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Ether Maiden

Venchi Assenzio

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A surprisingly tasty pairing. I'll admit to having enjoyed various chocolates whilst drinking absinthe, and this brings that flavour together beautifully.

 

A rich, extra bitter dark 75% cocoa with a very smooth mouth-feel, as is to be expected from Venchi. The aroma of absinthe welcomes you immediately upon handling even the still-wrapped bar. Upon opening, the bouquet of the chocolate joins that of the absinthe. The chocolate flavour stands on it's own for the initial bite, then the anise and fennel step up, the three combine, and the wormwood comes in. Delightfully complex yet simple.

 

The absinthe flavour is similar to that found in the Clandestine La Bleue, though some hints of a more herbal complex flavour seem to coyly poke their heads in once in a while, almost reminiscent of the Montmartre, minus the citrus and cinnamon notes (for those who perceive them).

 

Interestingly, there is no anise or fennel listed in the ingredients, despite the flavors being very prominent. The ingredients are listed as:

Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, artemisia absinthium alcoholic extract (5%), soya lecithin, natural vanilla
I doubt omission of such ingredients, however I cannot otherwise explain this flavour to ingredient discrepancy.

 

Definitely an enjoyable little flavored Italian chocolate bar. Not one to be eaten like a candy bar, but to enjoy as a treat, one square at a time.

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I wondered that myself. It's an alcoholic extract which they use, according to the ingredients list. Perhaps it is thujone free? Perhaps the FDA didn't care enough to make a fuss over some little Italian chocolate bars? I was surprised when I first found them, but have taken to not asking questions about such things.

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Apparently however there are means to remove the thujone from the wormwood extract.

Perhaps it is thujone free?
It has to be, the FDA would never approve it otherwise. And with "absinthium" plastered all over the label there's no way it went un-noticed.
Perhaps the FDA didn't care enough to make a fuss over some little Italian chocolate bars?
If they do that they set a precedent, and precedents weigh very heavily in lawsuits. All it would take is for an absinthe producer to back them up against the wall and point out that they are "selectively" enforcing the "thujone-free" requirement. Unless, as I mentioned earlier somewhere, they're getting soft and are about to lift the ban anyway. :devil:

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i also wonder how it got approved with 'absinth' written all over it...

 

i tasted this chocolate in sicily and it is ok, but not great. (oddly all the chocolate i tasted in italy was not very good, but the coffee is religious).

there is a small chocolate maker in neuchatel, switzerland that makes a wrapped chocolate bar with Kübler that kicks this italian's ass. unfortunately when i asked them to make 500, they declined...

there is an even smaller chocolate shop near boveresse that makes 'truffles' (small chocolate balls) with Kübler that are even better, and some absinthe 'liqueur' filled ones that are fun. gotta get while you're there...

versinthe made a chocolate combo also, but it was pretty weak...and some ok to downright bizare attempts in pontalier with guy and pernot...

 

it seems that blanches work best with chocolate...

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Interesting indeed. Has anyone tried Italian assenzio?

 

Yes, I have, a few weeks ago.

 

It was a nice bitter chocolate overlayed with an absinth-like licoricey strangeness.

 

An interesting novelty it was, but I wouldn't make a habit of it.

 

For those who are curious, it's available in Seattle at Bottleworks.

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Cool. I'll pick one up tomorrow. Bottleworks is a four minute walk from our new house.

 

By the way, I think Prole was referring to the Assenzio liquor. Rabelais brought some with him from Rome to one of the WS events several months ago—it's really citrusy, I remarked at the time that it remided me of citronella. Not bad, but very different from what you'd normally expect from absinthe. No more different than Montmartre though.

 

I made some absinthe truffles this last Thanksgiving, with limited success. Seems the chocolate and anise tend to obscure one another, so getting a good balance while keeping a good consistency is a bit of a challenge.

 

The rum truffles kick ass though.

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I've had those, and they were killah!

 

Sort of a yuppiefied version of the good old rum ball, that my grandma's bakery executed so beautifully, when I was kid during the war between the states.

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i also wonder how it got approved with 'absinth' written all over it...

 

i tasted this chocolate in sicily and it is ok, but not great. (oddly all the chocolate i tasted in italy was not very good, but the coffee is religious).

there is a small chocolate maker in neuchatel, switzerland that makes a wrapped chocolate bar with Kübler that kicks this italian's ass.  unfortunately when i asked them to make 500, they declined...

there is an even smaller chocolate shop near boveresse that makes 'truffles' (small chocolate balls) with Kübler that are even better, and some absinthe 'liqueur' filled ones that are fun.  gotta get while you're there...

versinthe made a chocolate combo also, but it was pretty weak...and some ok to downright bizare attempts in pontalier with guy and pernot...

 

it seems that blanches work best with chocolate...

 

Personally, I'm a fan of venchi's chocolates, and I'm a bit of a cocoa content snob (I won't go below 65% without protest). I find the Venchi to be tasty, and has a very nice mouth-feel. I've had a few other absinthe-chocolate blends, and was less pleased by most of them as they were either liquid or fondant filled (I'm not a fan of gooey or sloshy chocolates) or they were made with a lower cocoa content which made the whole thing sweeter than I feel this combination should be.

 

I agree, blanches do seem to work better, perhaps due to their being less complex in flavour? I've had pretty good success making my own pastis infused ganache for truffles, I see no reason why absinthe would react differently in this situation than a pastis, do you? Perhaps I'll actually write down the amounts next time, and share with the class.

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There is a Venchi chocolates kiosk in the Rome Fuimicino airport for anyone passing through.

 

This chocolate has the assenzio that was sampled in the October WS experience.

 

Cioccolato

 

Made by Pastigle Leone, large Italian candy company.

 

Not sure what absinthe Venchi uses.

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i also wonder how it got approved with 'absinth' Personally, I'm a fan of venchi's chocolates, and I'm a bit of a cocoa content snob (I won't go below 65% without protest). I find the Venchi to be tasty, and has a very nice mouth-feel.

 

I'm a cocoa snob too. Venchi is good, the best of the Italian chocolates, but Teuscher's chocolate is so good it's downright sexual. They have a store on 5th Ave where they receive their chocolates flying monkeys'd every day from Switzerland. Sprüngli was also outstanding till they got bought out and ruined by Lindt. Their chocolates in Switzerland are still great but their export stuff is mediocre, mainly because Switzerland has different laws for what is consumed in country and what is exported.

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as a christmas present from us a couple of years ago, my french mother-in-law participated in a class at the cordon bleu in paris for making the famous french 'bouche de noel' cake which is a simulated tree log in chocolate. they had the students do it with 90% cocoa (i believe it was valrhona).

it was very good, but the whole family threw up later on (except me, which annoyed everyone) because the chocolate was so rich...she hasn't made it since...

for me 70 to 80% cocao is about max.

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I'm a cocoa snob too.  Venchi is good, the best of the Italian chocolates, but Teuscher's chocolate is so good it's downright sexual.  They have a store on 5th Ave where they receive their chocolates flying monkeys'd every day from Switzerland. 

 

Do they do any absinthe chocolates?

 

 

Since we are alread a little off topic, Gatsby where do you buy all of those wunderful araks?

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Do they do any absinthe chocolates?

 

 

Since we are alread  a little off topic, Gatsby where do you buy all of those wunderful araks?

 

Nope, no absinthe chocolates. They make some killer champagne chocolates though.

 

For arak, go to Warehouse wine & liquors on Bway just south of 8th street. They have Razzouk which is the best cheap Arak for $16. Strangely Astor Wines doesn't carry any good Araks, they only carry grain spirit based ones, which suck.

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Mission Liquor has quite a selection of Arak, Ouzo, and even some Raki. I received from them, just before christmas, a rather nice rum which was a gift for a friend, as well as some interesting armenian brandy for myself. If, like me, you're in an area where selection is limited, they seem to be a pretty good option.

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