Last week there was the Salon du Chocolat held in Paris. It was by accident rather than design that I was in town at the time. I am normally not somebody who has the need to attend consumer fares. But I figured since I am in Paris, might as well pay it a visit.
Between all this “mainstream” productions, there was very little that stood out. One thing that struck me was the rather large presence of Japanese chocolatiers, my favorite being Sadaharo Aoki I suppose. But to him ….. a little later.
In between all these fine craftsmen eyeing for the attention of passersby, I could not help but notice, that many times there was more attention to the packaging rather than the product. I found it quite disconcerting that many a times the sheer size and color combinations of boxes and other carriers where hiding the actual delicacies they spent so much time and effort producing.
Oialla is wild in all conceivable ways. The Criollo beans come from the world’s original cocoa trees with roots dating back to the pre-Columbian cultures. The green and yellow cocoa fruits have never been grown, cultivated, fertilized or treated with herbicides.
From Danmark comes Rasmus Bo Bojesen with OIALLA at his tiny exhibition stand in the midst of al the noise and smells of this Salon du Chocolat. It caught my attention because of its neutral appearance of just black and white. Nothing could have taken away from these incredible chocolate squares. It was almost like “this is what chocolate should taste like” ….. as if it was designed.
And there was Mälarchocolaterie with his sophistication in simplicity. His approach in design is exactly what one would come to expect from an Scandinavian designer. There was nothing simplistic about his flavor combinations or appearance, but consistency throughout.
This is Sadaharu Aoki, who will challenge your tastebuds. Normally I am a fan of the Japanese master of patisserie. I am in love with his simple white, but in my opinion effective and highly recognizable packaging, which holds these combinations of flavor that requires a zen-like approach to composition.
But THIS, had me wonder about the purpose of combining flavors and tastes. I am not a particular friend of “French Macarons”, but killing one like that had me stand and watch with wonder. The expressions of somebody who actually tasted on of these …… did not give me the courage to indulge.