I had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle in November 2019. This was my first visit to the Festival, so I wanted to go all out. I purchased a VIP pass which allowed me to enter the festival one hour before most other attendees. I was overwhelmed by the number and the quality of the exhibitors. With almost all the exhibitors offering free samples, I was literally a kid in a chocolate shop. I overdid it. After 45 minutes, I was satiated. Full. On a chocolate high. Ready to stop. I was done. Or at least I thought I was done.
As I continued around the festival, I was in a look but don’t eat mode. Then I heard a quiet voice, “Would you like to try a sample?” “No” was my left brain’s response. No more chocolate. My right brain’s response was “Do it.” Brain conflict. So I looked to see who was offering me chocolate. A voice with an accent. A European accent. The accent sounded German. I looked at the attractive woman offering me chocolate. I responded, “I’m chocolated out. But if you have something that is a taste explosion, then I will try it.” Her response – “Yes, I have a chocolate that is a taste explosion.”
For me, a taste explosion is eating something whose flavor explodes in your mouth. It makes your taste buds tingle. It’s a feast for the senses. An eating experience that is unforgettable. An eating experience that is worth writing about.
She handed me a chocolate. Dark chocolate. But what was it – a truffle, a praline, solid chocolate? “What type of chocolate is it?” I asked. “It’s a chocolate taste explosion” was her reply. “Try it and let me know what you think. I’m not going to tell you what it is.”
So I put the chocolate on my tongue. First, the chocolate melting was a bit bitter, but with a nice smooth flavor – then the shock. The inside, that smooth bitter dark chocolate unleashed an intense, warm, slightly salty and sweet caramel – not a chewy caramel like Fran’s from Seattle. No. This was a smooth liquid. No chewing necessary. Just an explosion of flavor from that wonderful caramel center. “How do you like it?” she asked. I responded “Wow, that was a taste explosion! Can I have another sample?” So much for being chocolated out.”
At that point, I had to know. Who made that chocolate? Who created that chocolate explosion? I needed to know because I needed to share this chocolate explosion with everyone I knew. She introduced herself. “I’m Isabella Valencia. I own Dallmann Fine Chocolates in San Diego.” Turns out that Isabella’s family hails from Austria, not Germany as I initially thought. In 1954, the Dallmann family opened a bakery and pastry shop in Salzburg, Austria. Fifty years later granddaughter Isabella took the family tradition in a new direction. Chocolate. The flavor of the chocolate caramel blew me away. But Isabella’s creations are much more than just caramels. She creates beautiful truffles in exotic flavors like cardamom and blood orange, coconut curry and strawberry balsamic, not to mention the PB&J truffle.
So, if you are looking for a chocolate explosion, try Dallmann Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Truffles. You will not be disappointed. Tell Isabella the Chocolate Savant sent you.
Dallmann Confections, 789 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 – (619) 238-0045