Recchiuti's Large Valentine's Box: Presentation and Contents
The large Valentines Box from Recchiuti Confections retails for $75, contains 32 pieces and weighs 14 ounces. The candy arrives stacked in three layers inside a sturdy red box tied with a red satin ribbon, with a detailed illustrated guide to the contents. The presentation is simple and elegant; the box is unembellished but nice enough to save and re-use as a gift box for Valentines Day or Christmas. Each confection is encased in a custom candy cup with the Recchiuti name stamped in gold, and the layers are separated by bubble wrap, so the candy is well-protected and intact upon arrival.
The majority of the candies in the Valentines Box are chocolates, but the assortment also includes chocolate-covered candied orange peel and four flavors of pâtes de fruits. The chocolates themselves are mostly ganache squares in a variety of flavors, enrobed or molded in dark chocolate.
The Valentines Box from Recchiuti Confections is a nice change from traditional boxed chocolates. The emphasis on beautifully sculpted candies, the addition of candied peel and pâtes de fruits, and the focus on chocolate varietals and high-quality ingredients distinguish it from other chocolates with gourmet pretensions. I found the pieces to be very filling, and could often eat only one or two in a sitting before my sweet tooth was satisfied. I enjoyed the ambitious flavor pairings, even when the resulting chocolates were not my favorite (for instance, Star Anise and Pink Peppercorn). The candies were obviously developed and created with care, and it was refreshing to see this level of artistry and effort in a field so often cluttered with predictable, mediocre candies.
That being said, I did not find this assortment perfect. Too often, I found the textures of the candies to be so similar as to make them indistinguishable. When eaten in the same sitting, the different flavors got lost in the soft-ganache-enrobed-in-chocolate crowd. After eating a few, I would get texture fatigue and purposely seek out a pâte de fruits just to re-awaken my taste buds. One might argue that the candies are meant to be savored, not consumed all at once, but one should not discount the appetite-inducing excitement of receiving a beautiful box of candy! In general, I found the candies that varied the texture with the addition of crushed nibs, nuts, or fruit to be the most successful, and I would have enjoyed even more non-chocolate additives.
Quibbles aside, this is a gorgeous box of confections that would make a beautiful gift for Valentines Day.
Read on for detailed tasting notes.