Review by Denise Kitashima Dutton: Every so often an unexpected, and very welcome, treat shows up in my mailbox, courtesy of Cat, who’s constantly on the lookout for new chocolate-related review opportunities. This time around it was a box of bonbons from Diana Malouf’s Ococoa – candy that is both beautiful to look at and a pleasure to eat.
Made of largely vegan-friendly ingredients (honey is the lone exception), the chocolates are shot-glass shaped, and larger than most popularly known peanut butter cup candies. Each cup is a thin shell of dark chocolate, which has a mild flavor and silky mouth feel, around a unique filling. The top of each cup is beautifully decorated with a simple, thin slice of nut or fruit, or a delicate painted design such as bees or cherry blossom. And inside each cup . . . well, these are definitely not your run of the mill flavors! Included in the 9-piece box are one each of the following: Classic Peanut Butter, Pistachio Date, Sesame Fig, Hazelnut Chocolate, Almond Cherry, Cashew Apricot, Marzipan Truffle, Macadamia Guava, and Sunflower Honey.
Across the board, these are some of the most unique and flavorful filled chocolates I’ve had the good fortune to taste. Each cup incorporates a very delicate balance of sweet and savory in each bite, successfully playing the boldness of the fruit or honey against the more subtle flavor of the nut butter. There’s also a harmony of textures, creamy nut butter or ganache against jelly or jam, set off by the chocolate shell. All in all, a delicious treat to be savored.
A full list of the flavors, along with pictures of each cup, formerly could be found on the Ococoa website, however, the business is now closed. (A wide variety of pictures can still be seen on Instagram.) My personal favorites are the Sesame Fig, Sunflower Honey and the salty goodness of the traditional Classic Peanut Butter (truly, the addition of Fleur del Del and sea salt to the cup itself is a perfect addition to the creamy peanut butter). I would have heartily recommended this collection to anyone who likes exotic flavors, or wanted a little something out of the ordinary: there was sure to be something here to tempt them.
Denise Kitashima Dutton has been a reviewer since 2003, and hopes to get the hang of things any moment now. She believes that bluegrass is not hell in music form, and that beer is better when it’s a nitro pour. You can find her at Green Man Review, Atomic Fangirl, Movie-Blogger.com, or at that end seat at the bar, multi-tasking with her Kindle.