sábado, 4 de abril de 2015

curious chocolate creations from Nicolas Vanaise, who creates chocolates inspired in: archaeology, Japanese culture and... chocolate

the curious part of his creations are the flavors or ingredients he uses





1. GARIGUE – CARAMEL WITH SALT AND THYME

Being the first of the Yuzu chocolates we tasted, the flavours blew us away. Yes, you can taste the caramel. Yes, you can taste the salt. And yes, you can taste the thyme. And they’re all subtly intertwined with a wonderful chocolate flavour from the high cocoa content in the milk chocolate (43%). I cannot express how well these flavours worked together in our mouths. We didn’t want to taste the second chocolate for fear of disturbing the pleasure we were deriving from the long and complex aftertaste.

2. ISPAHAN – ROSES AND RASPBERRIES

This chocolate evokes feelings of a faraway place, the ruby red colours placing us in an exotic land and the subtle hint of rosewater in taste transporting us amongst the bazaars and bridges and bathhouses and mosques of the Iranian city after which this chocolate is named. A very special taste and experience.

3. ANDROMEDA – TONKA BEAN AND BLACK TRUFFLE

This one looks like something from another galaxy with its amazingly intricate chocolate flakes on top carefully moulded together like a piece of art from space. The Tonka bean is an ingredient which has been banned in many countries – a black and wrinkled pea from the Fabaceae family was used as a vanilla substitute, as a perfume, and in tobacco. The Andromeda can be very much described as an adult chocolate, with an earthiness reminding me that I am closer to the Milky Way than the Andromeda galaxy and an intense chocolate flavour which lasts in my mouth for what seems like light years.

4. HAVANA – WHISKEY AND CUBAN TOBACCO

When you see whiskey associated with a chocolate, you expect an explosion of sharp malts and peaty liquid in your mouth at first bite. But Nicolas is all about subtlety. And Yuzu is all about doing something different. The subtle hints of whiskey and tobacco in your mouth are akin to the taste of a gentle breeze on a Cuban porch. This was one of the first chocolates to be made by Nicolas and one of the chocolates of which he is most proud. We can see why.

5. SANA’A – COFFEE, CINNAMON, CARDAMOM AND INCENSE

It’s a good job we tasted this one last. Sana’a is the capital of Yemen and to use Nicolas’ own words, it’s a ‘stopper’. So intense are the flavours and so big and complex is the aftertaste that it’s not really possible to enjoy another chocolate after eating this one. The bitterness of the chocolate and coffee is balanced perfectly with the spices of the cinnamon and cardamom and the incense delivers an almost spiritual motif to the end product.

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