"Artisan chocolate confections created using handcrafted couvertures, European-styled cream and butter, organic fruits, herbs and spices. All natural, without preservatives or artificial additives made with chocolate sourced from small environmentally-friendly cacao plantations in Ecuador, Java, and Venezuela."
You might think this is the translated description of a label on some fancy schmanzy chocolate from France or Belgium. Think again.
Fiori Chocolatiers is in fact a Bellevue based artisanal chocolate company--headed by Executive Chocolatier (certified Master chocolatier, no less!) and owner Lee Johnson-- that I've fallen absolutely head over heels for.
And if you have been reading this blog for a while you are very familiar with my sweet tooth and love of all things chocolate. I love Fran's Dark Gray Salt Caramels, Milk Smoked Salt Caramels and her chocolate Double Chocolate Figs and when it comes to holidays in Paris, London or anywhere else, shopping for chocolate--whether solid or liquid-- is de rigueur.
I've been shopping for Fiori confections at Motore Coffee and let me tell you something, I am hooked.
So much so that the WBW chocolate/wine tasting I've scheduled for this week will most probably not include the box of Christian Constant chocolates in our pantry but will be all about a fresh batch of Fiori truffles from Motore's cold case (Fiori recomends allowing truffles to reach room temperature in order to truly appreciate all the nuances of flavor).
Here is a rundown of the truffles I am absolutely loving right now (descriptions from the company's website):
Balsamico e Fragola
Fresh organic strawberries marinated in aged balsamic vinegar in a dark ganache Strawberries marinated in aged, Modena balsamic vinegar form the center of this intense chocolate ganache. The flavors start with a burst of floral and fruity notes. Towards the middle of the tasting, the deep oaky balsamic becomes more prominent. The finishing notes are of the bittersweet chocolate taming the balsamic's natural acidity.
Champagne infused in our darkest cacao ganache This is the darkest chocolate in our collection with 75% cacao content. Although high in cacao, it retains an almost milk chocolate richness that imparts a creamy mouthfeel. A splash of champagne is added to the ganache to achieve a pleasing overall balance in flavors and add a fruity lingering finish.
Japanese fresh ginger and toasted sesame in a dark ganache This chocolate brings together two unique Japanese flavors, fresh ginger and toasted sesame. Fresh Japanese ginger has a sweetness that mixes wonderfully in chocolate. Added to this are undertones of toasted sesame that exemplify the natural nut flavors from the cacao beans used in this ganache.
Lavanda e Miele
Organic Spanish lavender and raw raspberry honey infused in a dark ganache The vibrant purple flowers of Spanish lavender are picked during the spring and summer months when they are at their peak for flavor. Their scent always attracts honey bees seduced by the lavender's succulent allure. Following nature's guidance, we paired honey and lavender to produce a ganache with a heavenly floral flavor. Raw raspberry honey is a mild flowery honey that remains subtly present throughout the tasting and combines well with the lavender
They all sound wonderful, don't they? Now imagine tasting these little gems. There are 12 different truffles and each is not only beautiful to look at but very unique in its flavor combinations.
Those fruit filled and herb infused centers melting in your mouth, an explosion of flavors and nuances of taste. A thing of beauty, I tell you. And don't get me started on the lovely shapes (each truffle is different in shape) and the boxes in which they are packaged for you.
The fact that they are sold two blocks from me and at the same place where I grab a quick cup of coffee or hot chocolate has made this an obligatory treat with my daily caffeine dose. Coffee will never be the same, I am afraid.
Which brings me to something else you must know about. Lee will be conducting two more sessions (September 8th and 29th) of his course The Art of Chocolate - Learning and Tasting at Café Darclée in Fisher Plaza.
This is a great opportunity to learn about chocolate, about tasting chocolate and to (hurrah!) experiment with wine and chocolate pairings. It promises to be not only very educational and engaging but utterly delectable. Space is very limited. Don't miss it.
Where to find Fiori Chocolatiers
(Truffles, coins & bars)
1904 - 9th Ave (9th & Stewart)
Pat’s on the Ave
(Truffles & coins)
1905 Queen Anne Ave N
(Dark milk chocolate coins)
901 East Denny Way
(Dark Milk and Extra
Dark Chocolate Coins)
3217 West McGraw
(Coins & holiday specialties)
3121 East Madison Street