Vosges Chocolate started by Katrina Markoff was inspired by Paris and the flavors of the world. Katrina lived in Paris just after finishing college and eventually moved back to the States after studying at Le Cordon Bleu. While working in Dallas for her Uncle's mail-order company, Katrina made the observation that the chocolate world had not been innovated and lacked interesting ingredients. Most of the chocolates offered in the states were full of sugar and preservatives. Inspired by a necklace she wore of the Nagaland tribe in Africa, Katrina was inspired. In her kitchen she created her first truffle, made of curry and coconut milk. That night she created over twenty different flavor combinations for truffles. She brought them into her Uncle's company for everyone to try the next day. The flavors were unique and not everyone loved them right away but the flavor combinations were something that started a spark. People slowly caught on and wanted more from Katrina.
One of the things I love most about Katrina and her chocolate is how she uses the flavors to tell a story. Tasting chocolate should be an experience and evoke emotions from the flavors. A full sensory experience. I will fully admit when this beautiful box of chocolates arrived at my doorstep I couldn't wait to dig in. I have been a fan of Vosges for years. I will tell you all about my favorites in an upcoming post. Chocolate is best shared with a friend so I brought a bottle of bubbly and a box of truffles over to my friend Jennifer's house.
Jennifer and I read the flavors combinations of the truffles and immediately mapped out which ones we wanted. One by one we divided up the flavors we wanted to try first. We recounted flavors from our childhood, favorites, and a few flavors we just didn't care for. Luckily for us our favorites didn't overlap so it was easy to divide. It was a fun night full of laughter, chocolate, and champagne. It wasn't until I put the box together that I found the directions on how to eat a truffle. There were a few truffles left over at the end of the night, so I knew that I would have a chance to try the whole experience over again.
My dream chocolate combination is olives and dark chocolate so when the Olio d'Olivia truffle appeared in the box I knew I had to try it. Its a combination of olive oil, white chocolate, and green olives. If you aren't familiar with the flavor combinations of Vosges this may scare you but I promise the flavors will surprise you and make your palette dance like you didn't know it could.
See and be present. Take three cleansing breathes and close your eyes. Open them and look at the chocolate before you. Admire the color and shine of the chocolate.
Lick or smell the chocolate. This may sound strange but if there is a flavor at the top of the truffle like curry or green olives it helps with the whole sensory experience. I have a crazy sense of smell so I typically smell my food before tasting it as strange as that sounds.
Bite the truffle into two pieces. Well tempered chocolate should have a nice snap to it.
Taste the chocolate. Put half of the truffle in your mouth and let the flavors bounce around on your tongue. Move the chocolate to the roof of your mouth and let it melt. What flavors do you taste?
Repeat Step 4 with the remaining half of the truffle. Pull out the flavor notes you enjoyed best from your first bite. Breathe and reflect.
There are a variety of flavors Vosges Chocolate offers and not every flavor can be a favorite. Make note of the ones you loved and the ones you didn't. Katrina notes that not everyone will like every flavor and that is part of the experience. You never know what flavors you will learn you enjoy if you you don't try them.
The truffles can be enjoyed with wine, champagne, chocolate, or a beverage of your choice. I highly recommend grabbing a friend or two and making an evening out of truffle tasting. Vosges chocolates are an experience and one worth sharing with someone.
Katrina lives and runs Vosges Chocolate in Chicago but she is constantly inspired by her travels and finds Paris to be her happy place. This was our first time meeting but we instantly had a connection over our love for Paris. Her favorite place in Paris is Jardin du Luxembourg not far from her apartment in Paris. It is this spot that she continues to draw inspiration from time after time.