Phillip’s Theater Box Assortment

Today we have something both new and old; new in that we have never reviewed anything from Phillip’s Candy House @ChocolateMission before, and old in that it is the oldest chocolatier’s in Boston. Somehow Phillip’s escaped our radar, which is a shame because we have been missing out.

Phillip’s Candy House was founded in 1925 by Phillp Strazzula, and is run by second and third generation family members. Their chocolate is handmade and they still use the same recipes and techniques established ninety years ago.

Phillip’s chocolate makes an excellent gift based on the packaging alone. It arrived to me in attractive wrapping paper with a gift tag. The box itself is a sleek, elegant, imperial red. Its only downfall is the lack of a ‘menu’. There is nothing to tell you what each individual chocolate is. This is fine if you like surprises, but from an allergy point of view, it could pose a serious problem.

The 4oz Theater Assortment contains seven chocolates for $8.95, which is about £5.50-£6. Compared to other artisan branded gift boxes, which usually cost over £1 per chocolate, it is very good value.

Phillip’s signature chocolates are their ‘turtles’, which are available in dark or milk. This assortment contained the milk version: whole almonds coated in caramel and sandwiched between two thick discs of milk chocolate. I can’t say it bares any resemblance to a turtle, but they do look stunning. The way it is constructed means that the turtle is not the easiest thing to eat, as it breaks apart when you take a bite. This slight inconvenience is made up for in taste; the almonds have a light flavour, and any bitterness is hidden by buttery caramel. The chocolate is extremely refreshing, almost like drinking milk.

Next we have a dark domed truffle. The chocolate shell has deep, earthy tones, while the surprise fondant filling has a light coffee flavour, like a creamy latte. It is incredibly smooth and also has some fruity notes. Another dark delight is a thick praline, which is rich, but too sweet.

The marzipan square is also too sweet, despite the dark coating. I think the additional caramel layer underneath just swayed it over too far. In contrast, the milk square, which contains vanilla fudge, is very pleasant. It is probably just as sweet, but smoother, more buttery, and reminded me of Caramac. I expect am biased on this as I dislike marzipan, but love Caramac bars.

The main disappointment with these chocolates as a whole is that they hardly have any aroma. The one exception is Phillip’s peanut log. It doesn’t actually smell of peanuts like you would expect, but you do get the scent of creamy milk chocolate, which uses the same refreshing recipe as for the turtle. The peanuts are buried under a layer of caramel to add a hint of saltiness. The peanut pieces are quite chunky, but in the chewiness of the caramel, you don’t actually notice.

Finally comes a chocolate wrapped in shiny foil. Engraved with a flower on top, it made me think that it might be something like a violet crème, but it was just solid chocolate. ‘Just’ is an unfair description really, because it is more of Phillip’s beautiful in-house milk recipe in full thickness.

Until now I have been unimpressed by American chocolate, but the swap from cheap confectionery to couture has changed my mind. Phillip’s Candy House makes an excellent assortment of chocolates because they use quality ingredients, and craft everything lovingly by hand.

Presentation: 9.5
Aroma: 6.5
Taste: 8.5
Sustenance: 9 
Texture: 8.5
Overall: 8.4