market. Treat us like Forrest Gump, and well, we'll run.


diane said...

I love your comments. And you are so right! Sometimes simple is really good (like the Reese's Big Cup :). BTW -are you going to show the Van's Chocs??? or just hoard them ;)

Denise Ryan said...

Oooh - love the Reese's Big Cup!!! And just wait - Van's are next!!!! xoxox Thanks for the support and the chocolates, Diane!!