Delicious Green Fuzzies

Upon first look at its green moldy appearance, you might question whether it is even edible…

Indeed, when I popped it into my mouth and tried to let it melt on my tongue, my tastebuds recoiled from the astringent bitterness that sucked all of the moisture out of my mouth… but slice it open or bite into it and it’s a completely different experience.

Because my friends, this is a Matcha Truffle from the fabulous, famed XOX Truffles in North Beach. Matcha is uniquely Japanese. It is a powdered tea that is mostly known as the thick bitter tea used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Generally the tea is served after eating small sweets called Wagashi that balance its astringent bite. Matcha is made from gyokuro leaves that have been steamed and dried and then are stone ground into a super fine powder the consistency of talc.

The interior is a luscious creamy dark bittersweet ganache that subdues the bitterness of the powdery green tea coating. It overwhelms and expands the very cells of your tastebuds, leaving the intense rich flavor of chocolate on your lips along with the bitter, slightly herbal dust from the tea. I brought the rest of the matcha truffles back for Mr. K who it turns out, regularly comes here for a cup of coffee and the complimentary truffle whenever he gets his haircut around the corner at Tom’s on Powell Street. He loves anything bitter, especially the challenging difficult ones like this…

It’s impossible for me to decide so I ended up with the small box of 20 for about $10, which was a mistake after all, because they all look the same. I’m not sure which one was which… although the peanut butter and the caramel fillings were obvious. I need to revise my strategy.

When we entered the store, the first thing we saw was a gigantic pool of silky smooth chocolate beckoning me to dive in, or at least to grab a spoon to scoop up a taste…

But then, we watched as Chef Jean Gorce scooped most of it up into his pastry bag and quickly filled up trays with piped blobs of ganache, forming the base of the truffles.

They are the perfect truffle – simply and elegant, but small enough to pop into your mouth to savor. The health benefits of dark chocolate have been well documented and we all know that green tea contains anti-oxidants which are believed to control free radicals, and polyphenals which prevent heart disease and cancer, and so perhaps we need to include a matcha truffle a day into our daily gobble…


  1. rowena said,

    February 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I’m just wondering if dropped in a mug of hot, frothy milk (definitely not skim), would one of those create an entirely new indulgence. The first image is quite mesmerizing.

  2. Stacey said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    These are absolutly devine, I couldn’t think of anything more earthy than these little guys. Don’t you love matcha?

  3. kaman said,

    February 18, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Wow, I bet that combo is AWESOME together! Thanks :)

  4. foodhoe said,

    February 18, 2008 at 3:52 am

    Rowena, that sounds so delicious, I am going to have to try it and see what happens!
    Stacey, yes I do love matcha and it is even better draped over dark chocolate ganache…
    Kaman, yes it is truly awesome.

  5. dragonlife said,

    February 18, 2008 at 7:55 am

    In Japan, we are trying to avoid chocolate as we are overwhelmed with presents for the Valentine! LOL.
    Apparently “matcha” is becoming very popular everywhere as the perfect decoration for chocolate because of its colour and taste. Talk of “East meets West”! Or isi t theother way!
    Great pics!

  6. Liz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Those matcha truffles do look questionable but I’ll close my eyes and eat them after reading your review.

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