Oliver Kita is one of a new batch of really creative chocolatiers who believes in using organic and fair trade chocolate. One of his unique products is Organic Ginger Snaps with Caramel Centers Dipped in 70% Valrhona Chocolate. Oliver sent me some of these to try and they are truly inspired. Each is composed of two 2″ diameter ginger snaps, like slightly gingery graham crackers, enclosing a fairly thin layer of caramel (more would be overpowering and too sweet), all enrobed in organic 70% chocolate. The combination of flavors and textures is seductive. It’s the perfect amount of chocolate, not like some chocolate covered cookies that are plastered in couverture. The caramel is chewy, but not so chewy that each bite makes the cookie fall apart–I don’t know how he got it exactly right, but that makes him the chocolate artist, not I. The cookies are crunchy and have a graham cracker consistency, only thicker and gingery. If you’re concerned the ginger will be overpowering, don’t be. Oliver uses a light touch. Not so light you can’t taste it, but not so heavy it eclipses everything else. With each bite you have a plethora of beautifully co-mingling flavors and textures. The aroma also deserves some attention. It’s slightly spicy and saturated with chocolate.
Let’s digress a bit. Sometimes, I go on about how just a small amount of a very intense, complex dark chocolate will be so incredibly satisfying that a little sates one’s craving. Other times, as in this review, I will say that a particular item is addictive, implying an inability to stop. When something has multiple textures and flavors there is a tendency to keep eating it as a gustatory experiment: in this bite I am more aware of the crunchy cookie, but in the last bite it was the chewy caramel against the dark chocolate that got my attention. In other words, both are great experiences, and completely different. These cookies are very satisfying, as well as interesting, which makes each bite its own mini laboratory of taste.
Oliver also concocts a slew of other wonderful-looking treats: little solid chocolate Buddhas, a Buddha filled with peanut butter, and a collection of appealing bonbons.