Taraluna. It has nine different "nuts & chews" truffles. The cover of the boxes may be different from what is shown but the chocolates, created by Sjaak’s, should be the same quality as what I’ve revealing today. Each has pictures and flavor titles on the back; not the best place for such information but at least they both have it so you can’t be unpleasantly surprised. I think I prefer the list in the front cover or a separate booklet myself so I don’t have to keep tipping over the box. Just so you all know: I did not eat these in one sitting or even one day but spread them out over a few days.
I’m not a huge fan of every type of nut but I do love most of them especially walnuts, pecans and cashews and this red box has all of these plus some other such as the one I'll start with, Sisters and Brothers. The “Pistachio Caramel” has a big nut on the top of it but only a dark chocolate smell to it. Inside is a soft chocolate caramel and no pistachios at all so if you don’t like this type of nut, just eat around it, if you do, make sure you include it in the bite for it’s crunch and unique nutty taste.
The “Nugget” looks like it has something nutlike covered by the dark chocolate ganache over the entire truffle. Inside is a traditional caramel that is sticky and tangy and stretches as you try to take a clean bite; wonderful. The nut on top is a peanut, unsalted I believe, and it doesn’t add much to the flavor to be blunt because the soft caramel was excellent on it’s own.
Our Mocha Acolyte, davebearin, never replied to us and for that I apologize. From now on, I will require my testers to be with me when they try treat.
The “Almond Crunch” is a little oddly shaped, not a square and not a round, it’s in the upper right hand corner of this photo or the #2 truffle in the first photo of today’s Revelation. This is a very crunchy truffle with a hard center and two solid almonds inside. It has an intense almond flavor and a strong vanilla flavor as well, both of which overwhelm the dark cocoa. Definitely makes a crunch with chew but I’m not terribly pleased by the flavor combinations for some reason.
I look forward to these last two caramels given the earlier “Nugget” which pleased me a lot. The first is a “Peanut Caramel” which confusions me since isn’t that basically what the “Nugget” was? This has a mostly smooth surface with one raised ridge of chocolate across it or the fourth piece in the box. Strangely it does not look or smell as dark as the previous pieces are but then “dark chocolate” covers a very wide range of cocoa content and we know that not all are created equal nor do they taste the same. Inside is as soft chocolate and peanut buttery caramel with tiny pieces of nuts. It is a lot like some organic and vegan versions of peanut butter cups I’ve had in the past.
The “Chocolate Caramel” piece has a few raised ridges of chocolate along it’s top and a nice dark fragrance to it. Inside is a semi-soft chocolate caramel that has a light malt flavor to it for some reason. It’s good but not as tangy as I want from a caramel though it has a cocoa kick to it in every bite.
Overall the chocolate tastes a bit different than non-vegan chocolate does and I’m not sure how to describe it. While I am a fan of darker chocolate and as I point out repeatedly the health benefit only begin with 70% or above, there is an bitterness here that isn’t as comfortable as I find even in 93% dark chocolate that includes dairy instead of soy which I think has a very different taste. Of course, if you are vegan then you are used to and like that soy taste and I think you will really like this selection from Taraluna. More than that, they are offering a special deal right now. If you order today, November 25, 2009, and use the code "Gobble25" you can save 25% off the product prices; if you want until Black Friday, November 27, 2009, you can use "Gobble20" to get a 20% discount and then from Saturday the 28th to Monday the 30th you can use "Gobble15" to save 15%.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.