If you've never had French chocolate truffles from zChocolat, you have no idea what you're missing!
I've been pretty impressed with the look of the chocolate from France's premiere chocolate company, zChocolat, for quite some time, but I hadn't actually tasted it.
I was completely jealous last month when they sponsored our Valentines Day Ideas Contest, and I didn't get to participate for a chance to win their gorgeous first prize gift.
Good news for me! Jean-Philippe and Christelle, our friends at zChocolat, offered to send me a sample of their French chocolates so I could taste them for myself and give you a real life and honest review. How blessed am I? :)
Imagine my excitement when I went to the mailbox and found that little red slip in my box that let me know my chocolates from France had arrived!
I was so eager to rip into the box right then and there, but my hubby insisted that I be sensible and wait until I get home. I don't think he wanted me to get chocolate all over the car. :)
In spite of my eager excitement, I managed to survive until we had finished our errands and arrived safe and sound back home.
Although you can't tell from the outside, this marvelous French chocolate was packaged in a heavy duty box that was lined with a special foam-like padding and included a chill pack to ensure the chocolate arrived in the best possible condition.
The box was full of surprises! The first surprise was the drawstring bag with its little pocket.
There was a sweet little note from Christelle as well as a booklet describing the various French chocolate truffles and the flavors I would be enjoying.
And then came the second surprise. I opened the bag and pulled out this gorgeous handmade mahogany wooden box with a gold-tone latch and plaque.
I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but it actually has my name inscribed on the front gold plate!
Now that's a nice touch to make a girl feel extra special!
This beautiful box makes a wonderful keepsake that I will enjoy using for years to come storing special little trinkets or love notes on my dresser.
Of course, as lovely as all this packaging is, I was dying to get to the chocolate. I wasn't disappointed! When I lifted the lid, I discovered two layers (in two separate fitted boxes) of handmade French chocolate truffles.
I slipped out the first box and was greeted with the amazing aroma of high quality chocolate from France, but was quite interested to note that each of my little chocolates contained a signature "number" on the top of each piece.
I later discovered that each number coincided with a description in that little booklet that I mentioned earlier. Intriguing!
I don't mind telling you that I dove right into the taste testing process. My first nibble was divine. I inadvertently chose a chocolate peanut butter combination (one of my favorite flavor combos of all time) and immediately fell in love.
Over the course of the next few days I managed to nibble my way through an amazing journey of chocolate from France's World Champion Chocolatier, Pascal Caffet. This man knows his chocolate!
Okay, maybe you wouldn't necessarily call the box of chocolates I received "truffles" but, call them what you will, this was gourmet French chocolate at its best.
I didn't find one single chocolate candy flavor that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Every mouthful was a pleasure that I appreciated wholeheartedly.
The only "negative" I can honestly report about this entire zChocolat experience, was that I strangely discovered that the identifying numbers on my particular box of chocolates did not in any way match up with the descriptions in the book provided. :) I don't know what happened there (perhaps the wrong book was included?), but it made the taste testing process more of an adventure because I didn't know what to expect until I sunk my teeth into each piece.
Some people may find zChocolat a bit pricey. I'm a girl who lives on a tight budget myself, so I can appreciate that. But I have to tell you, even though this particular box of French chocolate was a gift, I would most certainly rate it as well worth the money they charge.
I'm already thinking about who I can spoil with one of these beautiful custom boxes of high quality French chocolate truffles from zChocolat. In fact, I discovered that they also have "refill" boxes for my own beautiful box. They've created a monster! :)