Gourmet, Artisan Chocolates
Currently only online – Website
Even though a chocolate-specific write-up is something I never thought I'd do as Philly Phoodie, I was recently invited to an "exclusive chocolate and wine tasting at the Independent Hotel" on Locust at 13th. It's a new 'boutique hotel' that I had no idea existed, but apparently it hits a niche market in the heart of Center City. But I digress...
Owner, John Doyle, was there to give an introduction and to talk a little bit about each of the evening's three pairings.
Although these little numbers weren't on the pairing agenda, they were scattered around the lobby for a bit of chocolate pre-gaming. How cute, little pumpkins.
They were filled with a nutmeg caramel and reminded me of November.
I won't talk too much about the wine pairings, because they seemed a bit off to me. I'm no wine connoisseur, but I know enough to know which wines taste good and which ones don't. There was a red (okay) and a white (terrible).
They really take care to making these little buggers look expensive. The Red Ganache Lovebugs are "hand-painted 62% dark chocolate shells with colored cocoa butter, filled with a delectable dark Valrhona 64% chocolate ganache and a hint of Singing Dog vanilla sourced from Indonesian farmers." Talk about fancy. Unfortunately, I couldn't help but think of Rodney Dangerfield the whole time.
Probably the greatest highlight of the evening were the figs. Talk about indulgent. Not to mention the fact that these were paired with a Fine Tokay wine, which was more of a syrupy-sweet dessert wine that really had some legs on it. This pair was actually right on.
"We import tender, organic dried Calabacita figs from a small family farm in Spain then fill them ourselves with a silky smooth, whiskey infused Valrhona dark chocolate ganache. They are then hand-dipped in 62% dark chocolate." Need I say more? Absolutely incredible.
All in all, I'd definitely recommend a purchase of John & Kira's chocolates over anything else - if chocolate is what you're gifting. Compounded by their impeccable eye for design in packaging and marketing, the company's quality ingredients are certainly worth a try.