I recently received the most wonderful email from poet Bruno D’Arcy of The Chocolate Dictionary, after he had savoured his order of chocolates from Kokopelli’s. I was really touched that he’d taken the time to write such a thoughtful, detailed review. It made my heart leap and I wanted to share his lovely words with you.
(By the way, his blog is witty and amusing – beautifully written definitions of chocolate-related words, many with interesting historical examples. I highly recommend a read.)
From: Bruno D’Arcy
Sent: 25 June 2012 20:08
To: Steph Saffer
Subject: Re: chocolate order
Now that I’ve a bit of time to write I’d like to pass on a few friendly comments.
First of all, congratulations on a well designed collection of chocolates, beautifully presented in a Tiffany-style box decorated with a suitable gauze ribbon. With chocolates presentation is half the appeal, so you’ve already got that one right.
Congratulations, too, on the shapes, decorative features and flavours: I can see you’ve put a lot of thought into these and taken care in the way you’ve put them together. All of which makes the collection very inviting to the eye, the nose and (most of all) to the salivary glands. Or, put another way, they’ve definitely got that extra yummy factor! The photos on your website DO do justice to the real product.
In a marketplace filled with over-sweetened chocolates from the likes of Thorntons, Hotel Chocolat and Cadbury – I don’t hate them I just avoid them! – it was a relief to find yours were not at all cloying. Quite the contrary, all were delicious. But then I suppose that’s why you’re an artisan producer and so passionate about chocolates.
I found the flavours to be subtly done, with none of them being overbearing – always the distinguishing mark of good chocolates – though I felt the lime could have had just a bit more zing to it, for it likes to sing of its juicyness and doesn’t like being too much in the background. Just a minor point there. The chocolate was still delicious.
My favourite was the sea-salted caramel, as much for its luxurious, creamy texture perfectly balanced between liquid and gooey, as for its slightly smokey aftertaste which lingered lovingly on the palate. I think you’ve really got it right with this one so I hope you don’t drop it from future collections.
Likewise with the sesame and honey. You’ve managed to create a really good balance between the two flavours there, but not before the toasted sesame seeds introduce themselves with an enthusiastic, but not overpowering, burst of flavour. Very creative.
The friend I was sharing the chocolates with said the Earl Grey Tea was the best chocolate she had ever tasted. I liked it too and, again, a good combination well handled, with the bergamot coming in after the chocolate like a woman wafting perfume from her hair in a room full of admiring men. (Oh dear, sorry about the purple prose but you’ve seen my blog so you already know I have a fatal penchant…)
In its shape and colour the white chocolate hazelnut with sea-salt was a mini work of art (as indeed all good chocolates should be). I liked the silvery-purple, heart shaped exterior, and the milky but not too sweet hazelnut flavour inside which was lifted out of the ordinary by that addition of salt.
Ginger is a flavour I am well acquainted with so I was looking forward to the truffle, and it did not disappoint. Ginger can so easily shout over everything else, but you’ve held it in check to create a subtle warmth in the mouth instead of a blazing firework, so, again, thank you for that little trick.
All in all your chocolates are a success, so I hope your brand continues to develop and more and more people get to see and taste them in due course.
A few flavour ideas: How about another one with mango? A lavender ganache? A geranium truffle? An expesso truffle? A raspberry jelly? A roasted almond praliné?
Thanks again for your very friendly and efficient service.