One of these Things Is Not..

  by Musette the Embarrassed

 

American Midwest, circa 1962:  we had Hershey’s Chocolate Bars.  Life was good.  Then came M&M Wafer Bars (the precursor to Kit Kat)…and for a brief period of time, Hostess Fingers (I swear that’s the name of them but this was in the Jurassic Era – the cupcakes were 12cents and came on the little paper slab with the cellophane wrapping.  The fingers were cooler – the same cupcake/filling/icing combo, but elongated and narrow – 4 to a package.  I think they were 24cents.

I was in chocolate heaven.

Brussels, circa 1980.  My first pot du creme. Chocolate,  of course.  I nearly fainted right then and there.  This was chocolate, unlike anything I’d ever tasted.  Next up, hot chocolate made with pastilles instead of milk and Hershey’s syrup!  Who knew?

I went dark,darker,darkest….and it was good (except for the ‘darkest’ which got a little gnashy for me – I’m happy as a chocolate clam around 65%)….fell in love with Recchiuti and learned the joys of sea salt and Bourbon vanilla…and bourbon…and smoky caramels….but still stayed within ‘safe’ and ‘accepted’ zones….no odd pairings – and I have never cottoned to the idea of fruit and chocolate (yah, I know.  I’m a weirdo)… the occaisonal orange or raspberry-infused something is o-kaaay..but my heart is never really in it.

So last year, I got this box from a pal in Switzerland, during the craziness of Swapmania. In addition to the incredible decants of incredibly fabulous perfumes, there was a package of chocolate bars!  Some really smooth stuff in there….Bourbon Vanilla, milk and creme – wonderful, comfortable, expected tastes and I dove in!  There was an orange one, which I sort of looked at, then put aside to share give to a friend.

And then, at the bottom of the hefty stack……a dark chocolate LEMON PEPPER bar.

WTH?

I stood there, stunned, trying to figure out who on earth would even begin to contemplate a concoction like that.  Lemon and Pepper belong on Fish.  On Chicken.  On fresh, new asparagus and spinach.  Chocolate?  Oh, you freaks.  Oh, HELLZ naw! I put the bar back in the box and shuddering, went back to munching on the safe, acceptable (and fabulous) Bourbon Vanille…..

…and slowly grew ashamed.

See, I pride myself on my gustatory adventurousness, even though I know I am not really that adventurous.  But I have worked in so many commercial kitchens, sous-ed (albeit as intern) under so many interesting chefs…. heck Charlie Trotter taught me how to correctly dice an onion!  So I’m supposed to be adventurous, the ethnic, female version of Anthony Bourdain, because I am Just That Cool, right?  Surely I am capable of trying a lemon pepper chocolate bar!  Well, I’m embarrassed to say it took me nearly 4 days to work up the nerve to pop that wrapper.  But when I did!  OMG!

Now there are those in the Posse family who are, doubtless, doubled over in laughter at the thought of the MightyMightyMusette quailing before a chocolate bar, big fat sissy that she is.  But it was just such a weird thing to contemplate.  Who knew this could be such a sublime combination!  The little fleck of lemon zest and the zing of the pepper augment the sweet smoothness of the Frey dark chocolate, which is not too dark – I am not a  deep dark varietal chocolate lover and prefer a lot of smoothness and a decent amount of sweetness in my dark – this is a classic, eatable mainstream dark chocolate – full of flavor without tipping over into saccharine.

And the lemon!  The pepper!

And wouldn’t you know it?  After a short stint at Target it seems as if you now cannot get those damn things in the US for love nor money.  And forget about the Frey website.  Some hamster got ahold of a Flash program and ….well, if you can navigate it you are a better web-er than me!  So I’m stuck begging for scrabs of bars and hoping I can trade ridiculous things, come Swapmania.  But I just wanted to put that little taste-worm out there for y’all!  The whole Frey line, apparently available in groceries all over the EU, are just lovely – and none moreso than this absurd pairing!

What is the world coming to?  What’s next?  Chocolate and Strawberry? Oh, the humanity!

What are your favorite chocolate pairings?  What is the weirdest pairing you’ve experienced?  Is there something you simply cannot imagine pairing? (mine would be squid and chocolate). And how in the blasted blazes do I get Frey to distribute in the US again? 

 

photo: cleverbastards.co.nz

photo: chocolatefrey

 

116 Comments

  1. Hi Anita! You made me laugh out loud wioth that Bourdon comment! My weirdest chocolate thrill was a vicarious one–My daughter went for the chocolate coated bacon at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk– I didn’t touch it. It was just so wrong in so many ways. I don’t blame you for thinking long and hard about chocolate with lemon pepper! I would too. My most adventurous chocolate moment was a chocolate/cherry/chipotle chili pepper bar. I loved it for a short time, but for me, the simple pleasure of a little dab of peanut butter on a piece of chocolate is enough . . .xxoo

    • Mary,

      siddown. I’m going to SHOCK you! I have never really gotten with the notion of peanut butter and chocolate, either!

      😮 I KNOW! :”>

      I just….I dunno.. it never seemed to happen! I do dark chocolate almonds, love dark chocolate/caramel to distraction….

      and I love peanut butter!

      go figure…

      xo >-)

      • I’m with you on this one. I like peanut butter and I love chocolate, but I really don’t care for them together. (I must confess though, it’s peanut butter cookies that I can’t stomach. Literally.)

        As for odd pairings, chocolate and salmon or anchovies. I’ve tried and rejected both. On the other hand, the same shop also does a very nice vegan curried truffle using coconut milk instead of cream that I like a lot.

        • WHO in their right mind would put chocolate with salmon or anchovies? Urgh!

          As for chocolate and peanut butter – I’ve never really thought it would be good until, somewhat against my will, I tried a Haagen-Dazs version of it, and was smitten (smut?).

      • …makes your wish come true! Can’t hold it!
        For your Frey Dark 55% Lemon & Pepper 3.5 oz bar go to Safeway stores (www.safeway.com) and watch out for their Private Label Safeway Select Swiss chocolate assortment.
        You will be amazed! :d

  2. I’m still pissed that I didn’t realize I could get those in Paris at the grocery store! Next time.

      • A, I could ask my muv if she has them in her local hypermarché, and pick them up for you in Jan or Feb when we go to visit her (or even have her mail them, if you’re that desperate).

        T, supplier of esoteric chocolate to the world:d

        • Oh……oh…..

          😮

          no. I must remain firm.

          And HELLZ naw! on the mailing! Those things is heavy! When I got them from J, I nearly fainted at the thought of the postage!

          But! when you go, do see if you can find them – and try one…(and maybe sneak me onnnne back….;))

          xo >-) who still owes somebody boots!

        • I was thinking of you and your chocolate benevolence today, how funny! Thank you again, dear lady!

          • You are so very welcome! How are the girls? Do they need more…? It’s getting a bit late now, but I can ask Margus :0)

            • They are doing well, thank you for asking…and their mother was way ahead of the game this year, so it’s been taken care of!

              Do please give my best holiday wishes to Margus!

  3. Chocolate Marmite (incredibly savoury/salty yeast extract spread) bars have to be the weirdest invention, and I can’t bring myself to try one, even though I like chocolate with salt flakes, chilli etc. And I can’t bear to even think about chocolate-covered ants, bugs, worms etc ….. ugh.

    I’m partial to any chocolate flavoured with rose (looking for the best, so would love suggestions) and love chocolates filled with smooth hazlenut praline.

    • Dolfin! How do I know this? Waaaalll…sitting right next to me on this desk, is a Dolfin Chocolat Noir @};- bar – and it uz goooood! 😉

      xo >-)

      • Dolfin makes a dark chocolate with pink peppercorns (yum) and dark chocolate with lavender (also yum). I thought they also made one with white peppercorns (SOMEbody does, because I’ve enjoyed such a bar) but don’t see it on their website.

        • oh! get back! that sounds TOO good (the pink peppercorn one – remember when every other perfume had pink peppercorn?)

          I’m……hungry!

          xo >-)

    • Marmite? Hmm… while I was brought up on Marmite soldiers with boiled eggs, and have even converted my American husband to Marmite toast (esp under scrambled eggs of an early work morning), I don’t think I could stomach a chocolate bar thus – um – enriched (?).

      • Have you tried splitting open a croissant, buttering it, spreading a thin layer of Marmite, placing a slice of mature cheddar cheese in the middle, putting the top back on and then heating in the oven for about 5 minutes? The sweetness of the croissant balances the saltiness of the Marmite and the cheese adds a lovely, fatty richness! Yum. But I still can’t stomach the thought of Marmite and chocolate.

        • Plenty of fatty richness in a croissant, if it’s made properly

          ;0)

          Actually, no, I’ve not done this, and don’t really fancy the idea, precisely bcs of that thur fatty richness (butter as well? Boy howdy, as my Texan husband would say~). But Marmite and cheese sandwiches, toasted or not – hoo yeah!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Anita! Lemon Pepper Chocolate sounds *amazing*. I’m heading to Monoprix today, so I will try to hunt some down!!! Perfect timing.

  5. Your post made me laugh out loud! Still chuckling!
    Because: Chocolate Frey is just the chocolate brand of the biggest supermarket chain in Switzerland (Migros). It’s actually only sold in their stores, so I very much doubt that you will be able to buy it outside of Switzerland. However, it is indeed exellent quality chocolate, and at a very reasonable price. They do great unexpected flavour combos. Must try the lemon pepper thingy. I think, what distinguishes Swiss chocolate from any other is not that it’s the best in the world, but that you can walk into any supermarket, buy the house brand and still get exellent chocolate.

    • I KNOW! ^:)^ Who’dathunk you could get such incredibly interesting chocolate at the grocery store – I mean, a Grocery Store Brand?

      xo >-)

      • I think you get Frey in the equivalent of Kroger, am I right? 😕 That’s what makes it so funny – can you imagine Kroger brand chocolate bars being that good?

        xo >-)

  6. Chocolate and ginger, chocolate and orange—love those. Chocolate with lavender is interesting. My guilty-pleasure chocolate is chocolate covered pretzels; even when they’re made with crap chocolate, they’re hard to resist. Oh, and those raspberry-jelly rings covered with chocolate. Yum. Great post, A.

    • You have incredibly eclectic chocolate tastes, Francesca – and I say that in all ^:)^ . I find myself somewhat ashamed at my pedestrian resistance to new chocolate experiences…but I am funny ’bout mah chocolate. I rarely waste those tastebuds (and calories) on anything not pre-supposed to be great, which is kind of silly. :”>

      xo >-)

    • Chocolate with lavender is divine – one, the lavender is a very delicate taste, but the scent with the chocolate…*happy sigh*

        • One of my favorite cookie recipes is for lemon-lavender cookies. They’re mostly a shortbread infused with lemon juice, then little lavender buds. The lemon-butter frosting is then sprinkled with the remaining lavender. House smells heavenly, and they’re great with tea.

  7. Target had some fun chocolates for awhile, but they really seemed to stop all at once. Now it’s pedestrian stuff again. Wonder what happened.

    Will recommend another citrus & pepper bar, although it’s harder to find, and more expensive: Madecasse Pink Pepper & Citrus. I pay $5.99 for them at a local Whole-Foods-Wannabe place called Fresh Source. It’s better chocolate than the Frey bar, actually much better, but it ought to be for that price, right?

    • I’m going to look for this. Even at that price, the notion of pepper and chocolate is too interesting to pass up.

      • Then you might also want to try Dolfin with pink pepper (Noir Au Poivre Rose). Hachez makes a strawberry pepper, but I hated it (it’s VERY dark chocolate) and then Taza (they make those round Mexican chocolate bars, also regularly shaped bars) makes a nice salt & pepper bar. And someone else makes a salt & pepper bar but now I can’t think of who.

        • Aha…looked it up. Olive & Sinclair, from Nashville. Very nice bar. Can’t remember where I bought it though. The others you can mostly get at Chocosphere, although ordering from Chocosphere is starting down a very slippery slope :)

    • Oh, snap! I remember they were trying to get Target to start carrying those again! I will join the cause. I WILL! (*)

      xo >-)

    • Yet ANOTHER one I have never really tried. I’m a glazed (or powdered sugar) ONLY gal.

      See what I mean? :”> Anthony Bourdain would step on my tongue!

      xo >-)

  8. What a great post! You had me doubling over with laughter. That lemon-pepper chocolate does sound divine. And you’ve activated my Recchiuti lemming again, dangnabit!

    • Yeah, I know on the Recchiutis. I wish Michael would let me manage a store in Chicago. I would ROCK THAT!

      xo >-)

  9. received a Xmas box of treats from my mom yesterday. She sent the most amazing cupcakes ever. Dense, dark but moist chocolate cake covered with chopped nuts surrounded a cream cheese with chocolate chips center. Seriously?

    I’m also a big fan of salty/choc pairings. Pretzels and nuts with chocolate, and even popcorn and chocolate together.

  10. LOVE that Frey lemon-pepper bar. We got the same care package. :d I don’t like gooey fillings in my bars, and I’m not a big fan of fruit/nuts either, although oddly I get the occasional Cadbury Fruit & Nut for the movies…. The Mo’s DARK chocolate and bacon is delicious IMO, but I’ve had several people return them to me saying that’s disgusting.

    My favorite weird chocolates courtesy of Robin at NST are the Dolfins: bergamot, green tea, pink pepper, cumin, cardamom, etc., scroll down to the bottom and they have sample square sets:

    http://www.chocosphere.com/Html/Products/dolfin.html

    • A link to chocolate indulgences that sound like perfume. My kind of wicked! Thanks, March! :)

    • March – people have *returned* chocolate bars to you? Ungrateful blighters! :o

      • Yeah, but it beats them throwing it away – especially if it’s something you love and it’s hard to get! I sent a scrab of the original LP to March – had I sent her an entire bar and she hated the first little snip …I would’ve welcomed that bar’s return.

        Alas, she loved it! /:)

        ;))

        xo >-)

  11. Also, I remember those Hostess finger-thingies! They tasted great in their pre-packaged non-food way…

      • Of course! I have a Hostess outlet in the next town. I think Suzy Qs are actually BETTER when they’re just a bit stale. I like when the cakeish stuff is a bit stiffer, which is prolly more than you needed to know about my chemical lemmings :”>

        March, I tried Googling “Hostess Fingers” and you would not believe what came up. Nothing remotely connected to Interstate Brands, that’s for sure! ;))

        xo >-)

      • Oh yes, ours was called the “Wonder Hostess Thrift Shop”! We would joke about it being used food, since it was called a thrift store. And my mom sure is thrifty. Loved cupcakes, ho-hos and twinkies back then. Not so much on the fruit pies.

        • b-( on the fruit pies, since I don’t like cooked fruit. Back in the 80s, Spy Magazine did the funniest story on the half-life of Twinkies. They are most definitely an Artificial Food Group.

          xo >-)

  12. Good chocolate with anything. I’m at work right now, popping a Lindt dark chocolate Lindor ball. Big chocolatey kisses for you, dear Musette!

  13. guiltilly sitting in Switzerland and admitting that I don’t like the lemon&pepper combo… if you’re adventurous you can try making your own concoctions: add what you want after melting plain (white/milk/dark) chocolate, I’ve tried things like e.g. rose-water (strange), nutmeg (yummy, but don’t exaggerate with the dosage), but no squid (yet? not really)…Tips: Use only dry or oily ingredients. If you’re not tempering your chocolate correctly the texture won’t be great, but it will keep a couple of days. It’s a fun thing to do with kids (although somewhat messy)

    • Bee, that’s okay. No guilt! The lemon pepper was one of those lucky flukes. Imagine how I feel, not liking fruit/chocolate combos in general. People look at me like I’m an >-)

      Oh, wait! I am!

      ;))

  14. I’m focussing on the *pepper* aspect of your hilarious post, Musette. In Milwaukee last year I drank the most amazing beer. I selected the bottle from all the others on offer because of the attractive label design: a bird on a tree stump. I took one sip (or gulp) and *whoa*–what’s in this stuff!? Yes, it was infused with cracked black pepper. It’s called Knot Stock by Furthermore beer. Sure wish I could buy it where I live.

    • Funny how pepper enhances so many ‘odd’ things, innit? 😕 I’m not a beer fan but that one sounds intriguing!

      xo >-)

  15. Musette, haven’t you been to Vosges on Armitage? It’s my favorite, and they have lots of strange flavor combinations. My favorite is the chocolate and bacon (Mo’s Bacon Bar), but they also have chocolate and curry, and chocolate and wasabi. I bet you would like the chocolate and goji berry. The next time you come to the city you should check it out. They are $$, but that saves me from eating too much of it!

    • Yes, yes, to the Vosges! I first discovered it on in a little store they had on Michigan Avenue (same shopping complex as Nordstrom – wonder if it’s still there?). Love their exotic flavors although the curry one was not quite to my taste.

      • Ann, it’s still there.

        jirish, I’m one of the few people who are not overwhelmingly in love with Katrina’s stuff – some of it, yes. But on the whole I just didn’t fall in love with the line. Weird, I know.

        And chocolate and bacon is NOT something I’m going anywhere near. I can’t. I love :@) too much as it is. What if I fall in love? I’ll weigh 400 lbs before the next dawn!

        xo >-)

    • My favorite is the Goji Berry. It sounds awful, and it’s amazing. I do think at $7.50(?) their bars are overpriced.

    • Yep. They also opened a shop on Beverly Drive. Wirh Madame Chocolate on Canon and Teuscher on Camden, BH is now chocolate central..

      • And that, my darling, is Just As It Orta Be. Chocolate, Diamonds, Champagne. And a Bentley dealership.

        And Roscoe’s (though I don’t see Roscoe’s in BH, do you? Georgia comes closest (is it still over on Melrose?) but they don’t do the Roscoe’s waffle. Nobody does. But Roscoe’s. On Gower. Where It Belongs.

        [-(

        xoxoxo >-)

  16. I love the Chuao Firecracker one – darkish choc, cayenne, those pop-rock crunchy bits that explode in your mouth… they make me giggle, and what’s not to love about treats that make you laugh?

    I like berry-chocolate and orange-chocolate too (not the fruit-filled ones) but what I LOVE is dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts – Ritter Sport does a great one.

    I cannot even touch milk chocolate anymore, unless it’s covering pretzels.

    • A dark milk is actually pretty good – there are several that are a perfect melange, tending more towards semi-sweet than milk. I’m usually right between semi and bitter in my tastes.

      Pop-Rocks in Chocolate! That sounds like fun! And you’re right, treats that make you laugh are the best. Well, that’s not true. Treats that make you moan are the best! But laugh is right behind!

      xo >-)

    • There is a Chuao store in the mall across from my office, so I pick things up there often. I like the individual sized ones to try things out instead of buying a whole bar. The pop rocks one totally made me laugh as well!

  17. It’s a long-standing joke in our family that women need their Vitamin M (Vitamin M = M&Ms = chocolate). It didn’t take my son long to learn that if he wanted a favor from Mom, come bearing chocolate and his chance of success would rise meteorically.

    It’s tough to find a chocolate I don’t like. I’ve even choked down chocolate covered ants (once, on a bet). And I can’t leave Ghirardelli baking chocolate in the house unless I’ve got specific plans for it, because it sits in the cupboard singing its siren’s song until I fall under its spell.

    I haven’t tried too many exotic chocolates, but for sheer hedonistic delight, there’s nothing I enjoy more than frothed Mexican hot chocolate with chipotle. It’s like cozying up to a Siberian Lynx — incredibly soft, smooth and warm until it turns around and sinks its teeth into your throat.

      • Thank you most kindly, ma’am. :d

        Surprisingly, the ants weren’t bad. If I hadn’t known what I was eating, I’d have probably enjoyed them. They tasted like bits of a Nestle’s Crunch bar.

        • That makes perfect sense! We have these infestations of teeny little ants every couple years or so, come early summer (weird timing but I’m not an ant, so what do I know)…anyhoo, I have gotten a couple in various food preps and you’re right – they’re mostly just crunchy!

          xo >-)

  18. Frey – bah. Here in Switzerland if you’re grocery store shopping Cailler is the only way to go. But they don’t do a lot of fun flavors. I am a big fan of the British Green and Black chocolate – their Maya Gold (orange) is great as is their mint. There’s a shop in London called Rococco (sp?) that is divine. They have all the trendy flavors – lavender chocolate, green tea, Earl Grey tea flavored and a Rose Pepper that is delicious. And now that I am living here in the land of chocolate I was recently introduced to Tristan’s chocolate in the village of Bougy-Villars. Billed as the “best chocolate in Switzerland” and I truly think their claim is legit. It is divine. So smooth and such subtlety of flavors. It’s like a drug.

    But ok. I’ll try the Frey lemon pepper! (I’ll probably love it.)

    • Frey/Migros does have a somewhat cheap image, but I’ve been told that in professional blind tastings the Frey line repeatedly comes up as one of the best swiss industrial chocolates…

      • well the beauty of it is, over here, we don’t know it’s cheap! We just know it’s goooood! 😡

        xoxox >-)

    • And if you do, you must come back and report, okay? 😉

      btw – you Swissies and your incredible chocolate options. I am GREEEEEN with envy! Green!

      except when I’m >-)

    • I’ve been told that Frey is the no 1 chocolate brand in Switzerland… and guess what I am eating in this second….

      …yummiieee…

      lovin’ it ;)

  19. In college I lived on the International floor in dorms and I had a neighbor from Taiwan. She was always receiving care packages from home with strange foodstuffs and she’d wander into my room saying, “Try This!” I quickly learned she wasn’t offended if I spit it out but she was offended if I refused. One time it was chocolate covered dried fish, (The fish had been rolled in salt and pepper.) I couldn’t get that horrible taste out of my mouth for days and after that whenever I saw her coming I’d yell, “That better not be fish!”

    • =))

      omg! OMG!

      That better not be fish!!!

      I can’t thank you enough for the biggest laugh of the day!
      ^:)^

      xo >-)

      • Gawd it’s like I can taste that again just talking about it! Worst thing I’ve ever tasted.

  20. Mussette, don’t you know? You ARE That Cool.

    I found the Lemon Pepper Lintz bar in the Munich airport. I bought it because it sounded GROSS, and I needed to bring back something for a friend who had introduced me to Lintz’ sea salt and dark chocolate bars. (When you have a bad day, they fix it.) I also picked up some other yummy-sounding chocolate bars, to make up for the potential disaster the Lemon-Pepper-Chocolate-That-Someone-Confused-With-Dead-Sea-Life bar. She said it was…unique.

    The only weird chocolate concoction I truly do not like is the dark chocolate and jalepeno combo. The poor abused chocolate! I keep one bar of it in the cabinet as my Emergency Supply. I won’t eat it unless I am truly desperate.It has survived over a year in the pantry.

    • :”> thank you!

      And….I was stunned! really! to find out how much I liked that LP bar. It was just so much NOT what I thought it would be. But I think it has to be handled carefully – too much in either direction and it skeeves into b-( territory.

      I like a little heat in my chocolate (being part-Latina will do that to a gal) but not too much – again, it’s a delicate balance!

      xo >-)

  21. In the US, Dagoba makes some good combos (raspberry/rose; lavender/blueberry; chiles) and they’re pretty easy to find in Whole Foods-type stores.

    I just made an apple pie with green chiles and pine nuts and it’s fabulous. I love chiles in anything… need to find that Firecracker bar.

    I am loyal to See’s, and their chocolate-covered ginger is the best.

    (Hostess Fingers– don’t remember them, but there was a banana thing for a while, wasn’t there? Banana Dreams or something like that?)

    • Hostess fingers morphed into ….Ding Dongs? No. hang on (runs over to the Hostess site) okay! …either Zingers or HoHos, I think. The fingers were way more delicate than that (and this was back when Hostess used actual CHOCOLATE in their cakes – at least a little bit)…..sigh.

      Banana in anything other than bananas isn’t something I actively seek out. Except! Banana popsicles. Yum!

      That pie sounds lovely!

      xo >-)

    • Those are incredible! Back when Costco’s Clybourn Ave Store roasted their own coffee (and sold it for $5.35/2.5#IamnotkiddinganditwasGOOD) that, plus the almonds, made the yearly gouge worth it!

      now….:-< xo >-)

  22. I’ll eat just about anything covered in chocolate, up to and including fish.

    I saw a recipe for chocolate covered goat cheese truffles somewhere recently (just covered in chocolate, not mixed together), that I’d like to track down and attempt.

    I’m a fan of the Mo’s bacon bar, but my favorite Vosges is the Naga, which is a combo of chocolate, curry and coconut. Ahh. Ridiculously priced, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying it, or perfume, for that matter.

    • Oh, dear. At this rate Anthony Bourdain won’t even speak to me….:”>

      I hate sweet coconut. Coconut cake (and I make a divine one, so I am told) b-( Macaroons b-(

      Savory-based coconut? Whole ‘nother Yum!

      weird, innit?

      xo >-)

  23. I recently bought some dark chocolate with crystallized ginger which sounded amazing to me, but it was totally gross — tasted like Thai food. Blech. (I like Thai food, but not in my chocolate.) I gave it away.

    My favorite lately is Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt.

    • I’m not a fan of chocolate and ginger, either! See what I mean? Anthony Bourdain and his ilk have crossed my name off the list of Cool Eaters! [-(

      xo >-)

  24. I am pretty similar to you in that I don’t like fruit in my chocolate and am happy with a smooth 60-65% chocolate. My husband likes 70-80% – that tastes like dirt to me. My absolute favorite now is Chocolove dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. Favorite combos with chocolate are mint and almonds (separately of course!). Other fun ones are Chuao Panko bar (with panko breadcrumbs!) and Chuao Firecracker bar (with pop rocks!). I thought the pop rocks would be just gimmicky, but I actually really liked it. They do some wacky combos in their individual pieces – balsalmic vinegar, goat cheese, chipotle, green tea, etc. I do like a little heat and/or cinnamon in my chocolate too, Mexican style.

    • I’ll have to try the pop rocks! You and mals have both vetted it, so it prolly won’t ook me out!

      Goat cheese and chocolate Just Sounds Wrong. b-(

      xo >-)

      • I truly love that pop rocks thing. I double-checked, it’s got chipotle, sea salt, and them pop rocky bits. Yum. My two older kids love it, too. (CEO won’t touch the stuff, but that’s his loss.)

    • That Chocolove with sea salt and almonds is GREAT! Something about that combo suggests toffee. Wonderful!

  25. I’m a philistine compared to you guys! Ya’ll can send that nasty milk chocolate to me. Filled with fruit is just fine. ;)

    • There are some excellent milks out there! And I dare anybody to best a Hershey’s Kiss.

      Don’t feel all Philistineish! Except for the fruit thing b-(

      ;))

      xo >-)

  26. Great post! I love dark chocolate too, although my happy percentage is around 75%-80%. It’s interesting to eat dark chocolate for a while and then try to go back to milk chocolate – I just can’t! Milk chocolate tastes like a cube of sugar compared to the 75%.

    When I was in Switzerland a couple of years ago for a student conference, they had organized a scavenger hunt around the town and one of the stops was a chocolate store. The task was to try each of the 8 different kinds of chocolate made in-house and write down the main ingredients. Needless to say, it was a very pleasant task! I remember trying a chocolate bar laced with wasabi, and another with hot chili pepper powder. Both were unusual but quite delicious. I had no luck finding chocolate back in Canada that was even near the quality and uniqueness of the ones in Switzerland – but I guess that means that I’ll just have to go back! :)

    • I would’ve never finished that scavenger hunt. They would’ve found me, days later, in a back corner of that shop…..:d

      xo >-)

  27. Unimaginable pairings? “Chocolate sauce on scrambled eggs” was my uncle’s standard answer to the question whether there was any dish he would refuse to try.

      • Oh shoot, I mistyped/misquoted my uncle: it was “chocolate sauce on FRIED eggs”. (I hate fried eggs myself, so apparently my subconscious was trying to ruin scrambled eggs, which I do like!)

  28. I tend to eat very dark chocolate because a) it is good for you and b) it’s intense, so I can keep it around without risk of inhaling a whole bar at once. After eating dark chocolate exclusively for a while, it just seems normal.

    The Godiva 85 or 86 percent cocoa bar is great, and I really enjoy the Lindt Excellence Supreme Dark 90% cocoa bar. I approached it with trepidation, expecting it to be bitter, like baking chocolate, but it is surprisingly mellow and very good.

    That said, if I knew I had three days to live I’d be eating old-fashioned “turtles” – caramel topped with pecan halves and covered in chocolate. ;-)

    • Not if El O were anywhere near, you wouldn’t! ;)) He wouldn’t care if you were gasping out your last breath, he’d snatch those turtles so fast….

      The only ‘milk’ I do is Hershey’s Kisses, which are perfect (I cannot stand when they mess with them, adding dark, adding nuts….STEP AWAY FROM THE KISS! 8-x ) – but I’m nowhere near your level of dark-love. Though your choices are tempting…:-?

      xo >-)

      • LOL – El O has great taste (as we already know based on his choice of bride), but I guess one should ALWAYS take care to have lots of extra turtles on hand, regardless of who else is around. They do tend to disappear rapidly!

  29. I love chocolate but unfortunately can’t eat much of it. How-evah — I love the combo of chocolate and hot chili that originated with the Aztecs. The DH makes hot chocolate with a generous dash of ancho powder and it’s perfect.

  30. Hey Sweetie – if you want to get yourself a Swiss choccy supplier lined up, I’m sure my buddies Potiron and Ali are up for swaps! There are a few US perfume makers that are really hard to get hold of here in Europe! :)
    18 months ago I’d have been offering, but I moved back to Wales. Sorry!

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