Monday, July 16, 2007
Hi, my name is Bob and I am not a chocoholic. But this morning I got an email from Tags (who lives somewhere nearby) telling me that some guy in my town makes some of the best chocolate around. So I decided to stop by Eclat and check it out.
Now the truth is that I've walked by this store at least a dozen times since I moved to West Chester, Pa two years ago. I even walked by with my wife and two kids all yanking on my coat and oohing and ahing over the rows of truffles, bombes and eggs that for all appearences looked first rate. But still I didn't go in because more often than not I have been disappointed to discover that the small artisanal shop I thought I was looking at, was really just an outlet store for overpriced mass produced waxy gloop.
Well duh, was I ever wrong about this place. Chris Curtin, the owner, is a Certified Master Pastry Chef (Germany) and makes all the chocolate in house. He has the couverture blended to spec by several chocolate manufacturers and has plans in the works to roast his own pods and conch and refine his own blends. He's serious and it shows in the work. I bought a box of a dozen truffles and -I'm not sure what to call them- squares? Coins? Some of them were not to my taste, but they were all superbly rendered with no obvious grit in the couverture or ganache, just barely melting to skin temperature (ca. 93 degrees F) and rapidly melting on the tongue
( ca. 96 degrees F). One of them was a standout that made me wish I'd bought more: a dark milk chocolate couverture wrapped around viscous caramel and napped with a bit of sea salt.
Damn it was good.