29 March 2011

Schell: Essig-Schleckerle [Vinegar Chocolates] (Germany) [By @Cinabar]

My dad travels a fair bit, and the bonus from my point of view is that he has an eye for interesting products from far afield. This particular set of chocolates comes from Germany, and each one is made with a different type of vinegar. It may not seem like a natural pairing, but I was still looking forward to giving them a try. There are four chocolate in the set, all looking professionally made and are neatly packaged in this taster set with a bow.

Muller Thurgau White Wine Vinegar
This chocolate consists of a dark chocolate with a white chocolate stripe. In retrospect I wouldn’t have attempted to cut it in half had I known the centre was liquid! The dark chocolate was of a very good quality and the contents displayed no crystallization. The liquid centre was a little sour, but the sweetness from the chocolate balanced it out. It was a surprisingly pleasant mix of tastes. Both sweet and sour, which tantalized the taste buds, and made me look forward to sampling the other chocs.

Riesling Wine Vinegar
This is a milk chocolate looking truffle with a sprinkling of hazelnut on the top, and a portion of nuts at the bottom. The truffle within this chocolate was firm and a little gritty from the hazelnut, which even added a crunch from the base. The flavour was quite intense from the vinegar and it added quite a zingy flavour. The milk chocolate is creamy and sweet and the extra sweetness from the coating balances the stronger vinegar rather nicely.

Balsamic Vinegar
This is the second dark chocolate in the set, and I prised it open rather carefully. I discovered that there was a truffle filling within, and not a liquid centre. The texture of the truffle was of one that was quite wet, but rather silky. The chocolate was again of a good quality and added deep cocoa tones and sweetness that blended with the tangy Balsamic. We all know Balsamic Vinegar goes well on sweet tomatoes, and I can add, it goes strangely well on chocolate! The mix of sugar and cocoa almost make it taste like a good quality sherry.

Limberger Wine Vinegar
Finally in the set we have the Limberger chocolate. It has a white chocolate roof, and a dark chocolate casing. As well as the Limberger Wine Vinegar mousse within the case there is also a layer of marzipan. This particular centre was quite acidic, but the marzipan and chocolate seemed to pull it together in such a way that it felt rather like a lemon truffle. Zesty, strong, but still sweet and refreshing. The marzipan was a little overpowered, but its contribution to the overall taste is far from lost. This chocolate is just a very clever combination that almost tricks you into thinking it is something slightly different to what it is. It’s like Schell were told to make a lemon truffle, but were also told they weren’t allowed to use any lemons! It is quite hard to describe really, so probably the easiest summary is; I think I saved the best chocolate to last. :-)

These Schell chocolates have a lovely way of playing with flavours, and shows that unusual ingredients can be paired successfully. They have a lovely tang, and worked remarkably well. If you happen to find them abroad, or in a boutique chocolate shop, I’d give them a try as they have a lovely mischievous mix of tastes, and those with a spirit of adventure will absolutely love them.
By Cinabar


Lot-O-Choc said...

Wow?! chocolate and vinegar?! i cant imagine what these were like, definately look like something a bit different though :)

paulham said...

Has no one tried Oil & Vinegars stores' chocolate balsamic vinegar?
Great on ice cream!

These look great too!

cinabar said...

Lot - They were a lot better than I imagined they would be. Really clever flavours and well put together.

PaulHam - Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar? Thats weird enough - but on ice cream??? Heck - If I find some - I'm game ;-)