The Chocolate Cult: Chocolate that Reforms

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chocolate that Reforms

We've featured Italian chocolates in the past but the wonderful folks at Beviamo not only help the rest of the world experience Italian chocolates but they are part of a the Dolci Liberta project out of the Busto Arsizio Prison near Milan that we had an interview about last month.   So today let's try some of the creations made through this program by looking at four bags of the chocolates they turn out.  Sisters and Brothers, I was aided in this review by Renee, our Fruit Acolyte who has other interests beyond fruit; she was also available to help me and I greatly appreciate it. Note: We're having camera difficulties here so I used my cellphone and I apologize for the images; I got some help with two of the photos and those lack the "light sunshine haze" of the others.  Check out the links to see the company's images please.

Hazelnut Cocoa Truffles are coated with cocoa powder making them quite different from the other three varieties we have to look at today.  They have a light, sweet scent to them that surprised us since they appear to be dark chocolate.  Biting into one products a sharp snap because the hazelnut inside is firm and tastes unsalted but very intense.  The initial and final flavors were the chocolate with the hazelnut's essence building with each chew. The chocolate was surprisingly sweet more like a milk chocolate versus a darker variety.

Pistacho with White Chocolate have a sort of greenish yellow tint to the white chocolate coating and when you pick one up you can feel a slightly bumpy texture.  Renee commented: It isn't a pretty chocolate.  There is no scent until you bite one in half and then you get a pistacho and cream mixture. There was very little scent when a piece was bitten in half and no crunchiness at all, the pistachos were very moist and very strong.  Again none of the saltiness we generally expect in our nuts in the USA but that isn't a bad thing, just a different experience.  The pistachos were so strong that they overwhelmed the white chocolate completely.

Coffee Beans with Dark Chocolate have a shiny and dark chocolate fondant covering them yet they did have a light cocoa scent.  The coffee's scent was revealed upon biting into one.  The coffee flavor is the first one you encounter with a surprisingly mild chocolate aftertaste that quickly disappears behind the powerful coffee essence.  The bitterness of the coffee bean built up with more and more dark cocoa flavor until it began a bit overbearing in terms of bitterness.  If you like expresso you'll love this if you don't then eat only a couple at a time.

And last but not least Mixed Hazelnut Truffles that have white, milk, and dark chocolate covered nuts. As with the previous hazelnut truffles in this offering these are unsalted and very firm, making a wonderful crunchy sound with every chew.  The white chocolate are very creamy with a strong vanilla flavor that is almost immediately buried by the hazelnuts.  The milk chocolate has a creamy scent and strong vanilla flavors while the intensity of the of the hazelnut reflected the size of the hazelnut since the thickness of the chocolate was approximately the same for the ones we tried.  The dark chocolate was rare in our bag, only two of them in fact as you can see in the photo I hope.  Oddly this truffle has no scent until we bite into it.  Also very strangely it seems to have a waxy texture not like any of the others that we tried.  However once we take a bit the burst of bitter chocolate is immediate and it builds dramatically mixing with the hazelnut.  This is certainly the most chocolatey but a touch too bitter for Renee and right on the edge for me.

Sisters and Brothers, the Dolci Liberta project is very intriguing and I hope they are able to continue to help the inmates by offering them the skills and experience while making chocolate.  The resulting chocolate is very Italian, as you might expect, and if you haven't tried it, you should at least once. Right now you can order them online outside of Europe but the company is looking for partners in the USA to expand their offerings into more of the world.


amrita singh said...

i like this post. beautiful truffle.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Thank you for reading and commenting, Amirta.

I think the program is wonderful and I believe it would be nice if other nations started thinking of reform vs punishment more often.

I hope you come back and read more of our posts.

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