Monday, April 5, 2010

Korean Garlic, Tomato and Kalamata Olive Chocolates?: L’ Artisan du Chocolat, Silverlake

I recently got my greedy paws on a bundle of beautiful and exotic chocolates from L'Artisan du Chocolat in Silverlake. L'Artisan, owned by husband and wife duo Christian and Whajung, makes chocolates the traditional French way without preservatives and with less sugar. Except their flavors are very untraditional and borderline adrenaline rush. I recruited my Significant (m)Other, brother and sister-in-law to participate in a blind taste of the Andrew Zimmerman-esque chocolate confections.

Flavors to be tested include:
Korean Garlic
Kalamata Olive
Rose Petal
Mango Wasabi
Aztec Chili

Farmer's Market flavor: Tomato

Tomato: The actual tomato was subtle, but somehow the chocolate taste was more prfound. No one could tell it actually was tomato until I told them. It was a very subtle taste of a late-summer super ripe backyard tomato. Significant (m)Other decided this one was of her favorites at the end of the tasting. She found the tomato to add an extra richness to the chocolate.

Rose Petal: I was the most excited to try this one because I adore rose scented edibles, however, the rose flavor was almost nonexistent, even for me who knew what we were eating. No one else could taste anything except the delicious melt in your mouth chocolate.

Aztec Chili: When owner Christian handed me the chocolates, he said this one had apricot undertones. I was very excited to try it since I love apricots. The heat from the chili was strong and warmed up my mouth, but not in an overbearing way. Significant (m)Other picked up and the heat and immediately guessed something with chili. We all thoroughly enjoyed this chocolate, although mom prefers even more heat.

Kalamata Olive: I had a hunch this flavor would be strong and my participants would be able to pick up the strong kalamata olive flavors. I was also curious how the this would blend with chocolate. Significant (m)Other thought this flavor was particularly creamy, perhaps from the extra olive fat? I was wondering if the filling would be a little darker from the olives, but it wasn't that obvious. See below.

Look Ma, No (visible) kalamatas!

Korean garlic: My sister-in-law thought it tasted fruity. There was something sort of astringent about my bite and about 20 seconds later I could feel and smell the mellow garlic fumes. My brother noted something different and really thought long and hard about it but was ultimately stumped as to what the specific flavor was.  Once I disclosed the flavor there was a unanimous, "ooooooooooooh."

Bacon: None of us are big bacon eaters. My mom's least favorite. She gave me the look of "how can you do this to me?" I didn't think it was awful and sort of enjoyed the little bacon bit crumbles in the slightly smoky filling. My brother thought about this one for a long time as well and came up with no dice. Funny, cause he is the biggest bacon eater of the group.

Mango Wasabi: The initial mango flavor was very delicate while the wasabi crept in with a mild burn in a few seconds later. My sister-in-law seemed to appreciate this flavor while my little brother, at this point, was digging the all the free chocolate. I think our tastes buds may have been slightly too confused at this point to give this flavor due justice.

L'Artisan has a variety of other fun and exciting flavors that I will be trying (and maybe tricking my family/friends with) in the future. Good stuff!

L'Artisan Du Chocolat

3364 West 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 252-8721


Gastronomer said...

Whoa! Now, those are funky flavors! One garlic chocolate, please.

The Hungry Hippo said...

that's right in my hood! have to check em out. hope you had a good easter!

Diana said...

That's some crazy chocolate! Garlic? Olives? Gah! Too funny - I love your significant mother's reaction to the bacon one. Hehe ;)

Banana Wonder said...

Gastronomer - For real! I'm waiting for an eggplant version...

Hungry Hippo - Happy Easter! Yes I will go back with you! I got my eye on many other flavors.

Diana - Now they just need to make a quinoa chocolate for you =)

sophia said...

OMg. Those are some funky flavors. I WANT!! I guess as a Korean, I should say I want to try the Korean garlic most...but I smell enough like garlic already. the mango wasabi sounds ethereal!!

Trina said...

Glad to know I wasn't the only one who could barely taste the flavor tweaks. The names were so enticing, I was hoping for more....

You definitely need to check out their shop. It's in a spot you would never expect to be... actually it is just around the corner from that place that sells live chickens!

Kathleen said...

What cool flavors. I think I just might make the trek up to Silverlake from OC!

Banana Wonder said...

Sophia - yes try the mango wasbai and tell me what you think - my taste buds were shot by the end!

Trina - Oh I need to go back to this shop and try some more flavors. Let's go!

Kathleen - I'll come with you =)

dawn555 said...

korean garlic is my favorite!!

Banana Wonder said...

Dawn, you are a true lover of garlic! I love it!