In a society riddled with cheap food, it is so wonderful to come across artisans like Lagusta, who are achieving success with quality. I had long admired her wide variety of organic vegan truffles, which used to be produced in limited batches at select times of the year. But as word got around about how fabulous these chocolates were (not to mention how insanely affordable they are!), Lagusta was forced to step up the pace of production and inspired to come out with a whole new line of confections … Bluestocking Bonbons. This new chocolate range includes selma's peppermint patties, vandana shivas, pauline benjamin's pb cups, furious vulvas, raspberries de pizan, and chocolate coconut cream pyramids.
I sampled all but the last two varieties, and am happy to say that Lagusta is still delivering incredible value. The bonbons are also organic, handmade, exotic, and incredibly satisfying. Anyone looking for a truly enriching chocolate experience, vegan or not, need not look any further than Lagusta’s Luscious. Honestly, I’m not sure how she dreams up these flavor combinations and somehow gets them to work harmoniously. Even the nostalgic peanut butter cups and peppermint patties have a grown-up, rustic appeal and lack that over-sugared aftertaste.
Also worth mentioning, these are insanely gift worthy. Note the adorable origami-style boxes adorned with detailed writing and sealed with a tasteful Lagusta’s Luscious stamp. Not to mention, the boxes are perfectly sized and shaped for easy shipping or including in gift baskets.
But enough about the packaging, let’s discuss those chocolates, shall we …
Furious Vulvas – I always feel sort of silly writing a review, when everything I have to say is already written on the box …
These are a sweet, savory, and salty delight … definitely intended for a more mature palate, someone who savors dark chocolate and loves the contrast of sea salt crystals and the complexity of peppercorns. I have a newfound love of salted chocolate and was smitten by these raging delights.
Vandana Shivas – Neatly arranged with three per paper cup, these elongated mini mountains were sweeter, softer, and dare I say a bit crumblier in texture than the Vulvas. I didn’t bother reading the description before biting into my first Vandana, so that I could make my own assessment. Words like addictive, enticing, gritty, romantic and spicy came to mind. Yes, it didn’t take long to realize that there must be some chilis within. The first taste was sweet, but some spice crept in, gradually rising to a peppery heat. It wasn’t overpowering, but the chilis did make their presence known.
As it turned out, there are not only chilis in these chocolates, but Maui vanilla beans and Mexican cinnamon. The complexity of this bonbon made it my favorite.
Selma’s Peppermint Patties – I was a bit surprised when I cut into a patty and discovered a crumbly filling … for some reason I was expecting a “cream,” but was instead greeted with a true “peppermint patty” interior with an all-natural touch.
I loved how the mint and chocolate strike the perfect balance in these after-dinner treats. The mint is cool and refreshing, while the dark chocolate is warm and comforting. So many peppermint treats have an overwhelming mint bite, but these are delicate and delicious.
Pauline Benjamin's PB Cups – These are named after Lagusta’s mother and are truly artisanal peanut butter cups. Note the writing on the box …
I couldn’t have put it better myself. The thick dark chocolate enrobes a rustic peanut butter center that is made from scratch with organic peanuts, evaporated cane juice sugar, organic vanilla, organic coconut milk, and sea salt. I also loved how they come in three sizes … small, medium, and large … within each box, so that you can pick the right size for your appetite.
The smallest ones are about the size of Reese’s PB miniatures, while the larger are about the size of a normal Reese’s PB cup, but a bit thicker and more robust.
Those of you who are watching your pennies will be happy to know that the boxes of bonbons range from just $12 to $15 and most contain 12 good-sized chocolates. Trust me, when you pair quality with price, these are pretty well the best value chocolates and truffles on the market.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook. For more information and to purchase these chocolates, visit the Lagusta's Luscious and Bluestocking BonBon Website.