American Chocolate Bar #5: [Vosges Haut Chocolat]
Vosges Haut-Chocolat has attracted and will keep Time Cupsoul’s attention forever.
The Vosges confections, designed by Katrina Markoff, a Vanderbuilt University and Le Cordin Bleu (Paris), graduate, showcase beautiful branding and constant innovative chocolate creations (chocolate recipes and packaging design). No surprise; Markoff has been named one of the ten best chocolatiers in the world.
The most recent Vosges Haut-Chocolat collection, Enchanted Holiday, with artwork from Crystal Sloane, is the perfect example of how Vosges elevates chocolate to the designer fashion (haute couture) level, making “Haut Chocolat” the ideal name for the brand. Much like fashion runways, Vosges debuts new collections every month that are limited-edition, typing the chocolate experience as precious and coveted, both traits associated with luxury names. View her latest creations, here. And yes, upon tasting Vosges, it’s easy to describe the experience as a luxurious set of inspiring moments, a true time cupsoul.
Vosges, pronouned “Voh-sgz,” chocolate bars are tall and thin, wrapped in heavy weighted paper and crisp silver packaging to protect the chocolate from the elements. The back of the bar’s package provides a chocolate “tasting guide.” Vosges’ “How to Enjoy an Exotic Chocolate Bar” enumerates three steps: “smell, snap and taste.” For the taste suggestion it reads, “Place a small piece of chocolate on your tongue and press it to the roof of your mouth. Within thirty seconds the chocolate square will melt, releasing a bouquet of rich burnt caramel notes with the essence of black Hawaiian salt.”
It was time to taste.
The chocolate snapped with ideal pressure and rich golden caramel flowed slowly onto the fingers. Once bitten, savoring the piece of the Black Salt Caramel bar developed more flavor nuances (found on Time Cupsoul’s favorite chocolate tasting wheel): the cacao intensity of “wet brownie” and/or “baked brownie,” along with notes of “earthy” (“potting soil”). The caramel, sticky, smooth and delicious, added to sweeter notes of “milk” (“cheesecake,” “butterscotch” and “toffee”). This bar is truly quite seductive, not far from an intricate dessert enjoyed during a fancy restaurant evening by candlelight. This particular chocolate bar is sticky from the caramel, but is very special. Chocolate to relish, if you can; spacing out the tastings is a feat for the strong-willed.
Want to learn more? Markoff’s TED Talk explains her creative process when imagining new chocolate recipes, discusses the connection she created between yoga and chocolate and leads the audience through a live chocolate tasting.
Vosges Chocolate bars are sold at craft specialty stores for approximately $5 USD or more. The bars are Fair Trade and Women’s Business Enterprise certified and are made with renewable energy.
*Please note that all chocolate bars consumed and reviewed are randomly chosen and purchased with personal funds.