Thursday, May 22, 2008

Matcha (and Green Tea Chocolates) at Whole Foods

Yesterday, I stopped by a Whole Foods Market that I don't go to often and, as I always do when I'm in a grocery store I haven't been to in a while, I checked out their tea selection. I remembered reading that Whole Foods signed a deal with Ecotrend to carry DoMatcha brand matcha on the West Coast, in the Midwest, and in Toronto. I'm in NYC, so no DoMatcha for me. However, they DID have all three varieties of Rishi's sweet matcha. (I haven't tried it yet. Have you? What did you think?)

One matcha product they carried that I KNOW that I love is Vosges' matcha chocolate bar. Delicious! They also carried two kinds of green tea truffles--one by Anna Shea and another (apparently in-store?) hand cut and rolled. I was super-excited to try them, but in the end decided I wold have been better off making my own. The Anna Shea green tea truffles are white chocolate and gorgeous, but are nothing I would write home about taste-wise. The hand cut and rolled truffles are dark chocolate. They look less rough than the hand cut and rolled truffles I've made at home, but (sadly) they don't taste as good. (The ganache was too astringent and the shell was too hard.) As much as I love Whole Foods, at $1.80 for two of the Anna Shea and $2.50 for two of the hand cut and rolled, my quick mental calculation of the cost of making a whole batch of my own green tea truffles (about the same as what I paid for four of the ready-made truffles) reminded of a student-friend's nickname for the store--"Whole Paycheck."

Looks great, tastes OK

Looks OK, tastes OK (and costs more than the lovely white chocolate truffles)

If you're interested in making your own chocolate truffles, here's a recipe for Earl grey Chocolate Truffles and here's one for Matcha Truffles. You can easily modify your favorite truffle recipe to make green tea truffles by whipping matcha powder into the ganache with a bit of extra liquid, infusing the cream with green tea, or replacing some of the cream with green tea that has been brewed strongly and then boiled down. You can also simply roll the truffles in matcha powder or a blend of matcha powder and sugar. Also, keep in mind that it is not necessary to make truffles with high-grade matcha that you would normally use for drinking. (You wouldn't believe how many customers I saw at Takashimaya who wanted matcha for making ice cream and who were scared off by the high price tag. Worth it for drinking, yes, but not for regular cooking.) Muzi carries a good matcha for cooking. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Steph said...

I was at a Vosges store last fall -tasted a chocolate with Bacon. Interesting!