Chocolates over love

13 07 2009

 

“IT IS better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

“It is better to have chocolates than love, if you cannot have both.” – Machiavelli Chocolatier

 

And with those wise words from this chocolatier’s official website, off I went to get chocolates.  And I guess it was only apropos to get myself Machiavelli Chocolatier chocolates – not just any chocolate.

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A box of six Machiavelli Chocolatier chocolates for Spider-man on his birthday!

I have kind of stumbled across this store a number of times in the past three months but had never gotten around to satisfying my curiosity.  Everytime I would finish my Monday night special grocery shopping at Rustan’s in Makati, I would pass by this store’s display on my way to Krispy Kreme in Glorietta 4.  For some reason, my head would always be pulled towards the direction of the store’s display.  I do remember vividly that I smiled at the very thoughts that came running in my head upon reading the name on the boxes – Machiavelli Chocolatier.  “Niccolo Machiavelli”, “The Prince”, my report in college… and all the controversial thoughts they conjure!

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Machiavelli Chocolatier paper (gift) bag

Controversial thoughts aside, I found the two-level shelves to be clean and uncluttered; the contrast of the pronounced purple and white colors surprisingly soothing to the eyes.  But for some reason, my sights never went beyond the display.  I didn’t really notice the display counters all those times I would pass by.  All I know is that everytime I would look up the display, I would realize that whatever “Machiavelli Chocolatier” was, it was inside Rustan’s Essences.  Which to me meant that it could be chocolate for the skin or the hair.  Hahaha!

But I couldn’t be any more wrong.  Darn, I was so wrong.

So armed with the belief that I would be better off to have chocolates than love – and with a bag of Royce’ chocolates already in tow – I went to the Machiavelli Chocolatier store yesterday.

Standing in front of their display counters, I marvelled at the edible works of art staring me to my face.  Glistening under the softened lighting at the quiet corner on the ground floor, the chocolates need not a fancy advertisement to move them from off the display counters to the boxes… to the hands of undoubtedly excited customers.  I’ve seen quite a number of chocolate displays by different chocolatiers but none has moved me quite like the Machiavelli Chocolatier display.  I could imagine the skill – the artistry – and the patience that went to every piece of chocolate that lies prettily within the strictly 10 oC controlled environment.

After my amazement at the gleaming exteriors of the chocolates, my jaw dropped at how “Filipino” some of the chocolates’ names sounded.  Okay, not actually sounded.  It’s more like just how very identifiably Filipino ingredients are called out prominently in the names – Yema De Manila, Purple Yam Yum, Muscovado Grass, Mung Bean Bon Bon, Pili Bon Bon, and Coconut Screw.  How other Filipino ingredients are cleverly disguised in catchy names – Ivorie Jack (for the “jackfruit”).  And how a chocolate’s name could pay homage to the rich culinary past (and present) of a beloved province – Negros Crunch.

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Machiavelli Chocolatier's Yema De Manila (background) and Purple Yam Yum (foreground).

For myself, I got two boxes of two – each with one Yema De Manila and Purple Yam Yum.  For Spider-man, as part of his birthday presents from me, I had a box of six put together – three each of Yema De Manila and Purple Yam.

The Purple Yam Yum was a runaway hit with me!  After I got over just how pretty the exterior of the chocolate was, all I could muster were muffled sounds after taking my first bite.  The chocolate that enrobed the purple yam puree was not cloyingly sweet at all.  Taken at room temperature (as Machiavelli Chocolatier suggests), the chocolate melted smoothly in my mouth, interplaying with the burst of purple yam yummy goodness that revealed itself both to my tongue and then to my eyes when I held the other half of the chocolate in front of me.

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Machiavelli Chocolatier chocolates on fine china. Notice the artistic details!

The Yema De Manila was kind of a surprise to me.  It was not “yema” as I know it (and I have a friend who makes the best yema!) but it was a more sophisticated one.  The texture of the filling was smoother, almost pudding like.  And again, the chocolate that encrusted everything provided a robust quality, characteristic of a rich custard bathed in rich chocolate.

I’m raring to go back and get some more of these delicious treats.  It also helped that the store’s attendant – “Abby” – was quite knowledgeable on the treats they offer.  She was engaging in letting me in on what the bestsellers are, what the new offerings are, without sounding a bit over-enthusiastic.  She actually clued me in on some of their upcoming treats, with the “Carrot” chips sounding the most intriguing to me!  And thanks to a display on one side of the counter, I learned that as much as possible, I should not refrigerate chocolates.  Though they’d have to be kept within room temperature, defined to range from 10 oC to 16 oC.  And, in between chocolates, it is advisable to sip (sparkling or spring?) water.

Anybody who likes Leonidas and Royce’ chocolates will definitely have a room to appreciate one more – Machiavelli Chocolatier chocolates.  Like its namesake, prepare your senses to be arrested by the unfamiliar, the controversial, the freedom of thought.  Internationally excellent chocolates with a proud, undisguised, prominent Filipino twist.  That’s Machiavelli!

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"Machiavelli is Eurasian!"

The Machiavelli Chocolatier boutique is located at Essences, Ground Floor, Rustan’s Makati.

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eNTeNG and Machiavelli

 

      

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