Chocolala – the name sort of suggests that you might go a little bit cocoa crazy should you pop one of these chocolates into your mouth. Would I like to go cocoa crazy? I’ve never heard of such a good offer. The thought of shirking the ordinary via the medium of chocolate would be a great way to escape the normality of life methinks.
So early in the morning, faced with a pretty normal day ahead of me and aware that I had not yet had breakfast, I opened up a little tin of Chocolala. Now, Chloé Doutre-Roussel (chocolate buyer at Fortnum & Mason) always tastes her chocolate at 6am – before anything else has passed her lips. Whilst I’ve never been a fan of forcing your body into a state of early morning shock, it was still am….and nothing had yet passed my lips. So, I postponed my breakfast and opened up the Chocolala tin.
Two chocolates beamed up at me, one covered in light gold foil, the other in orange. Now another thing Chloé Doutre-Roussel advises is to steer clear of filled chocolates. You know the kind: fondants, chocolate creams – they can be a little sweet and cloying on the tongue. So it was with some mild trepidation that I unwrapped the light gold foil and bit into “Lala Lemon”, a dark chocolate casing filled with lemon curd, cream cheese and white chocolate.
I experienced, what I think I would term as “Lala Lemon craziness”. The dark alluring shell cracked open, filling my mouth with a zesty hit of lemon curd, the richness of the cream cheese following through only to give way to the warm notes of white chocolate. Oh yes Chloé Doutre-Rousell, you are right about the clean palate, but there’s no way I’m giving up filled chocolates like Lala Lemon.
Perhaps I had gone a bit la la by then, but my mouth was ready for another hit of crazy behaviour, so off went the orange foil wrapper and in went the milk chocolate truffle. My eyes rolled to the back of my head and I went, I believe, cocoa crazy. You know sometimes when you’re at a gig you hear a piece of music that’s so stunningly good, everyone just stops chattering and gawps, listening in silent disbelief? Well, this was the gastronomic equivalent. No point trying to do anything other than taste what was in my mouth because my glossopharyngeal nerve was bombarding my brain with so many messages of cocoa craziness, that it became incapable of paying any attention to the rest of my body. I like it that way – I like the idea that you are largely incapable of normal behaviour because your brain is too preoccupied with cocoa overload.
Perhaps thankfully, there were only two little chocolates in Chocolala’s tin. I did, after a spell of la la craziness, manage to return to my working day, but imagine just how crazy a prolonged Chocolala moment could be. There are other flavours to be had, other levels and slants of varying cocoa-induced craziness. Chocolate mango sticks, chilli and coconut truffles and even Chocolala cakes all coo at you from Chocolala’s hand-made range, and whilst normality can be reassuringly constant and grounding, it looses every time when you think of the kind of crazy fun you could have with this little lot.