When asking Amsterdam locals about the best chocolatier in town, most of the time you get the answer: “Puccini Bomboni”. Another clear sign of its local popularity is the fact that they recently opened their third store in the old part of Amsterdam (their main store and manufacturing site is in Staalstraat 17).
Their bonbons are all hand-made and further stand out in two ways. They are of very diverse, visually appealing shapes. And they are MASSIVE. Literally. Every bonbon weights about three times as much as a typically shaped one. Economically that seems to be a smart move, as it drastically reduced the labor needed per weight. The size, however, really obstructs the pleasure of eating them. One bonbon and I’m done.
Taste-wise I found the bonbons OK, most have fairly classical ganache fillings. Some of the fruitier ones are very fruity, which I liked (plum – ‘pruim’ for example). In blogs and forums I found many people mentioning fancy, non-standard flavors, often refering to their pepper bonbon as a sign for crazyness. But every chocolatier nowadays does spices and other stuff, so I would say there is not much original about that1. I know, I sound a bit negative. In fact, the bonbons are not bad at all! It’s rather that I expected something more. My main criticism is that Puccini bonbons are too big and lack finesse (or however you’d call it). Too rough, unsubtle2 .
Whatever, I guess I’m simply no big fan of opera…
- The pepper bonbons admittedly look very pretty, and have a nice pepper ganache filling, but personally I think the poppy seeds do not really add to the texture of the bonbon. [↩]
- Yep. I know, quite a lot of people describe it with superlatives only. Same for most blog posts, such as this, this, this, or this. Anyway. I found that their bonbons do not live up to such high expectations. [↩]