Stand back, everyone. I'm about to do my first review as Cibatarian.
For my first review I selected a place I have been wanting to try, but just haven't gotten around to. Until now, of course. Local foodie buzz informed me that we have not one, but two world class chocolatiers within 50 miles of lowly Bryan and College Station, Texas. LOL...wut? How can this be? And why haven't I tried them?
So earlier this week I called the spouse and we headed over to the one closest to work: Truman Chocolates on Texas Avenue, North of University Drive in the same shopping center as Yesterday's and Luby's. Yes, that's right, it's hidden in a strip mall; much like Superman being hidden by his Clark Kent identity. [Who here didn't already know I was a nerd?] The location is extremely nondescript, with no writing on the door. It is recognizable by the stylized script on the top of the strip mall location and by the extremely clean interior, devoid of any unnecessary clutter.
Once you walk in, you can smell the chocolate. For a chocoholic, such as myself, that is worth the trip, alone. There is a small counter filled with the chocolates that are currently available, without a pre-order. The selection the day we went included about 25 different types, in a huge variety of flavors and colors. For the record, they accept special orders; everything from previously uncreated flavors to Food Network-style chocolate showpieces. And the first person you find is one of the chocolatiers - a very nice person to guide you in your selection and to offer free samples. Be still my beating heart!
First things first. We were there to select a gift box for a friend. I chose the larger of the two gift boxes; 16 selections at $36. With a little information about the recipient (a sweet tooth with a penchant for sweet alcohol) we selected jewel-pretty items with flavors ranging from white chocolate to mimosa, banana, cinnamon, passion fruit and chambord. All were individually hand-packed into a simple, but sturdy and elegant box.
Next we selected a gift box for ourselves. This time it was the smaller, 10 (?) space box for $20. Each of us picked 4 selections, checked out and were on our way. Did I mention how nice and professional our host was?
Much later in the day we finally found time to sit down with the smaller gift box we purchased for ourselves. Selections included, coffee, s'mores, margarita, mimosa, mojito, banana, peach, white chocolate, and two chambord truffles. Each was quite beautiful and painted, with edible paint, to match the flavor. Shiny finish and glittery sparkles were an elegant touch for some. Real gold leaf was a nice finish for others. We split all of them, except peach...I have a thing against peaches that can't be explained here. The spouse loved that one, by the way.
One thing stood out about all of the truffles: the ganache center was at exactly the right melt-in-your mouth temperature. Storing these too hot (next to the stove) or too cold (fridge) would ruin them. Additionally, the thin "crust" was extremely delicate, making these very easy to eat and preventing the weird contrast in texture that you can sometimes find in cheap truffles.
Each flavor tasted intensely as it was described. Banana was undoubtedly banana. Mimosa tasted like the drink. Mojito tasted of mint and lime. Chambord tasted of orange liquor and chocolate.
My only criticism is the white chocolate truffle. It was good, but not the best. For me, a lover of white chocolate, the best is when it has a creamy, milky taste without the chemical or plastic characteristic that can often be found in cocoa butter. Truman's was close, but sadly no El Rey. But, then again, only El Rey can be El Rey. So I hold it against nobody. I will say that Truman's white chocolate paired very well with the flavored ganaches, and as part of a team, it was very beautiful to taste and to see.
Do I recommend Truman's? Absolutely. At about $2 a truffle, it's a luxury and an indulgence. But one that won't kill the bank. It also makes a lovely gift for a chocoholic and/or foodie. For people catering events, I also recommend their special orders. Everyone was very professional.
Will I go back to Truman's? Absolutely. Those mojito truffles were truly a thing of beauty.