Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chocolate Heart Box For Valentines 2012

Heart shaped boxes are popping up everywhere in the USA as Valentine's Day is now only a little over three weeks away.  Originally created back in the 19th century, chocolate boxes allowed chocolatiers to sell a selection of what they created and allowed the giver to present it in a decorated box.  The heart-shaped chocolate box seems to have appeared soon after the turn of the 20th century and it did not become associated with Valentine's Day for several years but instead was first solid at Christmas time;  the exact dates and innovation of this varied from source to source that I consulted but the general time frame and earliest use was consistent.  If anyone has further historical evidence please leave me a comment with a citation so I can do more research.  Taraluna sells only fair-trade and organic chocolates for your loved ones and two of these their available gifts this year go well beyond the traditional heart-shaped chocolate box; you'll see why very soon as your Chocolate Priestess reveals one of the Sjaak's Chocolate Hearts that Taraluna currently has in stock.  To the right you see it against the bag Taraluna also sent me that represents the bulk of what they sell, household items, gifts items, and clothes made by small business women around the world.  Their chocolate selection changes seasonally as well as annually as their suppliers try new ideas though you can generally find chocolate bars there.

This is the milk chocolate version of this Valentine's Day surprise; it also comes in dark which is also vegan.  Now look at the photo to the left, Sisters and Brothers.  Notice anything once the heart is unwrapped?  No, that is not brown plastic you see, that is milk chocolate!  The box is made of milk chocolate.  The label on the above fully wrapped version was a bit stealthy -- "Milk Chocolate Filled Hearts" could have meant milk chocolates inside, you see them in this photo, too, or it could have meant the big heart was milk chocolate.  For a box, the milk chocolate needs to be thick, you can see that, and sturdy.  At first because the scent was so light, I thought it might be plastic but when I brought it closer to my face, I caught more of a cocoa scent so I scratched it with a fingernail and some came off.  I was very happily surprised to discover this heart is actually chocolate. It is fairly large, to, at 4.5+ inches at the widest section, 4.75 inches at it's greatest length, and slightly more than half an inch deep.  I can think of so many things to do with this "box" even without the five pieces of chocolate inside but let's turn to them next.

I have no idea before I try these what these might be, Sisters and Brothers, because no guide or listing in on the package.  While chocolatiers keep resisting, I'll keep pointing out that not telling us what is in each piece is a big allergen risk for more and more consumers.  That's not at Taraluna's door but it is at Sjaak's who makes this product.  Our focus is on Taraluna so I'm going to only briefly go over the individuals chocolates and keep returning to the entire gift itself.  Let's start with the red foil wrapped heart inside the heart which turns out to be a dark chocolate, surprise, filled with a strongly tart but slightly creamy milk chocolate center.  The piece to the left of the heart sort of looks like a butterfly and has a slightly nutty scent and a slight buttery flavor with a hint of hazelnut that builds up when I take a bite.  Working to the tip of the chocolate box we find a square with a few dark stripes in the milk chocolate that has a slightly different nutty scent that turns out to be a caramel nougat with I think tiny pecan pieces.  The next square piece with three raised lines has a darker nut scent to it and the drier nougat center has a more walnut flavor to it as well as far less caramel.  The final oval piece has several almonds engraved on them so I'm betting this has another nutty center but the very creamy, soft center has only a slight almond essence.  If my reading of these fives pieces of chocolate are correct this is not a safe gift for anyone with tree nut allergies which means my husband is not a good choice to receive such a gift. But wait!  I still have the milk chocolate box itself and I'm going to save that and use it to present some homemade treat that I know is safe for him.

Taraluna is a great company that purposely chooses the products they sell based on both empowering those how make the items from start to finish and on the needs and desires of those who buy from them.  The lady in charge there, Penny, is always responsive to customers so if you order, drop her a note and let her know what you think.  Your words and your purchasing will help her continue her good work and offer an even better selection.  If your sweetheart likes milk chocolate or dark, this chocolate heart-shaped box of chocolates is a neat gift at a good price, made with great ingredients and created under better conditions.  There is nothing about this gift that could drag down any joy for Valentine's Day 2012 which makes this a very worthy Sacrament.


Wyrenth said...

I love this idea. :) Chocolate inside a chocolate box.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

It is adorable and being how I like to use things as many ways as possible, when I figure out how to use the "box" for a homemade treat, I'll share the photo and tale with you all.

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