** This product is not dairy-free, it contains butter oil, please see the note below
Though I am most familiar with the Terra Nostra chocolate bar line, their parent company, KFM Foods, has a few other chocolate tricks up their sleeve. One goes by the name of Bon Bona, and puts out amazing single origin truffles. I felt insanely blessed when a gift-worthy box of these delights magically appeared in my chocolate package from the folks at Terra Nostra.
As you may have read in my review of their new Ricemilk Choco™ Bars (yes vegan/dairy-free “milk” chocolate, no joke), my package suffered some unexpected melting, due to a random week of heat in the late spring. While the truffles did wilt slightly, they surprisingly maintained there shape, and I believe the quality was little effected. Of course, I plan to verify this with a second taste testing in the near, but cooler, future.
Each perfectly sized truffle, worthy of at least two good-sized bites or several savoring nibbles, possessed a thick outer chocolate shell that hailed from its own unique country of cacao origin. Mine had to be refrigerated, so the creamy center took on a very thick, almost fudge-like texture. I am guessing from the image on the front of the box, that when left at a reasonable room temperature, the centers have a softer, creamier texture. Either way, I wasn’t complaining. Available in four different “countries” each labeled with a different color of foil, I was eager to find out if origin really did make a difference.
Sao Tome 70% (Red Foil) – Wow! I am not a connoisseur by any means, but I do know good chocolate when I taste it, and this one was incredible! It was smooth and almost buttery, yet a dark chocolate through and through. My taste buds chose not to identify the outer shell and the center as separate entities, rather enjoying the truffle as a complimentary experience. Every bite seemed to burst in my mouth with pure indulgence, while only a touch of that dark chocolate cocoa lingered as an aftertaste.
Tanzania 70% (Orange Foil) – As I moved onto the next, I was able to confirm (at least in my own head) that origin really does seem to affect the taste. The Tanzania provided more of a flavor contrast than the first. The outer chocolate seemed to take on a bit more of that bitter cocoa edge, without being over the top dark. While quite good, it isn’t my favorite dark, due to the slight hint of citrus, possibly orange in nature. Though, as the dark shell and sweeter chocolate filling melded within my mouth, a feeling of bliss ensued. It was a very sedated, yet pure chocolate truffle experience, through and through.
Peru San Felipe 67% (Blue Foil) – Oddly enough, I did not check out the cacao content of the truffles prior to sampling, but I immediately noticed that this chocolate leaned ever so slightly toward semi-sweet. Perhaps my chocolate tasting skills are developing some refinement! The soft taste melded into a semi-sweet flavor with fruity notes. The thick chocolate filling seemed fairly neutral in this one, almost as if it was just going along with the tasty theme provided by the outer shell. This may be a good truffle for the dark chocolate beginner. It was rich and pure in taste, with a pleasantly sweet filling, but without the overly bitter notes that a true dark may impose.
Dominican Republic 55% (Yellow Foil) – This truffle exuded a richer almost coffee influenced chocolate if you will. It was in no way coffee flavored; yet it expressed itself in the same robust fashion. The center took on a sweeter role that offered contrasting notes to the darker chocolate shell. a touch sweeter in this truffle with contrasting notes to the dark chocolate. A sweet taste lingered as an aftertaste, quite unlike the other three. When I finally snuck a peek at the box, it came as no shock, but rather a confirmation, that this was in fact a semi-sweet truffle. While I loved it, the higher sugar ratio left me craving more! I would rate this as an intriguing, yet easily likable blend for most casual chocolate consumers.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- I am not sure if my picture does this one justice, but this little package is a truly gift-worthy item. It houses nine sizable truffles (roughly one square inch) in a neat and tidy 7” x 7 5/8” box.
- **To my dismay, I discovered after my first tasting that these are not wholly dairy-free; they do contain butter oil. For those with less severe milk allergy reactions, on GF/CF diets, and for the lactose intolerant, this product may be perfectly suitable (check with the manufacturer), as by definition, butter oil should have all of the proteins (such as casein) and sugars (lactose) removed, with only trace amounts potentially remaining. I do apologize for the oversight, but felt it best to post this already written review for those reviewers who may still be interested in this product (especially since it took me a while to write!). For dairy-free chocolates from KFM Foods, see our Terra Nostra Dark and Ricemilk Choco reviews.
Where to Purchase: At the time of my review, the Bon Bona website (www.bonbonafoods.com) was still under construction. Check back at their website and the Terra Nostra Chocolate website., as I expect that these single origin truffles will be released in time for the cooler temperatures of the fall. In the mean time, if you are lucky enough to live in Vancouver, BC, the makers of Bon Bona have just opened a chocolate shop, Monde Chocolat, where I am certain every one of their chocolate creations will be on display for purchase.