There are a lot of ‘art’ connotations with chocolate. We talk of the art of the chocolatier, I’ve seen sculptural displays of chocolates in Qatar, and there are even paintings made with chocolate in a gallery in Prague. So how about a box of chocolates modelled on a Japanese calligraphy set?
I have have already commented on the aesthetics of Jean Galler’s creations, and if anything this takes the philosophy of product design even further. A beautiful crved box is home to twelve filled chocolate sticks and three pots of ‘ink’ to dip them in, yielding a possible twenty four flavour combinations.
The chocolate sticks themselves have some unusual flavours. There’s a saffron stick, a Cardamom stick, one flavoured with Yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit with a grapefruit tang) , Ginger, Vanilla and Coconut, and finally Strawberry and Balsamic vinegar. A fairly eclectic mix in their own right, but then there are the ‘inks’.
The three tiny pots are home to another set of intriguing flavours. Kalamansi juice (a lemon like fruit), sweet orange and cocoa nib, and matcha (Japanese green tea) and poppy seed.
Here’s a video of M. Galler himself talking the viewer through the concept and contents of the box:
It only seemed right and proper to share this rather splendid looking box of chocolates, so I enlisted the services of a lovely Japanese lady, selected for her ability to authenticate the Matcha and Yuzu flavours. After exhaustive testing, we concluded that not only the Oriental elements authentic, but that the whole thing is an absolute marvel.
The flavours used to fill the sticks are subtle yet strong and at times utterly sublime. From the musky tang of saffron to the citrus zing of the Yuzu, by way of a laughter-inducing Cardamom stick which concealed it’s flavour in popping candy, this is a box of delights for the adventurous palate. Highlights included the vanilla and coconut stick which was so milky smooth it almost tasted like Milky Bar chocolate, and the amazing Strawberry and Balsamic stick.
Naturally all of the flavours go extremely well with the ‘inks’, and there’s a lot of fun to be had offering a new combination to your co-taster. It can become almost like a game, selecting flavours for someone else to try and seeing their reaction. I was reminded of Dom’s review of the Hotel Chocolat set that came with a blindfold. Well to my mind this would be much better suited to a game of blind tasting by candlelight.
Whether you’re planning a quiet night in for two or looking for a memorable climax to a dinner party, I cannot recommend this box highly enough. It could be a sophisticated treat to be enjoyed with a coffee or the source of sensual entertainment for lovers, and I loved every minute of it (and not just because of the company). It’s not cheap of course, but if you were looking to impress then this will do the job admirably. Just buy one. Now.