Citrus Garden is Pierre Marcolini's theme for his summer collection this year. The title evokes vivid imagery of vibrant zesty fruity flavours, and that's exactly what the Belgian chocolatier uses here.
Previously, Marcolini has looked to Asia for his summer inspiration, utilising exotic citrus fruits such as yuzu, Buddha’s hand, and sudachi. This year, his sights are firmly set on the Mediterranean, and after several tough lockdowns, I think we could all do with a drop of the Mediterranean way of life.
This summer, Marcolini has drawn together the flavours of Valencian oranges, Calabrian bergamot, and juicy lemons from Nice to create a range of chocolates, cakes and macarons. He seeks to evoke imagery in your mind of "the Dolce Vita", a peaceful-yet-vibrant "Iberian garden", or "the sweet perfume of [the] sun-bathed Côte d’Azur".
Candied fruits headline the new range (£9.90; 110g), with grapefruit flesh, lemon zest, and ginger dipped in either a Cuba-Sao Tomé house blend chocolate, or pure Sao Tomé milk chocolate. Citronette sees lemon zest paired with the house blend, Gingembrette pairs spicy candied ginger with the same shell, while the fun-to-say Pamplemoussette pairs sharp pink grapefruit with a creamy Sao Tomé milk chocolate exterior.
Controversially, Pierre reckons these taste best straight from the fridge.
Aside from chocolate, Marcolini also introduces hand-crafted traditional Amaretti (£9.90; 120g), created with almond flour, egg whites, and a dusting of icing sugar. The result is a light biscuit with a soft centre and low sugar content. These are then sandwiched around a fruity compote filling, with flavours including tangy lemon; Seville orange and fiery ginger; bergamot with citrus sudachi and yuzu highlights; and apricot with verbena.
There's also a fresh summer sponge cake (£12; 380g) infused with Seville orange, tangy lemon, aromatic grapefruit, and a touch of ginger. I bet it would taste great with the Raspberry-Verbena Jam (£8.50; 230g) that's also available here now too.
The range is capped off by a duo of fine macarons, in Orange and Fennel as well as Verbena and Lemon (£25.50; 12). The former exhibits notes of anise balanced by bitter Valencian orange, while the latter pairs the gentle verbena perfume with the fresh vibrancy of lemon.
The Citrus Garden Summer Collection 2021 is available to purchase online here as well as in-store in London. You'll also find the range at the Marcolini counters in Harrods and Selfridges in the capital too. Pierre Marcolini now has over 40 stores across Belgium, France, the UK, Monaco, Japan and China, with its latest store opening in Knokke, Belgium.
Chocolat: From the Cocoa Bean to the Chocolate Bar by Pierre Marcolini
£18.33 + £2.99 postage
Which item would you most like to try from this summer collection? Let me know in a comment below.