As previously stated, I was extremely anxious for the opportunity for VM and I, dark chocolate lovers, to try the lauded Lagusta's Luscious Bluestocking Bonbons.
So, on this day, I approached the box of candy with my original intention intact: to enjoy handmade, artisanal chocolates created by a vegan blogger and chocolatier I have long admired.
|I am a sucker for a chocolate key|
We purposefully started off with the flavor I knew would be VM's favorite: the raspberries de pizan; I couldn't have been more right if I were psychic. While I am no fan of fruity desserts, for the purposes of this tasting I gave it a try. Even though the flavor pairing isn't my particular preference, the perfection of this truffle was not lost on me. For VM, however, this type of truffle is tailor-made and this specific truffle was extraordinary. We were both wildly impressed by the freshness, taste, texture, etc.; it was truly exquisite and exactly what I had originally expected from a chocolatier of Lagusta's caliber. Throughout the tasting, this truffle remained VM's #1, so I promised the rest to her.
|no flavoring; you can see this raspberry filling is the real deal|
Next up was the flavor I expected to be my favorite: the chocolate coconut cream pyramids; right again. Filled with super moist, non-artificial coconut filling; forgive me for describing it as a high gourmet version of the Mounds bar (minus the almond) I recall fondly. Surprisingly, VM disagreed; it was actually too moist for her taste and, for the record, she maintains that a Mounds bar is drier. I'll defer to her on this one because she's tasted the original much more recently than I have; no worries: more pyramids for me.
Because I don't like flowery flavors, the beautiful rose petal decoration on the pomegranate truffles had me wary to try them. But the taste was neither flowery nor bitter- what I generally equate with pomegranate; instead a smooth, slightly fruity truffle that VM deemed her #2 favorite behind the raspberry. I'd put it ahead, so we'll share the remaining truffles.
The crumbly look and texture of the chipotle-vanilla truffles was extremely enticing. However, I knew that what lurked underneath was reason for me to be trepidatious. As a considerable spice fiend (moreso than VM), I can never seem to get my food to pack enough heat; but, I still don't like the idea of spicy chocolate. VM unequivocally bowed out of this taste, so I was left to go it alone. It was not an exception. While I loved the chocolateyness of the truffle, once the spice kicked in it was a definite no for me. I will offer the remaining truffle to a friend for another opinion, but this pairing stays on my "no thanks" list.
VM loves peppermints; you will never find her without a handful in her mouth or pocketbook. I, on the other hand, abhor them. Ironically, neither of us like peppermint patties, but I wanted to include Selma's peppermint patties in the assortment so that my friend who loves P. Patties could try them. As a result, this taste could have gone either way. Surprisingly enough, VM didn't like them at all, but I was unexpectedly intrigued by the combination of the dense, non-obnoxious mint and thick chocolate. I actually ate two, then had to remind myself to save some for said friend!
I'm glad that when we tried the rosemary sea-salt caramels I neglected to recall that rosemary was an ingredient. Had I remembered, we both would have been extremely hesitant to try them. As it turns out, this caramel was not of the variety of the chewy, Kraft cubes of my childhood, but instead a harder caramel that softens as you chew. The sea-salt was a nice touch, and vastly milder than the black salt that I so disliked in the anatomical hearts of the February chocolate of the month. In fact, I enjoyed the candy considerably...right up until the rosemary finally kicked in at the end, and then- not so much. VM even less so. We are not rosemary fans in the least: in cooking and, as it turns out, in sweets.
The last of the individual chocolates to be tasted were the yuzu white chocolate truffles. I hadn't a clue what yuzu was, but I figured I was already in for a pound. VM and I collectively eschew crystallized ginger, so we picked off what we assumed was such before partaking, and then bit into a most cool, refreshing, excellent tasting, fluffy-textured truffle. I personally found it more vanilla tasting than white chocolate, but I think the reason we both enjoyed it so much was that it was extremely reminiscent of the liquor Cointreau that is a staple in the Bean house. Unusual and divine, this truffle was definitely a favorite of mine, and ranked a solid #3 for VM behind the raspberry and pomegranate truffles, respectively.
And, finally, we revisited the two previously-tasted chocolates-of-the-month and confirmed that they simply consist of flavor strengths that are not- by any stretch of the imagination- for us. Unfortunately, there were a lot of them.
The other chocolates that we had anticipated trying: coconut-rum truffles, Kahlua truffles, and Pauline's peanut butter cups would have been much more our speed; it goes without saying that I am still dismayed that what I expected to be an altogether fun tasting wasn't entirely so.
But, nonsense notwithstanding, I am satisfied that my original expectation for these chocolates to be impressive was fulfilled and that Lagusta's Luscious Bluestocking Bonbons is truly the artisanal chocolatier I anticipated, with offerings that exceed the expectations of my own chocolate/sweet loving mouth, as well as provide more interesting concoctions for more adventurous foodies.