There I was in my favorite wine store, Cork & Fork, in Logan Circle when the owner, Dominique, invited me to try some little chocolates. Little did I know how wonderful they would be! They are called "Velvet Gianduiotti" and are made by some of the finest chocolatiers in Italy -- Domori. Domori has a reputation for producing high quality chocolate from single-origin bean-to-bar cacao.
Gianduiotti is a sweet chocolate that typically contains 30% hazelnut paste. It was invented in Turin during Napolean's regency. Domori's gianduiotti is one of the few vegan gianduiotti's imported to the U.S. They contain no artificial or extraneous ingredients -- not even vanilla or soy lecitihin. The ingredients are simply cane sugar, Piedmont hazelnuts, cocoa mass, and cocoa butter. The hazelnut content in Domori's is 34.5% using Tonda Gentile delle Lange, hazelnuts found in the Piedmont area.
The taste of these little chocolates is like nothing I've ever had before. Each one is shaped like the roof of a traditional house. They are soft with a smooth texture and a wonderful mix of hazelnuts and cocoa. As soon as I tried them, I wanted to buy the container of 20, that is, until I noticed that they were $25! Dominique didn't even realize they were that expensive and remarked, "Well, they must be good then!" Ha! He is so funny. But, really, they aren't any more expensive than truffles would cost at a chocolatier so if you are looking for something special and different, I definitely recommend trying these!