Crazy Expensive Oriol Balaguer Chocolates From Barcelona Make U.S. Debut

Pretty is as pretty costsEXPAND
Pretty is as pretty costs

Midtown's Borne Confections (Matt Damon racing through the streets of Paris pursued by a chocolate truffle?) has just received its first shipment of Oriol Balaguer chocolates, representing the U.S. debut of the Barcelona-based chocolatier, who spent seven years at el Bulli, and has a cultish following.

The truffles are very beautiful, fashioned into glossy cacao pod shapes, and have a price tag to match--a box of six is $15, a box of 12 is $31. In the assortment above, left to right: Earl Gray tea, soy, Pear Williams brandy, seven spices, saffron, peanut, whiskey, yuzu, truffle, olive oil, pop rocks, and corn nut-hazelnut.

Truffle guts: Corn nut and hazelnutEXPAND
Truffle guts: Corn nut and hazelnut

When asked why Borne Confections had approached Oriol Balaguer about distribution in the United States, the woman behind the counter replied, "Because his chocolates are the most boutique, the most avant-garde."

But are pop rocks in fancy desserts really avant-garde anymore? And the wink-wink elevation of junk food into high-end preparations, as in a corn nut truffle, feels similarly familiar. Still, you can't argue with the pleasure of silken chocolate that snaps under your teeth, giving way into a sweet-salty-nutty filling. They are wonderful, meticulously made chocolates: Lovely to look at and to eat, but the price tag is hard to swallow.

Borne Confections 485 Park Avenue 212-755-5150


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