Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nirvana Belgian Chocolates TRUFFLES...turning chocoholics into alcoholics

One of the chocolates that I ordered from chocolatesource.com last week was a box of Nirvana Truffles.  I had really liked their organic chocolate bars when I tried them, so I thought I would fall instantly in love with their truffles too.

When I received the box, I thought it was gorgeous - beautifully wrapped with a pink ribbon on a dark brown box. There were eight truffle flavours listed in the insert and also on the back of the box, with photos.  However when I opened the box, most of the chocolates looked completely different than the pictures on the inserts.  The eight that are advertised are, in fact, inside the box, but there are many more kinds and no description of these.  I call these the “mystery” truffles. I have no issue with there being more chocolate flavours than what was promised, but most of the mystery truffles have a little too much alcohol in them.  The ingredients on the back of the box include “aromas of liquers”, however, the company has used a lot more than just an “aroma”.  There is a scary amount of alcohol in the liqueur-filled chocolates.  One tasted just like straight vodka mixed with chocolate.  Another was Goldschlager, which I knew because of the strong alcohol and cinnamon that burned my tongue, making it nearly inedible.  The “Amaretto Cream” was also too strong, as was the “Champagne Truffle”. Although the Champagne Truffle had an unbelievably smooth centre, it tasted like straight alcohol, and did not really have a white wine or champagne flavour.
There was also more confusion to the “mystery” truffles.  On the first level of the box, there was a truffle enrobed in dark chocolate and inside tasted like a really good dark chocolate praline, as there seemed to be a hint of hazelnut, and a buttery smoothness to the centre.  I loved it so much that I went looking for it in the bottom layer and found one that looked just like it.  It had the same shape and same markings on the top.  So I bit into it and nearly broke a tooth!  Unexpectedly, it was filled with a sold 70% dark chocolate.   Although it was good, it was completely unexpected.  My issue with this is that the name on the box is “Truffles”, so why was there a solid dark chocolate shaped like a truffle in the box?  Also, why did it look exactly the same as the dark chocolate praline truffle?
So now that all my concerns about the Nirvana Truffles are on the table, I will say that I did have favourites too.  They were:
  • The dark chocolate praline,  one of the “mystery”  truffles
  • The Classic Pralin√©
  • The soft mocha
  • Praline Chocolat√©
  • Smooth Caramel
  • A milk chocolate truffle rolled in sugar, otherwise known as "nameless"
  • A light buttery mousse-filled truffle enrobed in dark chocolate truffle & cocoa powder - also "nameless" - nice balance of dark and light, bitter and lightly sweet all at once.
So I'm not sure if I should call this box of truffles a success.  Overall, it was a disappointment to me.  However, if you really like a lot of alcohol flavour in your truffles, then you will like the Nirvana Truffles. I just don't like being surprised - the label named eight truffle flavours and the box had about 12 to 15 flavours, and most of the unknown "mystery" chocolates were yucky. 
All that said, I do LOVE some of NIRVANA's organic chocolate bars (http://www.nirvanachocolates.com/ourshop/organic/index.asp).  I have tasted a few of them in the past,  and believe I have one sitting in my cabinet right now, so perhaps I will get to a tasting of it this week.
If you are curious about NIRVANA and their truffle collection, here are the details:
NIRVANA Belgian Chocolates
Made in Belgium for Belgium's Best Chocolates, Inc.
Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.

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