Saturday, February 03, 2007

Chocolate!

A few months ago I read an article about a workplace accident where an employee fell into a vat of melted chocolate. He managed to “swim to shore” and was rescued unharmed. If I could choose an accident, this would be it!

My father once worked for a company called Smiles and Chuckles, the original makers of Turtles. His job was in the lab, testing and developing products. The entire neighbourhood was enveloped in a chocolate aroma and Dad’s clothing was also saturated in the smell.

The Smiles and Chuckles factory closed and the building was demolished. A couple of years ago we visited Hershey, Pennsylvania and toured the huge chocolate plant there. It brought back memories of Dad’s job. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a book/movie that appeals to chocoholics like me as is the movie Chocolat. (Johnny Depp :) and Johnny Depp :))

A columnist at our local newspaper had a chocolate tasting party recently and the results were published today. Unfortunately, even though I would have been a valuable member of the panel, I was not invited, so I did some of my own sampling today at home. (I went for a long walk early this morning in the bitter cold. Calories are a measure of heat, and I needed a lot of them to keep warm!)

I love good chocolate so it is never hard to buy me a gift. Some of my favourites are available only in United States and I have to put in my order when anyone plans to cross the border. I have been known to drive to Niagara Falls NY just to buy chocolate. My husband went to Michigan in October, and I am still nibbling away at the treats he bought for me there.

I prefer dark chocolate, pure and unadulterated. European chocolate from Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and France, sets a high standard of quality.

Lindt Excellence offers bars of milk chocolate, 70% and 85% cocoa. The 70% bar is my pick.

Ritter Sport is made in Germany and many varieties of square 100g bars are available. The 50% and 71% cocoa bars are excellent.

Dove offers a wonderful dark chocolate that is not available in Canada. I like the little red foil squares that have a silly quote inside like “Laugh uncontrollably…it clears the mind.” I am down to three of these right now, a dangerously low inventory.

Hershey offers a huge variety of sweets, but the Special Dark chocolate kisses are not available in Canada either. They are not as creamy as Dove dark chocolate, and I still have an unopened package of them here. They are portion control at its best.

I was given a box of Laura Secord miniatures by a coworker for my birthday. They are featuring more dark chocolate including a delicious chocolate dipped ginger chunk. And I received a bar of imported French chocolate as well, 1848, that will have to be opened on another day.

Some chocolate, like the new Cadbury Dark Thins are not worth even a nibble. I tried one this week and it was like taking a bite of tasteless wax. It went into the trash!

Chocolate, especially the dark varieties, is supposed to have health benefits. I really don’t care, because I don’t need an excuse to indulge!


12 comments:

  1. Ooooh- I love dark chocolate too! I like it best with a cup of strong, black coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I live within 20 minutes of Hershey, and depending on which way the wind blows, on some days we can SMELL chocolate in the air! All day long. Pure delight and pure agony.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I truly know you are my neice... and there is certainly nothing better than dark chocolate w/strong, black coffee. I'm in AZ. Any orders?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ruth, if you send me your home address by e-mail, I'll send you the most delicious Hershey's Extra Dark Chocolate with Cranberries, Blueberries & Almonds. They are a 1-1/2 flat square that you can pop into your mouth. HEAVEN! There are health benefits derived from dark chocolate, but I don't remember what they are...so dark chocolate is good for the body. Seriously, I'll send them to you. Now, I'm going to eat one. Just...one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, now we know what to get you for Christmas.

    Please don't smack me, but I am a mild-chocolate girl myself. I like dark, but I prefer the sweetness of the milk-chocolate.
    Now, where did I leave my stash of M & M's...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Regular ole Hershey's Kisses are my favorite - I'll eat them until I get a belly-ache!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mmmmmmm.... Turtles! Oh my how I could close my eyes right now and remember how they taste. My dad always got us a box for Valentine's Day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lynne- Yes, coffee and chocolate are good partners. I don't drink coffee but I like chocolate covered cocoa beans.

    KGMom- I think I must have been to your community on the river. We ended up staying in Hershey because the lodging was cheaper.(and it did smell good)

    OmaLois- I like our genes!I would never refuse a package of Dove dark chocolate. Tim is going to Pittsburg in 3 weeks so I will put my order in then.

    Mary- You are so thoughtful!! I have seen those bars in Canada (shock) at Walmart (the great importer of American culture) I will go in there pronto to try one. They sound so healthy.

    Susan- There is nothing wrong with a good quality milk chocolate. So many bars have added cheap fats that end up tasting waxy. Lindt and Ritter milk chocolate is superb!

    Laura- The trouble with Kisses is you think you are only have a small portion, but they do add up. I take 3 out of the bag (usually)and eat them slowly.

    Jayne- We had a lot of second grade Turtles around our house when my dad worked at S&C. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You NEED to try Scharffen Berger chocolates! They are made in small amounts. They started making chocolate for candy makers and bakers but in the last couple of years they started offering eating chocolate. I am a milk chocolate fan and theirs is pretty much all I indulge in now. Delish!

    ReplyDelete
  10. LLM- Thanks for the info. I have bookmarked their site and will have to look for the product
    http://www.scharffenberger.com/default.asp
    It is always good to hear about something new.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ruth, I'm testing my comments since Blogger made me switch over to the New Blogger today. Just want to see if I can comment...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mmmm...chocolate and Johnny Depp....:D

    ReplyDelete