After my awesome Dessert Bar experience at William Curley, we picked out a few chocolates to sample at our leisure back home.
Next we both tried the Japanese black vinegar chocolate, which did have a pleasant vinegar-y taste. Sweet and vinegar-y is a rare taste combination, but it is a bit similar to sweet and sour. The two tastes sat together very well. Since a sweeter chocolate was used, it kept the whole taste from being too bitter or sour. It was my favorite of the bunch. I do really like vinegar, however, so my opinion might be biased...my husband who tolerates vinegar enjoyed this one too, but not as much as I did. I think it is important to note that it didn't taste like white vinegar, or malt vinegar, it really tasted like the sort of vinegar that is used in sauces and cooking in Asia. Very gentle, not pungent, but unmistakably vinegar.
We also both had a fresh garden mint, and I did not like this one. Safe to say I hated it, kinda. My husband loved it. My problem with this chocolate was all on me though--it is about time I stop trying things that say they're garden mint, or fresh mint, or anything like that. They always just remind me of mint with savory dishes, which is one of my top worst food combinations. Mint and lamb makes me want to cry. Mint on a salad will ruin what is already a hard food for me to like, and mint on anything else is traumatic. Mint should be sweet for me to even kinda like it, I'm coming to realize. This just tasted like chewing a wad of mint leaves and then taking a big hunk out of a dark chocolate bar. So herbal...Miserable for me, probably great for people who like mint. I'm not going to do this to myself again; Creamy Steak fans, mint is off the table.
Then we started in on the chocolates we picked out individually. My husband got an apricot and wasabi, which had an apricot jelly filling and no discernable wasabi taste. He didn't care for it, but it sounded kind of nice to me...because it had no wasabi. Wasabi is great on lots of things, but it is not great with chocolate.
I had the pistachio and toscano, which had a green marzipan paste filling. The pistachio taste was subtle, but noticeably pistachio rather than almond. I was surprised that it was a marzipan filling, I was expecting that it was going to be like a praline filling, or maybe a cream. It was a pleasant surprise, though, because I like marzipan.
We also had an unidentified spiced chocolate that was quite tasty. Doesn't feel right to review it without knowing anything about it, though! It wasn't listed on our selection box identity card, so...cinnamon-y and nice, I guess. Sorry!
One thing I really took away from this selection box was how different the standard chocolate was between William Curley and the other chocolatier I have the most experience with, Paul A. Young. The William Curley dark chocolate blend was much fruitier and sweeter, whereas the Paul A. Young basic dark chocolate is quite smokey, strong, and can sometimes verge on bitter. The kind of dark, snappy stuff that kids universally hate, and I can't eat without a tall glass of milk or a sweet filling inside it.
I would say that William Curley was more of a sure thing (give or take that mint truffle), classic, and inoffensive; but Paul A. Young is more dramatic, fun and risky. I am happily going to scoff chocolates and desserts from both places, and I would suggest the same for anyone else who loves chocolate and is indecisive! I really need to do a salted caramel head-to-head one of these days...