With all my time in Santa Fe, I had never come across The ChocolateSmith. Fortunately, Jeff Keenan sent me a few samples: WinterMint Bark, two wax chocolates, and a box of chocolates that I’ll review next.
The WinterMint Bark is a dark chocolate slab with a white chocolate slab, sprinkled in peppermint, on top. My companions all enjoyed it, but there was something not quite right to me. I’m going to attempt to explain the taste I picked up in it, with the hopes that someone out there will know what I mean. I call it a “makeup taste” and before I’ve only encountered it in Mexican sweet bread.
I’ve no idea where this taste comes from, and while it isn’t exactly unpleasant, it isn’t the nicest in chocolate, either. But that aside, the dark chocolate is smooth, with slight coffee notes. The white has a nice bit of depth to it. The mint, though, is barely noticeable. Again, it should definately be stronger. The packaging could always be a big nicer, as well, but it is handmade chocolate.
Next is the wax Joyful Hearth with Sunset Orange Pate. It’s labeled as “dark chocolate orange ganache infused with Chipotle chili and cinnamon, hand dipped in Dutch cheese wax.” This was my first wax chocolate experience; it’s an interesting concept. Pretty and entertaining to peel off after you cut a piece. The ChocolateSmith markets it as “weatherproof chocolate,” which definately comes in handy in the Southwest and for toursits, who aren’t always traveling in the best chocolate enviornments. My first impression of this chocolate was something akin to fudge, only nicer, of course. It’s very soft, but slightly rough. This one has a sweet taste at the start, then a lemon/citrus edge, before moving on to the warmth of the chili. Which flavor is the one in your mouth after it melts. A bit spicy for the weaker palates, a light touch for the stronger. The fudgy chocolate taste isn’t very dominant with so many other flavors, but it’s a nice compliment to them, nonetheless.
The Holiday Tree is a plain Dark Chocolate Pate. It has a wonderfully enticing thick, moist smell that reminded me a little of the Joseph Schmidt truffles. The fluffy ganache has a reddish tinge and is still a little rough in the mouth. Although there isn’t any orange in this one, the chocolate still has a sweet citrus/strawberry fruitiness to its depths.
I’m still puzzling a bit over the WinterMint, but the wax chocolates are amazing. They’re truly something to touch both sides of the chocolate spectrum. Enough to enchant the chocolate-obsessed, but still casual and innocent enough to entice the average person or tourist.