When Cioccolato Tavoletta said they were sending me a few samples from Italy, I wasn’t expecting the giant crate that arrived at my door containing a small bag of everything from the Tavoletta range.
As it turns out, the sheer volume of chocolate they sent it as difficult to photograph as it is to consume, so in order to make my life a little easier, I decanted a couple of each chocolate onto a plate.
There. Much better.
With all the chocolates laid out, my task was a little less daunting, but still not entirely simple, given the labelling is all in Italian. Thankfully, the Tavoletta website is in English and has a handy page explaining what all the chocolates are.
Still there’s rather a lot to get through, so rather than writing about them all, I’m just going to pick out a few of my personal highlights.
These simple milk or dark chocolate bars are filled with gianduja (chocolate combined with hazelnut paste. While the dark chocolate version is nice, the shell is a little bitter, but the milk chocolate version is deliciously creamy and nutty.
One of the more unusual and interesting chocolates in the collection; a white chocolate ganache made with cream that’s been infused with parmesan. Although the texture is a little grainy, it kind of works. There’s a definite hint of parmesan to it, and it’s not too sweet for a white chocolate either.
Diamante Della Felcita
The website describes this as “A diamond shaped praline in dark chocolate encasing a creamy, crunchy, fruity, salty and spice infused filling” but doesn’t actually go into specifics about what the fruity & spicy flavours are. Tasting it, they’re quite subtle, but work very nicely. I don’t know what it is, but I kinda like it.
Another chocolate that comes in both milk and dark chocolate versions. A “three pronged” chocolate where each prong contains a while roasted piedmont hazelnut. As with previous chocolates, I think the milk version works a little better, but either way, these simple chocolates are quite moreish.
I love fruity chocolates, and the flavour of this dark chocolate with quince apple jelly did was great. It was a little let down by a very thick chocolate base that made it quite difficult to eat, but it was still a favourite for me.
Much of this range are quite traditional pralines, which are fine, but they’re just not my thing. For me, there’s only so many ways you can combine nuts and chocolate before it starts to get a little repetitive.
For the most part though, I did enjoy this selection. In terms of quality, they’re above average, but unfortunately not outstanding. That’s partly down to European tastes, which are more conservative than some of the top London chocolatiers that I’m used to, but I’d still love to see a few more imaginative flavours. Most importantly at all, I’d like to see higher quality chocolate used – particularly in the dark chocolates.