Monday, December 8, 2014

zChocolat - Taste of Memories and Joy

One of the perfect gifts for me would be to freeze time...and then be transported to another dimension - be it a memory from the past which I enjoy a great deal, or another time I have not met. Just like when you take a bite from your grandmother's cooking and you are directly teleported to your childhood - just like that!

So here I am - Sunday afternoon, winter outside, I am tucked in a warm blanket in bed, my favourite tea waiting for me on my bedside table and in front of me - the new Holiday Sapphire box from zChocolat.

This warm-toned polished box adorned by a golden inlaid pine-tree pattern atop the lid contains a traditional assortment of zChocolat's most popular recipes (see here), but because I had already had the pleasure to taste those chocolates (read on my blog here and here) and because with zChocolat you can customize your boxes in every way that you like, I received mine filled with Orangettes, a typical Christmas delicay.

I pick one up, bite it through the middle, close my eyes and enjoy the bitterness combined with sweetness: orange peels covered in 70% dark chocolate - what a bliss! Suddenly, I am being transported to the South of France, around a Christmas market and many more aromas tickle my nose and palate. This is due to the fact that, when I open my eyes, my hands have already gone in search for 3 more boxes which I took with me in bed (don't tell my mother ;) ). These 3 boxes are filled with assortments new to zChocolat - and they do not  contain chocolate.

Let me introduce to you pates de fruits, nougats and calisson d'aix assortments!

The Pates de Fruits Assortment contains fruit jellies, just like I remember them from my childhood. But these are not made from the fruits from the area I grew up with, but with the essence of the ripest fruits (cherry, lemon, apple, orange, strawberry, raspberry and apricots) from Provence. Only one jelly is enough and you can smell and see the orchards or the fields in front of your eyes. Only one piece is sufficient to satisfy your desire and hunger for sweetness...but I wonder - could you stop at just one? Because I wanted to taste each and every one of them, I wanted to have the complete experience of the fruits in Provence...

The Nougats Assortment is another wonderful taste-of-Provence-experience. The 15 small pieces should not be underestimated - their taste is amazing. The assortment is prepared with whole crisp Provence almonds (the nougat pieces are filled with them!!!) which have been cooked in local lavender honey using ancestral traditions. Believe me - it doesn't just sound like a dream - it tastes like one!

Keeping it on an almondy note - I present to you the Calissons d'Aix Assortment. This Aix-en-Provence specialty is made from an almond paste (Germans call it Marzipan), orange zest and candied cantaloupe, with a sugar-icing top coat - a bit of this and I am reminded of my time spent in the South of France, of the old and picturesque villages I loved to spend my weekends exploring and of the colourful Sunday markets there.

Having all these delicacies to eat in front of me, sitting so comfortable as I am at the moment and drinking my favourite tea, I couldn't be more happier. It's like I've become child again and there is nothing in this world which can steal my happiness. Even without chocolate, zChocolat has again done a wonderful job of offering the best taste with the best ingredients. And if you might doubt what I am saying, I urge you to try them for yourself. Who knows what dimension you will travel to...


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