first, let's acknowledge that jessica m. of batdorf -- she rules -- saved my life today with her never-failing coffee delivery. that girl is good.
because the only thing worse than no epresso is trying to drink that "desperation illy." the look of disgust in my husband's eyes as he sets it down is painful, frankly. painful.
this gives me hope for tomorrow. . .along with the oriol balaguer bar from the day of 3 chocolates.
oriol is one of the hottest pastry chefs right now, period (that's right, his book sells for US$180 -- used!).
his 70% bar just looks beautiful -- it has the silky sheen and perfect finish we chocophiles are always looking for. the aroma is deep, with powerful vanilla, and when you break the bar, it has great snap and perfectly clean edges.
the texture of the chocolate in your mouth is nearly as smooth as valrhona -- i'm going to give the ol' v a microscopic edge here. many bars at this precentage are either too waxy or too dry and brittle as you bite, but not the oriol.
oriol's bars are buttery, buttery, buttery. unctuous is in fact the perfect word.
but what oriol knocks you out with is the intense perfectly balanced chocolate-yness of his candy. it's not noticeably bright, it's not ashy, it's not dull; it has a strong vanilla, but surprisingly in a good way, not in a way that covers up the bar.
it immediately took me back to that first-dark-chocolate feeling, the one you have when you discover you love dark chocolate, that sensation of revelation.
the peeps at fairway were all over this chocolate, saying it was the best bar they'd ever tasted. and darn it, they may just be right.
if you're into packaging, oriol's is nicely minimalist and slick, but still sturdy enough to actually protect the bar.
oriol's offering the serious goods here. and he should, because (thanks again, euro-zone -- not!) this spanish candy costs US$8 for 3.5 oz.
highly recommended; a flat-out must even -- on those days you win the lottery. otherwise, consider pawning your grandmother.