Devouring Houston: Exploring Houston One Bite at a time

Houston has so many incredible food establishments...from sumptuously designed restaurants to fun storefronts selling gourmet cookies. From Mexican Food Carts to the Best BBQ in the World. And...I want to expore it one bite at a time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Araya Artisan Chocolate

Hello Heaven.  A store just for chocolate treasures.  Handmade from Venezuelan Chocolate without preservatives, additives, or artificial flavors.  The ganache is made from honey, not sugar.

Here we go with the sampling.  I tried 6 total: 2 truffles (Trufas) and 4 chocolates (from the Chocolate Collections).

Clockwise from left: Peanut Butter & Berries, Pink Salt, Hazelnut Praline, and Key Lime

First up:  the Bourbon Trufa:. Did not disappoint!  This is a serious Truffle.  Rolled in unsweetened cacoa, the rich, chewy, dense dark ganache on the inside was paired perfectly with a hint of bourbon.  Not overpowering.  This was amazing.

Second: Champagne Rose Trufa:  whereas the Bourbon truffle was serious, this trufa is light and happy.  Light milk chocolate mousse on the inside.  The truffle is dusted with pink sugar.  Subtle hint of Champagne Rose just to give the chocolate flavor.  A little crunch from the sugar dusting.  Excellent.

Now up the Chocolates:

I started with the Key Lime.  Definitely Key Lime flavor.  The Key Lime overpowered the chocolate, in my opinion.  While it did remind me of a mini-Key Lime pie, the fresh lime juice and zest was just too much for me.  I was looking for more of a chocolate pop.  Beautiful to look at, though, with the hand painted green swirls.

Next up:  Peanut Butter & Berries.  While I am normally a Peanut Butter/Chocolate Purist (don't taint their relationship), I actually really enjoyed the black berries "pate de fruit" on top of the ganache.  The berries were a subtle marriage with the peanut butter and chocolate that really, really worked.  The chocolate was gorgeous with hand painted yellow, red, pink, and orange stripes.

Third Chocolate: Pink Salt.  Strong dark ganache with a touch of pink salt from the Himalayan Mountains.  I was expecting to love this chocolate as I am a salt-aholic.  However, this combination did not work for me. 

Finally, the Hazelnut Praline.  Very creamy hazelnut praline blended with milk chocolate ganache.  Not dense.  Easy to pop a lot of these little guys.

My Take Away:
My favorite surprised me with the Peanut Butter and Berries.  My least favorite was the Pink Salt.  I also really, really, really, really enjoyed the Bourbon Truffle.  This little chocolate ball is for serious Chocolate Lovers!

Araya Artisan Chocolate
River Oaks
2013 West Gray
Houston, Texas 77019

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