It's that time of year, the department stores have brought in TONS of chocolate for Valentine's Day.
All for the "guys"..pfft!
I debated as to whether to check out Salon du Chocolat in Kyoto, but there was nothing that really piqued my interest so I decided not to go this year.
The first photo is something from a lady in my French class, she was so thrilled with the Victoria's Secret lip gloss I gave her when I came back from Hawaii in January, that she gave me and the rest of the class these boxes of truffles from the Hotel Okura.
I ate the dark chocolate ones and gave the milk and white ones to Satoshi. Nothing out of the ordinary about these but I appreciate the thought (thank you!)
She also gave us these 86% chocolates...ack, too bitter and acidic, kinda chalky even. Blah, thank you but sorry, no.
So the other day, I went to the Hankyu Department store, they started their Valentine's fair and had brought in some new chocolatiers this year...like Berger, an Austrian maker.
I tried their plum & pimento bar...1260 yen (about US$12.60)
The 70% chocolate envelopes a plum and pimento filling. You can't taste the pimento but the plum is very noticeable, in a good way.
I loved how shiny their bars were, though it made it hard to photograph because I would always see my camera reflecting.
Baixas, a Spanish chocolatier in Barcelona.
This one is noted in a book I have about different chocolates.
I tried their 3-piece bon-bons...840 yen (about US$8.40)
Coconut, a coconut ganache covered with a dark chocolate & coconut flakes...nice.
Pepper, a black pepper ganache covered with dark chocolate..spicy, my fave!
Raspberry, a raspberry ganache covered with dark chocolate and raspberry bits...tart but nice.
Bachhalm 1928, another Austrian chocolatier.
They were giving out samples while I stood in line, so I got to try their Fruits of the Forest bar. This bar was covered with strawberry, raspberry & black currant powder. The flavors were very bright, nice.
When it was my turn to order, I went with their ginger bar though. This bar is 54% (actually 53.8%) cacao (the highest percentage in their bars) with fresh bits of ginger...1785 yen (about US$17.85)
The guy that was selling these said that usually you find candied ginger or dried ginger used, but this bar uses fresh bits, so these were different.
This was spicy and matched the chocolate perfectly...yum!
Plus on the flaps of the box reads "viel freude beim genießen" (enjoy with much joy), I will indeed!
I also tried these orangette by Club Harie, a sweets maker in Shiga Prefecture.
This seemed to be semi-sweet chocolate and it also looks like it may have bloomed. It was still very nice with coffee.
At LOFT, a store with all sorts of things, New Tree's mini bars, a Belgian chocolate maker.
They had varying cacao percentages and I bought the ones that were dark chocolate, 73% cacao.
Cassis (Black currant) had a nice berry flavor. Poivre Rose (Pink Peppercorn) had a nice kick to it, my fave. Cerise (Cherry) had a subtle cherry flavor.
So, that's the chocolates for this Valentine's season, not as many in the past but some nice finds.
It is Friday here, the weather has started to warm up during the day, but early mornings and the evenings are still quite cold.
Have a nice weekend!