Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dilettante: Desperate Times at SeaTac

Can you believe that I still haven’t finished reporting on all the chocolate I picked up in Seattle back in early February? Bizarre, isn’t it? Not really. I sample many different chocolates, and once you throw in a few Biagio sample days, delicious brownie reviews, business trips to other cities, and recipe development, it can take a while to work my way through a $200 chocolate buying spree from one city.

Though that sounds a little out of control, the chocolate is usually worth the effort and expense. For example, on my trip to Boston this fall, I discovered Hotel Chocolat and their wonderful pralines. But sometimes, as I discovered when I sampled the chocolates from Bradley’s during my trip to Oak Ridge, it’s not even worth a five-minute stop on the way back to the airport.

My guess was that this last bit of chocolate, a bag of truffle creams from Diletante, might lean more towards the “why did I bother” category, since I actually got it at the airport, but it was touted as a local Seattle area delicacy.

And it was 10 pm. I was waiting for an 11:30 pm flight which would be followed by a morning rush-hour drive home from Dulles. After a week of discussing codes and standards.

We all have weak moments. And sometimes, because of those moments, we find ourselves reviewing what may be less-than-wonderful chocolate. Keeping an open mind, I checked out the peppermint truffle cream.

This particular piece features a very strong mint aroma, but nothing distinctively chocolate.

The flavor is similar – while the mint is pleasing and refreshing, with strong peppermint and faint spearmint notes, the chocolate may as well be white chocolate, as no specific chocolate flavors are evident. The center is fairly sweet, but is tempered by the strong mint flavor, and the texture is generally smooth with a tiny bit of a waxy bite. It’s alright and isn’t offensive, but isn’t wonderful either.

I ventured on to one truffle cream that sounded appealing: the peanut butter.

I mean, chocolate and peanut butter. Who can screw that up?

Answer: Possibly Diletante, even with an interior peanut base that gives the piece a very strong peanut butter aroma.

That interior is beyond sweet, with only a hint of peanut and no salt to bring out the nuttiness over the sugar. The sugar in the center is so overwhelming that the chocolate shell is completely undetectable in the flavor.

Maybe if it were renamed “sugar bomb,” it would live up to expectations. But not when purported to be “peanut butter.”

Have you ever picked up chocolate at the airport in an act of desperation before a redeye flight?


  1. Poor, poor Victoria. Maybe one day, it'll be only first class and delicious chocolate when you fly :)

  2. Hmm, more of this airport shenanigans I know relatively little of. I did buy over a pound of gummies while at the Denver airport a few years ago. I was siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. But I came out a stronger, more gummy-loving person!

  3. I almost always buy a bar of Godiva or whatever other chocolate they have available at the newspaper stand. It's my reward for travel hell.

  4. Ha no I have picked up multiple meals before on going on flights because I hate hate hate airplane food. Grimetime.

  5. This could be my new favorite blog :-) I love eccentric chocolates!

  6. I don't think I've ever picked up any interesting chocolates at the airport other than those Costa Rica chocolates that I commented on once before. I may have also bought a bag of M&Ms or something.

    That's too bad that these chocolates weren't what you expected. I wonder why it's hyped in Seattle then. Maybe the company has a long history?

  7. $200 of chocolate in one city?! Impressed.