Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Black Pearl

Recently as I was wondering around the Zurich airport my eye caught something unusual: totally black chocolate truffles at the Sprüngli shop. As I soon realised what it was that made them so black my mind and senses were highly intrigued. I had never seen anything like this before…anywhere…with any product.

I bought a box, tempted, but kept myself waiting until I got to my destination many hours later. By the time I did eat one my excitement had spiked. It was worth the wait. It was sensational in every way. For me this was the highest pilotage of innovation, a revolutionary product to be enjoyed with full attention.

The visual: The truffle is totally black because of the thick layer of the millions of tiny dry (not sticky moist!) black vanilla seeds covering the outside.
Then comes the smell: sweet vanilla and chocolate is absolutely great but probably the least of the surprises.
Take a bite and another sensation surprises you - the chocolate is actually white inside - a visual high, black and white.
The next thing you experience is the texture: The dry vanilla seeds fill your mouth with a subtle luxurious grind, with a bit of resistance from the next white chocolate layer culminating in an amazing melt of the sweet truffle filling. You can hear the small black vanilla seeds for the whole time you have the chocolate in your mouth.
The taste is smooth, just right sweet for the luxurious mouthful.

This unique pearl is the latest masterpiece from the House of Sprüngli and to my taste a perfection of contrast in one in modern confiserie. It is yin and yang, Heaven and earth, divine and sinful, simple ingredients in a totally complex combination, cool resistent outside and the warm melting inside, literally black and white…

I often swing between the Swiss and the Belgian chocolate masters on who is the best. Until the Belgians create something better than this black and white truffle of Sprüngli, the Swiss have come on top.