I love chocolate and peanut butter.
We all know this.
Something you may not know: I also LOVE salt.
Vosges Peanut Butter Bonbons encompass everything I love. If you haven’t tried salty chocolate yet, let alone with peanut butter, this is your perfect opportunity. It is a match made in heaven.
Before I get into details, I just want to take a moment here to apologize to Reeses Peanut Butter Cups everywhere, because quite frankly I may never purchase one of you again. We go way back and it’s been great knowing you, but a new bar of deliciousness has been set. Vosges Peanut Butter Bonbons hop over that bar right into my mouth. And judging by that odd sentence they make my writing better as well. Amazing!
Vosges was kind enough to send these to me for review on this blog. I want to make it clear that just because they were a gift, they did not win automatic positive criticism. No sir, I treat everyone fair and square. Alas, try as I might, I have nothing negative to say about these. Really, nothing. I am in love.
Pink Himalayan salt is mixed into the deep peanut butter filling and Maldon salt dresses up the outer chocolate shell. Both salts enhance the bonbon and set it apart from any peanut butter cup I’ve tasted before. For those that may not love salt as much as I, don’t be scared: while it isn’t subtle, it’s also not excessive. It hits you the second your lips touch the bonbon and provides a wonderful contrast to the sweet chocolate. It also brings out the deep nutty flavor in the filling. A perfect balance.
The peanut butter filling is a curiously dark shade of brown, instead of the usual honey color. The taste is a league above most over-sugared peanut butter fillings like that of the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Every bite of one of these bonbons should be savored, to fully appreciate each individual element and how they blend together. This is what every chocolate experience should be like: not rushed. You don’t eat them for the sole purpose of consumption. These should be slowly and deeply enjoyed.
Photographing these treats was torturous. I didn’t want to dive in until they were properly documented. Can you imagine staring at these for an hour before getting to taste? I began to feel like my hungry chocolate labrador (yes, I even have a chocolate dog) who constantly stares at my food in the vain hope that she will get to eat soon.
Vosges was not only nice enough to send me a big glorious box of the Peanut Butter Bonbons to taste, but also included some gorgeous Easter treats. So nice of them! They don’t have peanut butter but while you’re placing your order for Bonbons, you should pick up some of these as well. They are:
Flying Chocolate Pig: applewood smoked bacon + alder wood smoked salt + deep milk chocolate, 41% cocoa
Gianduja Bunny: almonds + carmelized hazelnut paste + deep milk chocolate
Amalfi Bunny: lemon zest + pink peppercorns + white chocolate, 36% cocoa butter
I don’t want to dwell on these too much since they don’t have peanut butter. All I’ll say is the “lemon zest + pink peppercorn + white chocolate” combination… Wow. Just… wow.
The lovely packaging design that Vosges uses to enhance their product also deserves attention. It’s not too often that I get to remark on a chocolate’s packaging. For the most part, candy packaging is less than stellar (omitting higher end brands like this one) screaming at you with bold clashing colors and beveled typefaces. In contrast, you can tell that every inch of this packaging was carefully considered, with an impressive long rectangular purple box that has a finely textured surface adorned with a sleek flower embellishment. Their logo and product name look – as my former graphic design professor would describe it – “yummy” silkscreened on the box in silver ink. To open the box, you pull on a purple ribbon, drawing the bonbons out lengthwise from the outer casing, like an elongated drawer out of a bureau. The action feels like an appropriate dramatic unveiling of what lies inside.
The chocolates were also shipped to me in a package with long-lasting ice packs. I especially appreciated this after reading candyblog‘s horror story of receiving tragically melted TCHO chocolate. So sad.
The Peanut Butter Bonbon is also the first certified organic product produced by Vosges. Their product line and company as a whole have evolved wonderfully over the few years that I have been following them. This experience has only reaffirmed my preexisting love for them.
Get yourself some fantastic Peanut Butter Bonbons at Vosges.
More photos of the collection at flickr.