As previously mentioned on Monday, my box of 9 of Vosges Exotic Truffles were samples sent by the company. I shared them with friends, which is the best way to savor fine chocolates. From left to right and top to bottom they are (the last two trio photos are slightly off, with the Ambrosia and Chef Pascal swapped):
Naga – sweet Indian curry powder + coconut + milk chocolate – I’ve had the Naga chocolate bar before and liked it, and I similarly enjoyed the curry dusted Naga truffle. The curry flavor is initially strong before it gets a bit mellowed by the coconut flavor coming through. The milk ganache balanced the two flavors well, and the truffle makes me think of Thai food.
Budapest – sweet Hungarian paprika + dark chocolate – Paprika isn’t really used in Chinese cooking, so I have no idea what its flavor profile is like. I found the Budapest to taste extremely, unpleasantly earthy. Even the more enjoyable dark chocolate finish wasn’t enough to make me like this truffle more. My friend Rita made a face and said it tasted like dirt, while my other friend Chris enjoyed it.
Gianduia – crunchy hazelnut praline + milk chocolate + praline bits – As I have said before, it’s hard to go wrong with the classic flavor combination of chocolate and hazelnut. The Gianduia’s hazelnut flavor was strong without being overpowering, and I found the nuttiness to be fresher and more genuine that anything Ferrero has ever made. The praline topping was also a nice, sweet, crunchy touch.
Black Pearl – ginger + wasabi + dark chocolate + black sesame seeds – When I tasted the bar version of the Black Pearl, I found its wasabi flavor to be absent. In the truffle, wasabi flavor is definitely there. It starts out tasting like ginger, and the wasabi rounds out the middle. I’m not a big fan of ginger and chocolate, but I can see why some people love it and how they would love this truffle.
Wink of the Rabbit – soft caramel + deep milk chocolate + organic New Mexican pecan – The top half of this interestingly named truffle is made of ganache, while the bottom half is made of a caramel that tastes like a soft toffee. I found it to be on the verge of sugar overload, and the organic New Mexican pecan (because pecan sourcing is soooo important, I guess) doesn’t add anything to the truffle or temper its sweetness.
Chef Pascal – kirsch + dark chocolate + dried Michigan cherry – This truffle has a strong liqueur flavor that I enjoyed. Eating this truffle is sort of like eating an uber fancy cherry cordial, except much better because the Vosges ganache is so rich and smooth and creamy.
Woolloomooloo – Australian macadamia nut + coconut + deep milk chocolate – The Woolloomooloo has a strong coconut flavor that tastes extremely and pleasantly fresh and a nice, dusky chocolate finish. I couldn’t taste the macadamia nut, but it was just fine without it.
Ambrosia – macadamia nuts + Cointreau + white chocolate – Like in the Woolloomooloo (man, is that fun to type!), the macadamia nuts are just too mildly flavored to stand out. The Cointreau (an orange liqueur) makes this truffle super sweet and fruity, and the white chocolate gives it a thickly sweet finish. I don’t particularly care for white chocolate, but I do appreciate the concept and flavor of this truffle.
Absinthe – Chinese star anise + fennel + pastis + dark chocolate + cocoa powder – I wasn’t expecting to like this truffle because I don’t like licorice or anise. I was right, sort of, as I didn’t like it, but I didn’t dislike it. The anise flavor is more reminiscent of Chinese five spice than of licorice. My licorice-loving suitemate enjoyed this.
I would not buy Vosges truffles for myself to eat because they’re so pricey, but I would buy them for others. The packaging is pretty, the truffles themselves are exquisitely gorgeous, the smooth and creamy ganaches are luxuriously indulgent, and the flavor combinations are unique and creative. An OMG, but only if someone else is buying.