Tuesday, March 13, 2007

chocolate review!

Is it lucky or just the opposite that across the street from our apartment is a coffee, tea, cheese and chocolate shop? They carry over 280 varieties of high quality chocolate from all over.

I have decided I cannot be this close to the bounty and not share with my Internet friends. If I can't share the actual chocolate, I can provide lucscious reviews. After all, when you want great chocolate and you're going to shell out a little more, it's good to know what you're getting. (Although it doesn't hurt to shop around for chocolate, but anyhoo.)

TODAY'S CHOCOLATE: Lake Champlain Chocolates. Milk, Sea Salt and Almonds. 38% cocoa content.

Politics (yes, the politics of chocolate!): First off, this is an organic chocolate. Coffee and chocolate are generally grown together, so it's a good bet coffee grown with the chocolate is also organic. The more organic versions of these essentially luxury crops we can buy, the better. These crops are grown in parts of the world where children are often part of the labor force, and the less we expose them (and their land) to chemicals to satisfy our own cravings, the better.

Taste: This is a great milk chocolate. It's not overly sweet, but there's no hint of bitterness either (one of the sophisticated hallmarks of a good dark). The almond pieces make for a delicious, traditional chocolate-and-nut taste. But it's the crystals of sea salt that make this an addictive bar. Once you crunch through one, you get a burst of fine salt that makes you want another bite and another taste of salt on your tongue.

Texture: The texture of this chocolate might be its most notable aspect. And that's saying a lot, given that most chocolates seem to get it not quite right. The chocolate itself is firm and very smooth-- not a hint of graininess. The grey sea salt provides the most delicate crunch, while the almonds give the chocolate a more hearty texture.

Recommendation: This is definitely one to buy if you see it in the the store or online. I found it for $2.49 for 1.25 oz. Definitely a once-in-a-while treat, but maybe that's how chocolate should be. Enjoy!