But chocolate is as well, especially if it looks like diamonds. Last week I got this pretty jewellery box filled with Pierre Marcolini chocolates, lucky me!
Pierre Marcolini is a Belgian chocolatier, defining himself as being an artisan in Haute Chocolaterie. It is true, the beauty of its chocolates and packaging rivals that of haute couture fashion. But what makes Pierre Marcolini special is that he works the cocoa bean right from its raw state. Most other chocolatiers (not only industrial ones) buy the semi-finished product, cocoa butter and solids. So their products often stem from the same wholesale manufacturer of cocoa beans. In choosing various characteristic cocoa beans, Marcolini is able to experiment with the different varieties and geographic origins of the beans, which after all is what makes the authentic taste of chocolate. If you don’t add a ton of sugar or other undesired additives, it’s the quality of the bean that makes or breaks it.
The Grands Crus assortment is all about these very specific flavours. The box comes with 6 different varieties of dark chocolate ganache pralinés (6 each, so you get 36 pralinés), from Brazil to Venezuela, Ecuador, the Caribbean, Ghana, Peru and Madagascar. I recommend trying a few chocolates at a time, one after the other, as to make it a really culinary experience, such as a wine tasting. 6 at a time may be too much, but 3 you should manage. The pralinés, quite small in size, taste very fresh, but have somewhat of a too thick outside coating in my opinion, maybe also the reason for those small holes in the couverture (usually regarded as an imperfection) that you can see in the picture above (but this is my only criticism). The tastes go from sweet to bitter and spicy, and although you may prefer one to another, all of them have very balanced and complex flavours. A true delight for a real chocolate aficionado!
You can get the Grands Crus range (and many other chocolate and patisserie products) in Marcolini shops in Brussels, Antwerp, Brugge, Knokke, Paris, Luxembourg, Kuwait and several locations in Japan as well as in its online shop.