I’ve bought a fair bit of chocolate from France recently but I made the stupid decision not to buy anything other than tablettes / bars as I thought that any truffles or carré wouldn’t reach my door in the best condition given the heat and the thought that they’d take about a week to get here. How wrong was I? I ordered a collection of bars and this assorted box of carré on Wednesday lunchtime and were delivered via DHL on the Friday morning. Remarkable given that they came all the way from Paris and I don’t like in any metropolitan capital. I’m certainly glad I took a risk with the last of my chocolate orders and bought this box of nine assorted carré.
The first thing that astounded me about these ‘chocolates’ was the packaging. They’re presented in a wonderful two-tone box with a little design so you can see Patrick’s logo, with the inside having a black and white photo a wooded area. But the bit that I liked the most was the magnetic flap on the box which offered a tremendous “clunk” as it closed shut. The sound was synonymous was the finest piece of German engineering which added some solidity to the French artistry – solidity and flair aren’t mutually exclusive and Patrick proves that point with great success.
As you open up the box you will have nine perfectly formed pavé: three of peppery mint, citronella ganache and almond praline. I usually make the mistake of not actually knowing what I’m buying and that was the case here. And seeing as a thread running through this blog is that I’m not a fan of praline it could have been a big mistake.Hhowever the first I tried was an almond praline. Thankfully I absolutely adore almond.
I was trying to place the origin of the chocolate that surrounded the praline, but simply couldn’t due to the powerfulness of the almond aroma and flavour – which is wonderfully sweet but with a slight acidic fruitiness and worked well against a fairly course praline texture. There’s wasn’t any heaviness to them or any sense that your taste buds were being pounded by a sledgehammer as can be the case with some carré. In fact this one reminded me very much of the light tea-flavoured bon bons from Matcha sue to its subtlety.
The citronella carré was similarly light, but this time with a much smoother texture and obviously a slight citrus edge that somehow managed to perform a magic trick and disappear excessively quickly as you placed it into your mouth. If I wasn’t engrossed in the experience, I would have expected to see a puff of smoke the moment it hit my tongue. I really did enjoy this one as it provided a welcomed juxtaposition against the brashness of recent tabllettes I’ve reviewed.
I had hoped that the mint one wouldn’t have been a praline but more like the citronella one., however, it was still enjoyable with it popping-candy style crunch with every downward movement of your mouth. The interesting feature of this one was the actual pepperiness of it. I love pepper and I even put it on cheese sandwiches so it was very welcome when the pepper flavour came crusading through the subdued mint flavour. With this carré it is important not to take it on face value, or indeed make up your mind on the first hint of flavour. Leave it to settle and witness how your opinion changes after a couple of seconds.
I’ll be booking my trip to Paris as soon as I can find time after this experience. Anyone want to come with me?