Thursday, December 07, 2006

DC Duby Chocolate

The Multi-sensory Chocolate Experience

2006 blogathon 24 hours of blogging to raise money for food runners in san francisco on july 29th 2006

Perhaps you have never heard of A La Cuisine? When Clement's Canadian food blog first popped up in the blogosphere over two years ago it singlehandedly raised the food blog quality bar. Here was a young guy who was crazy about the world's best chefs, culinarily ambitious, obsessed with molecular gastronomy and very kind to boot. Clement's fresh, bright and visually appealing A la Cuisine was a breath of fresh air in the landscape of bloggers who hadn't yet worked out how to hack their blogger templates for the better. I will never forget the first post of his that I ever read. It opened my eyes to possibilities: Deconstructed Glass of Wine.

I have a lot to thank Clement for. He inspired me and provided something for me to aspire to as well. He introduced me to what has since become my just about favourite cookbook. And recently he also introduced me to what might possibly be one of my favourite chocolate experiences too.

A few weeks ago Clement was visiting San Francisco and I was able to spend the morning with him at the San Francisco Ferry Building and Farmer's Market. He bought me the most incredible present - a box of stunning Vancouver-based DC Duby chocolates: Set Two of the Limited Release Origins Collection. Wow!

I can't think of a more exciting chocolate box presentation. The first thing you see when you open up the elegant box is a booklet explaining the chocolates within. Turn the pages to reveal twelve exquisite chocolate jewels and four scientific-looking, mysterious little white pots. DC Duby tell us:
...the unique concept behind the "Origins" collection provides consumers with a "two element" eating experience. The collection consists of two parts focussing on textures. One features the chocolate collection (emulsion and liquid), and the other, in sealed containers, provides the "extra-sensory" (solid) elements of the "Origins" experience.

The pots in my set contained dried olives, hazelnuts, crisped rice and pistachios. You can read more about each of the chocolates I was able to indulge in here.

You might be wondering what they taste like and how the experience of eating them feels. Off the bat, it is an exciting way to eat and the experience of less familiar taste sensations and ingredient combinations is startling and curious. This in itself makes the process unique and pleasurable. I am not sure it is a box of chocolates I would hasten to eat again and again, aside from the Mancha which I really loved. No, what this box of chocolates does instead is to awaken a desire for new experiences and leave you yearning to try all the other chocolates in the DC Duby collection.

Here are my own tasting notes...

Mancha Emulsion - Apricot and Saffron Ganache, Liquid - Dessert Flower Honey Gelee, Solid - Saffron-scented puffed caramalized wild rice:
My favourite of the set, pronounced milk chocolate, a touch of fruitiness, a wonderful crunch and a lingering, toasty aftertaste.

Mani Emulsion - Olive & Lemon Zest Ganache, Liquid - Encapsulated Mani Olive Oil Gelee, Solid - Vacuum dried, candied Kalamata Olive:
My second favourite chocolate with very strong olive oil overtones, a dark, velvety taste, pleasureably bitter, offset with saltiness.

Perigourd Emulsion - Hazelnut Milk Ganache, Liquid - Black Truffle Oil Gel, Solid - Truffle-scented Caramalized Hazelnuts:
No discernible taste of truffle. Instead kirsch, cherries, liqueur and red wine. Dark chocolates and the hazelnuts almost lost in the acidic overtones.

Chios Emulsion - Pistachio Milk Ganache, Liquid - Black Mastic Oil Gelee, Solid - Mastic-scented Caramalized Pistachio Nuts:
At first, white chocolate and pine needles, but after a few days of the box being open this chocolate had accumulated a very strong blue cheese taste. My least favourite of the four.

Thanks Clement! Now... which box shall I try next..?

PS. My blog has to take second place to my Wii whilst the fad lasts. Fred and I are currently addicted to playing tennis against each other since we got a second controller. At least I am getting some exercise for a change. I wonder how many Weightwatchers Activity points I can accumulate paying Wii Sports?!

2005 | Tipping for Counter Service
2004 | Best Thai in America? Ah, how my blog has matured since those days.

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DC Duby Chocolate


  • At 7/12/06 23:31, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam those choc look look so yummy; not good for the diet though. That tennis game also looks such fun who wins you or Fred!!

  • At 8/12/06 06:14, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    Why do you post these yummy treats when I'm so hungy??

  • At 8/12/06 06:20, Blogger Jeanne said…

    Wow - what a great concept! Sounds as if they knock the socks off JP Hevin's cheese chocolates, which was my last avant garde chocolat experience... So will you be bringing gift boxes of these next time you visit? ;-)

  • At 8/12/06 07:42, Blogger Sam said…

    well mum - i ate them through my diet - I am currently at 6+ lbs down in 7 weeks, although I think the week of my DC Duby tasting I maintained rather than lost weight. So yes - I will blame them.

    wmm - oh - you know - just so you'll eat vicariously through me ;)

    jeanne - well when I visit I like to bring a gift from my own locality but these were from Canada. Maybe you'll have to try and get Clement to visit you instead!

  • At 8/12/06 13:27, Blogger Garrett said…

    What a curious and playful post! Careful with the Wii not to break anything like these people:

    Now for me, I'm gonna have some hot cocoa and play me some FFXII.

  • At 8/12/06 19:25, Anonymous Passionate Eater said…

    Haha, I also waited in line from 5:00am at Target to get a Wii for the same purpose: the belief that I will get more exercise as a result! Hopefully that belief is true for the both of us!

  • At 8/12/06 20:00, Anonymous Jennifer Jeffrey said…

    Lucky you! Those sound incredibly yummy.

  • At 9/12/06 03:11, Anonymous Kieran said…

    Yum. Excuse me while I wipe the drool away!

  • At 10/12/06 06:32, Anonymous Amy said…

    Those chocolates look fantastic, and I'm jealous of your fun with the wii. We got the 360 just after last holidays, so it seems that for the meanwhile, we will be wii-less. It's hard to make an argument for another video game system right now, but we're trying.

  • At 10/12/06 08:59, Blogger Clement said…

    Hi Sam, I'm really glad you enjoyed the chocolates! They're definitely a bit out of the ordinary, so I was curious to see how you would find them. It was wonderful to finally meet you. Thanks so much for taking me around the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and thanks for your kind words above!

    Jeanne, if/when I visit the UK, I'll definitely bring along a box for you!

  • At 10/12/06 14:28, Anonymous Allison said…

    Mmmmmmm those chocolates look absolutely wonderful!

  • At 14/12/06 22:16, Blogger Freudian Slip said…

    This post gave me a neat idea for my chocolate lover friend. Wii sports is the greatest by the way! I love the boxing!


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