I have to preface this post by saying my customer service experience at Galler has changed. And when I say changed I mean it was a night and day difference in the attitudes of the people who work there.
The first time I walked into Galler, in Central Place in Brussels, the woman behind the counter was rude, bored, and barely lifted a finger to help me. Offered no information about anything and it wasn't because of a language barrier. She spoke English and was completely rude. But that was last year.
This year I was back in Belgium only this time I was in Bruges, when I found another Galler store. I reluctantly went in, but found an excellent shop person behind the counter. He not only talked to me, he went through every product, even let me sample some of the chocolates on his own prompting. He gave me a curry truffle and it was fantastic. Beautifully spiced, not over done and balanced well with milk chocolate. I was so happy and completely over the moon with the night and day difference in customer service. I even told him about what happened the last time I was in Belgium. He said no more. Galler had made it a point to focus more on customer service. This makes me wonder who else had issues in the past. But no matter, things have definitely changed and for the better. They have also taken a more hands on approach to the chocolate. When I went to buy the Kaori sets, he told me he just packaged them. They make and package certain things right there in the small stores now. Freshness is important. I couldn't be more pleased.
Kaori: Perfume, scent, fragrance.
"The Japanese call a beautiful calligraphy 'calligraphy with taste'. The emotion is in the movement and in the expression of what resonates within us."
Vanilla and Coconut
Strawberry and Balsamic
Orange and Cocoa Nibs
Matcha and Opium Poppy
The idea is to take each flavored chocolate stick, which is kind of like a truffle or bon bon stick, and dip them into the flavor pots creating different flavor combinations. Unless you lick each chocolate before dipping, it doesn't work so well without the Kalamansi which is the pot that looks like honey. Kalamansi is an Asian citrus fruit with tangy, sour notes.
The orange and nib pot is pretty flavorful with orange and slight tannins with the bitter cocoa nibs. The matcha and opium poppy pot is very earthy.
The best flavor profiles:
Vanilla and Coconut with the Kalamansi and Matcha and Opium Poppy.
Cardamom with Kalamansi and Orange and Cocoa Nibs.
Ginger with Kalamansi and Matcha and Opium Poppy.
Saffron with Kalamansi and Orange and Cocao Nibs.
Yuzu (so tangy and powerful in it's own right) works well with both.
Strawberry and Balsamic with Matcha and Opium Poppy.
This is a wonderful and unique tasting experience. The flavors and spices were perfect and the tasting cups were a fun and interesting mix and match set up. This is a perfect gift to bring over to a dinner party or to share with friends who really like tastings and flavors. For people who really appreciate this kind of thing. And no, I won't say foodies because I deeply hate the term and the obnoxious trends around it. This is for people who enjoy nice things.
Really fun, really tasty, and a simple elegant design. You can sit around for ages reflecting on each flavor and each combination. Cardamon was my favorite stick flavor. The yuzu was my least favorite only because it's tanginess surpassed the other flavor combinations. Though it did work quite well with both, it was just a bit too tangy.
If you bring one of these over for a dinner party, you will be a big hit amongst your friends.
**Forgive the appearance of the chocolate sticks. They suffered through some heat issues traveling back to the States with me. This was due to the aggravating situation at the Le Meridian Hotel in Brussels. They had no working a/c, only heat and it was dreadful and miserable for the one night staying there. It was the reason my Westvleteren 12 truffles had melted to ugly shapes. That's in another post. I expect other chocolates that I brought back in bar form to have the same issues. But the ashy appearance is due to that. When I opened one of the Kaori boxes on our beer boat cruise in Belgium, they were shiny and beautiful.