We first encountered Desiderio Chocolates at the Chocolate Expo in May. A line snaked around the booth where row upon row of elegantly crafted chocolates were on display. Though they were offering samples of several flavors, the crowd favorite was clearly the salted caramel. So, later, when we were offered the chance to taste the full array of these beauties, we were all over it.
The chocolate is created by Vanessa Metalli Dionne, who runs a shop out of Longmont. If that sounds far away, never fear: she'll ship straight to you. And that's how they came to us, practically glowing up at us from the box. Vanessa's background in art inspires an array of different shapes, designs, and metallic shimmer in her chocolate work, making these a treat for the eye as well as the tongue. And if you're a health-conscious chocolate chomper, Desiderio might be just what you're looking for. Made without hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, or preservatives, they're meant to be savored in a timely fashion.
We employed a couple extra candy tasters for the task at hand and got to work finding our favorites in the batch.
Sea Salt Caramel
John: It kinda reminds me of Fiddle Faddle. Liz: Or chewy toffee. Aubrey: That must be why I love it so much. It's delicious. J: It tastes just like salted caramel. Aubrey: Liz, I can't believe you convinced me to share these. I was planning on eating them all myself!
Lavendar Salted Caramel
Liz: Wow. I can definitely taste the lavender. John: Yeah, it's almost too much. J: My first reaction is "Oh, I just ate lady deodorant" but it gets better. Aubrey: I think if you are into floral flavored candies, like these violet pastels, you'd like it. It's a very specific taste, though. John: I think lavender should remain a smell and not a flavor.
Aubrey: That is super creamy. John: Really good! It tastes just like a good stout with a nice, dry finish. J: I don't drink beer or even know what stout tastes like, but this is pretty good. I even detect some berry flavors in there.
John: It tastes almost like pumpkin pie or gingerbread. This is delicious! Aubrey: Again, the chocolate is just so smooth and creamy. J: I would eat a pound of these. John: This is my favorite so far, too.
John: Where's the coffee? Liz: Really? I think it tastes a lot like coffee. John: More like coffee with a lot of cream. Liz: Or a latte. John: With a lot of sugar.
Liz: Ooh, this one is nice. Aubrey: The inside is so creamy. Liz: Yes, a very light ganache with a really nice orange flavor.
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Liz: The purple layer in here is really pretty. Aubrey: I don't know how I feel about it. Liz: I like it. The flavor is nice and I got a whole little blueberry in there. Aubrey: I could pass on this one. The chocolate is delicious, but I'm just not getting the blueberry.
Aubrey: Very thick! And the copper paint makes it look like it'd be a milk chocolate, but it's really richer than that. Liz: Yeah, the ganache in here is much denser. I like the vanilla tones. Aubrey: There's a nice, light hint of brandy at the end. Yum!
-- Aubrey and Liz