Jean-Luc Pele was one of the highlights of the Show for me. They are based in Cannes. Why, I couldn't tell you. The list of cities in which they sell their chocolate is as follows: (1) Cannes.
Of course, they do deliver... to other parts of France. This is all quite distressing. I was just in Paris, and I almost made a friend order some in anticipation of my visit but thought (correctly, as you shall see) that Paris would have enough exquisite chocolate to entertain me.
In any case, I bought the dark chocolate bonbon tasting box, which included a fabulous, thin dark chocolate bottom layer. Each of the bonbons was exceptional. Some of the best I've had. My only complaint was that the different origins were different to distinguish. There was some sort of answer key included in the package, but even with its aid, it was incredibly difficult to tell one bonbon from another. In summary: unbelievably delicious, but not ideal to the type of chocolate science experiments we like to conduct.
I also purchased a few traditional brigadeiros from Brigadeiro Palace. We discussed them in our First Recap, now months ago.
Unlike Leila, I completely loved these. I loved the traditional more than the dark chocolate or the brownie, surprisingly. Leila's description that it tasted like brownie batter is pretty accurate. Fortunately, I love brownie batter. One thing that separates Leila and me is fudge -- I love fudge, and she doesn't. The brigadeiros are fudgy. If you are into that sort of thing, get on this.
At my most experimental, I purchased some floral milk chocolates from Maison Boissier. This was definitely a mixed bag. First of all, there were a couple pieces of dark chocolate that were truly spectacular. As for the floral options, though, some were better than others. That said, once opened, these went fast.
Overall, I was pretty happy with this purchase, even if it was flavored and sweet and a bit weird. Sometimes it can be refreshing, and the dark chocolate petals are a firm reassurance that Maison Boissier understands how to do simple chocolate correctly.
We already covered the Eclat selection pretty thoroughly. Basically, it was exceptional. I don't know what it was about this toasted corn bar, but I completely fell for it. If the idea of a toasted corn bar sounds intriguing to you, you'll love it.
I also got a pack of the more traditional chocolate mendiants, of Tanzanian origin, at something like 80% chocolate. After going out of character with the toasted corn, buying this was the least I could do. And let me say -- more good decisions. Top-quality, super-chocolatey dark chocolate, plus nibs!
We talked a little about Buzz Fudge before. I am not really sure about the distinction between Buzz Fudge and Magnolia's Fudge -- they are clearly related somehow, and they are both Oneonta-based. Possibly it's just a name change from one to the other or something? In any case, the fudge is delicious. I got the dark chocolate fudge. I loved it. It's totally different from Murdick's, which is firm and not-too-melty -- Buzz Fudge is spooned, almost like an exceptionally thick pudding. A totally different delicious take.
H.S. Chocolate Co.:
H.S. Chocolate Co. we covered only briefly. I purchased the pumpkin spice bar blind, without tasting it, as it was the season for it, and I was overcome. A moment of weakness. Definitely the biggest disappointment of my haul. Still totally edible -- just didn't hold up to the proven hits.
On the first swing around, I saw there weren't many of these left, and I scooped one up. By the time we went around the second time on our purchasing mission, these were gone. And by the time it was in my stomach, I was exceptionally glad I had jumped the gun.
Leila and I were both incredibly impressed by Prestat, as we mentioned. Twice. Well, make it thrice. Yes, they are the Queen's chosen supplier. They had a high percentage, single-origin bar as well as a 71% West African blend. The latter was more chocolatey, but the Prestat chocolatier had a clear preference for the fruitier former. I bought the 71% bar and ate it happily.
I also bought their hazelnut truffles, which were excellent. Just the right balance of chocolate and hazelnut ganache, without any inconsistent or otherwise problematic texture situations.
Pro tip: Prestat products of all sorts are available at Chelsea Market Baskets.
Bottom Line: I am good at buying chocolate at the Chocolate Show, and these things are all delicious.