We all remember our first kiss. When we reminisce we seem to do so with rose-tinted glasses. When I first started reviewing chocolate all those years ago Booja Booja truffles were one of the first non-mass-market chocolates I ever blogged about. I absolutely adored them. In my formative reviewing years I experienced various other forms of truffle from them, some better than others.
Everybody evolves. I’m certainly a completely different person than when I first puckered up my lips and had the action reciprocated, and it’s no different with Booja Booja. Just as I’ve found my place in the world, so have they. As an ethical producer of truffles they’re caught between the uber-fresh (I won’t draw any comparisons with any of my romantic dalliances) chocolates with the high-volume alternatives. They have, however, managed to make the most of both areas. They produce perhaps the best truffles you can buy on Amazon whilst supplying a huge number of stockists. How they’ve managed to scale with their original refined ethics is amazing.
From those crazy flavours including a dodgy banana one and a couple of others, not to mention the Espresso which I loved, they’ve come up with a new variety of flavours and a new format. The Rhubarb and Vanilla Fool is a particular favourite given the sharpness and uniqueness of the flavour. The Almond and Sea Salt Caramel is more of a mellow affair as it sticks to your teeth after the majority has melted and deposited its flavour.
Along the fruity lines they also produce a Raspberry truffle which is as cool on the lips as any truffle I can remember. The flavour is a balance of suitably sharp raspberry with an undercurrent of coconut – which I only located in the ingredients. Interestingly, this one and the Dark Ecuadorian (aptly) is labelled as being made with Pacari chocolate – which I feel is absolutely fantastic, and have recently called for – chocolatiers saying what couverture they use. This isn’t mentioned on the other six boxes of truffles.
Two of these boxes are interestingly are selection boxes, some of which are duplicated in single-flavour boxes whilst additionally the selection boxes also contain the Espresso as well as Kalamon Olive. The other boxes include their famous Fine de Champagne truffles and another box of Hazelnut Crunch which I’ve tried before and some new (to me) Dark Ecuadorian made from Pacari but ‘adulterated’ with coconut oil. I’d love to have tasted them without.
I spend much of my day wishing that I could stock filled chocolates on my chocolate shop, but have only done so once with Geert’s chocolates. I’d love to find a way to do so with the exceptionally fresh chocolates, but at the scale my shop is at, it simply isn’t a problem. Although there is always compromise with longer shelf-life chocolates – at what I suspect to be five months that shouldn’t be a problem and makes me think that Amazon must shift a fair volume them to cope with this aspect – especially as the dairy free, gluten free and soya free angle may restrict their appeal to those more attune to Thornton’s chocolates. The price, however, may have something to do with it. At £3.99, direct, they are exceptionally good value, given their dietary uniqueness, quality and flavour varieties.
The point is that there is market for those that buy Thornton’s just as there is for Booja Booja, Hotel Chocolat and Marc Demarquette and Booja Booja have proven this as they expanded their product range and are financially stable. There is certainly something to be said for focusing on one particular niche and giving people exactly what they want.
I’ll always have a soft-spot for Booja Booja, and all they’ve done with this new chilled range is make my affection for them grow that little bit stronger.