The other weekend Katja, Arttu, Heidi and I jumped in a car and drove to the extermely atmospheric Bastvik mansion and cafe for a chocolate tasting. These weren't just any chocolates that we were tasting. These were exquisite, hand-made chocolate truffles and pralines made by one of two Finnish concetioners ever to be have been invited to the internationaly acclaimed Chocolate Ambassador's Club. These chocolates also happen to be for sale at our little cafe shop. So naturally we were tasting these divine treats for work and training purposes only ;)
The man behind the chocolate, Petri Sirén of Chocolatier Petri's, has been passionate about chocolate for over two decades and is constantly perfecting his chocolate truffles and pralines, never willing to compromise for second best and always looking for better ingredients.
We were charmed and wooed with numerous different pralines and chocolate truffles as well as thin pieces of chocolate that the final product was made of. The confection that really surprised us was one flavoured with mint. It tasted nothing like the typical mint chocolates we had tasted before. Petri uses fresh mint leaves in his recipe..he boils them with the cream filling.. aah.. mouth watering! :P It was a wonderful evening!
I recommend to try the chocolates yourself. You will not be disappointed. Just drop by the cafe and ask Katja to bring forth our selection (which includes some of these flavours: lavendar & corriander, citrus, raspberry, ginger bread, vanilla, mint...all made with the real stuff, no articial flavours :)
To finish off, I'd like to share with you a little "verbal treat", which a close friend of mine, Dan, wrote sometime back. He was given the challenge to write about chocolate in 120 words or less. I think he did extremely well, what do you think?
Chocolate – The Essence of Life
Darkness and light. Solid and liquid. A source of energy. A romantic gift. A heartfelt apology. A bringer of comfort. An exquisite taste of luxury. A functional fuel on the go. A profusion of textures. A possibly potent aphrodisiac. An evocation of memories.
From the cocoa tree seed. Tropical currency. Millennium thrice old. Hot drink or cold? A chemical release - serotonin is one. Health giving properties - antioxidants full-on. Cherry, chili, cranberry, coconut, coffee… A combination I chose. From the taste on the tongue to the smell up the nose.
It's an Easter egg treat. Christmas coins to eat. Valentine heart to keep. A liquor, deep heat. A hot drink to sleep. Bitter or sweet. Chocolate.