I met foodpoisoningsf at the "ferry building" in downtown San Francisco. I had never been there before. It turned out to be a wonderful place - there was an amazing farmer's market taking place just outside. My friend showed me where the Recchiuti store was, and I was really impressed at the selection.
I bought some fruit gelees. I love those those. They bring back wonderful memories of my childhood. One time I was on a shopping trip with my mom, and I wanted one of the fruit-shaped gelly things so bad that I started to cry. The saleswoman felt bad, and gave me one for free. That taught me that pitching a fit will get you whatever you want in this world.
Also, I bought a "burnt caramel almond bag" which was a bag of almonds withan awesome crunchy candy outer shell. I can only eat two of those at a time before my head explodes. But the reason I was there was to buy a "burgundy box", a 32-piece assortment of one of each of all the truffles they sell:
"Smoky, burnt caramel blended with dark chocolate ganache"
You'd think I'd like this, since their fleur de sel caramels are amazing. But as a chocolate truffle, this was pointless and too subtle. There's nothing worse than eating something and wish you were eating something else. 1/10
Spring Jasmine Tea
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with jasmine blossoms and green tea leaves"
I had no idea what this was. And therefore it gets points for being surprising... giving me a taste sensation I had never had before. Unfortunately, it's not a taste that I would really ever want to have again. 4/10
"Pure extra bitter chocolate ganache infused with whole vanilla bean"
I love dark chocolate, so I wanted to give this one really high marks. But it was actually very bland. Maybe I should have waited and eaten it separately hours later after cleansing my palate. But if a candy requires that delicacy, what's the point? 2/10
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with Ceylon tea and bergamot oil"
Ok, it's tea all right. And therefore it's a "win". However, it's not really *there*. To me, the flavors don't really belnd well, and something is missing. But that is sometimes a good thing... as it makes you want to reach for another one, and then another, becuase your tongue is still searching, searching. 5/10
Pearl Mint Tea
"Dark chocolate infused with spearmint peppermint and green tea leaves"
Now this one works. Interesting and very good. Why do I like this one over the bergamot tea? I don't know... but there's something on my tongue that agrees. 6/10
Star Anise & Pink Peppercorn
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with star anise and crushed pink peppercorn"
We have a winner. *This* is when I visited Recchiuti. Not only is it amazingly good, it's something I can't get anywhere else. I want more - that's all I can say. 9/10
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with fresh ginger and finished with gold leaf"
The is such a pretty design. I could imagine giving someone a box of these for Valentine's Day. The only problem is that it tastes bad. 2/10
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with cardamom and topped with crunchy bits of cacao nib nougat"
Awful. But I'm not a cardamom fan. When I used to do Renaissance fairs, I studied a but about what medieval people cooked - what spices were available. And cardamom was one of the spices. I made some cookies, but they turned out to be these brick-like things that nobody wanted to eat. But my cookies were still better than this chocolate. 1/10
Sur De Lago
"Smooth extra-bitter chocolate ganache topped with crushed Sur de Lago cacao nibs"
I was with you until the nibs. Ick. Sometimes a bit of texture can really help smooth chocolate. I'm a big fan of adding stuff to a mousse: nuts, chocolate chunks, ice cream, cake, cookie bits. But it this case it just tastes like overcooked remnants stirred up from the bottom of the pot. 3/10
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with Provacale lavender buds and whole vanilla beans"
I thought I'd like this one more than I did. Lavender? Really? I have some soap at home I use to wash my hands, and it smells nice. But mixing it with chocolate? I bet it can be done... but not like this. The mix is too heavy. I felt like I was eating perfume, and not in a good way. 4/10
Fleur de Sel Caramel
"Chewy burnt caramel flcked with French fleur de sel (sea salt)"
I'm a fan of the fleur de sel. I had never heard of it before last year. And once I discovered it, there was no going back. Recchiuti was one of the first places to do this trick. But my only complaint is MORE! More sea salt, more flavor, more crunch please. 7/10
"Barley malt folded into Venezualan white chocolate ganache and topped with honeycomb nuggets"
Really good. But it an odd way, it's too basic. There's a chocolate flavor, then the honeycomb crunch. It tastes like a cheap candy you could get at Woolworth's. Which is not to say BAD... just kind of disappointing. 8/10
"Dark Chocolate ganache infused with fresh lemon verbena"
I have a problem with mixing fruit and chocolate. I think I'm just tired of restaurants that serve "death by chocolate" or "molten lava cake". My mouth is ready for rich deep chocolate flavor, and then the dessert comes out from the kitchen and it's drenched in cheap red raspberry syrup. I know it makes for pretty presentation, but I find the citrus flavors totally overwhlem the chocolate flavor I'm going after. This example eliminated the zing of the lemon and replaced it with a soap-like tang. 2/10
Candied Orange Peel
"Tender candied orange peel enrobed in bittersweet chocolate"
Not my thing. And I've eaten too much of it over the past ten years. I find the peel to tough... like eating beef jerky. Beef jerky that tastes like oranges. Then covered in chocolate. That doesn't sound appetizing, does it? 2/10
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with 100% Hawaiian Kona coffee beans and finished with gold leaf"
This one works. And not just because it's amazingly beautiful. The flavor is great, the shape is fun, the whole package is delightful. The only problem is that you have to like coffee, and for me, one of these is enough. 6/10
"Whole, toasted Piedmont hazelnut surrounded by a milk chocolate gianduja"
There was a cany bar I loved as a child. "Toffifay"? Remember that? It wasn't a candy bar as much as four little hazelnut chocolates in a cool space-age gold container. Sure, you didn't get a lot of candy for your quarter, but as a kid it made me feel grown-up to choose this over... say... Charleston Chew, which was for pre-teens. Not as good as "Mon Cheri", which was REALLY high-class and reserved for special occassions, like Mother's Day gifts. I miss Toffifay, so it's nice that I can get a candy at twice the price that brings me back to my childhood. 8/10
"A blend of milk & dark chocolate ganache on a crunchy sesame seed nougat disk"
This one has it all. An innovative taste, an artistic look, and a "foodie" hook. But I'm not so sure about mixing so much honey with chocolate. But that is an existential question I will ponder over as I stuff another one of these cylinders into my pie-hole. 7/10
"Dark chocolate ganache infused with tarragon leaves and topped with candied grapefruit peel"
Wow! What creativity. I would have thought tarragon was enough. But that little bit of chew and sour grapefruit? Fantastic. I thought I would like it better. I love grapefruit. But there's something odd about this combination. To be appreciated more as a concept than actual food. 4/10
"Single origin cacao from Ecuador. Earthy tobacco and coffee notes"
Recchiuti sure jumped on the "single-origin" bandwagon. This line of chocolates are stamped with the name of the country they come from, like some sort of weird labeling system. It's attractive, but what you actually get here is a soft vaguely coffee-flavored chocolate that's not important enough for me to care about its pedigree. 3/10
"Single origin cacao form the Sur de Lago region of Venezuala. Delicate but and caramel notes"
Even worse than the one above. I wrote only one comment to myself after eating this chocolate... "Why?" Then there is another word written below that that I can't read anymore. Nutty? Nerdy? Heavy? In any case, the chocolate was something good to eat at 11 pm at night in front of the computer, but I won't give it any more than that. 2/10
Peanut Butter Puck
"Organic peanut butter blended with milk chocolate and flecked with fleur de sel"
Omigod. I will be going back to the Recchiuti store monthly for these. I love Reese's, but I'm a bit particular. I love the big Reese's cups, but dislike the smaller Halloween size. That's the wrong ratio of chocolate to peanut butter. And the novelty Reese's "Big Cup" is too much. This incredible candy is crunchy and nutty and sweet and salty all at the same time. Great look, great size, and great price. I will be back, mark my words. 9/10
"Single origin Criollo caco from the island of Madagascar. Tart cherry and fruit notes"
I will never forgive Madagascar for the damn movie that my niece watches incessantly. She bounces up and down screaming until i promise to do my dance to "I like to move it move it". So, no good can come from that region. Particularly not a smooth dull chocolate like this one. The best of the four varietals offered here, but not by much. 4/10.
"Single origin cacao from the Chucurro region of Columbia. Blanced wine & spice notes"
It's dark chocolate. It's ok. 'Nuff said. 3/10
Not eaten (since I don't like fruit mixed with chocolate):
"Cassis fruit gelee atop a layer of silky dark chocolate ganache"
"Dark chocolate ganache blended with raspberry essence and liquer"