these chocolate covered strawberries are heavenly. personally i have never been a fan of the chocolate dip, but the boys at chocolate covered company have come up with something sneaky - - - magnificence! i am now a believer... this chocolate is not waxy and the strawberry is lush, huge, and it has flavor (it is no where near those genetically modified tasteless strawberries). the large berries are quite elegant with colored streams and the smaller berries are adorable with miniature heart sprinkles. the packaging is in a silver box and they are cushioned really well for shipping.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
notes: dried fruit, raisin, prune juice, pepper, full-bodied, sweet
theo takes you to an old polo lounge with an octogenarian bar tender. He is an incredible raconteur and your new best friend. the bar is very boozy with direct hits of currant, prunes, and whisky. there is a nice peppery spice that appears very mildly in the background.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
what a clever little bar. this chocolate is comprised of grapefruit and chile peppers. it is a bar i highly recommend getting. you are hit with a citrus punch and left with a lingering hot pepper tickle.
by the way, get a jar of piment d'espelette to make a perfect goat cheese salad. just sprinkle it onto a flattened ball of goat cheese... put it in the broiler on top of thinly sliced french bread... then place it on your perfect salad (dressing made with french mustard, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, herbes du provence, and balsamic). if you want the full recipe, leave a comment and i will get it to you.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
this is a great novelty bar. it is completely amusing and at first bite, you will find a very active party in your mouth. one might think that the crunchy chocolate has rice crispies in it - - - actually it is full of unflavoured pop-rocks. once the chocolate melts onto the tongue, the pops go off like wildfire... and once you think it is over, the popping still continues (do this as the last bar for a chocolate tasting or wait some time for the next bar). the milk chocolate is very smooth and creamy but it would be great to see them carry this in dark. this bar is entertaining and quite shocking.
dale and thomas popcorn (while your there, get a bag of white cheddar and black peppercorn popcorn)
notes: creme brulee, butter, sweet, toffee
Friday, January 18, 2008
the bar is molded with angels at each corner. i am thrilled that every single detail including the taste is absolutely gorgeous.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The actual flavor compounds found in dark chocolate exceed those of red wine, and detecting all these notes can be an extremely fun and educational endeavor. The following will serve as a guideline so that you can extract the fullest flavor potential from dark chocolate.
- Find a location free from background noise, such as television, music, a crying baby, road traffic noise or just talkative friends etc. Being able to concentrate as intently as possible will facilitate flavor detection.
- Clear your palate. This means that your mouth should not contain residual flavors from a previous meal. Eat a wedge of apple or piece of bread if necessary. This is crucial in order to taste the subtleties of chocolate's complex flavor.
- Make sure that the piece of chocolate is large enough to accommodate full evolution of the flavor profile. A piece too small may not allow you to detect every subtle nuance as the chocolate slowly melts. The important thing to remember is that flavor notes gradually evolve and unfold on the tongue rather than open up in one large package. So remember, don't think small here. 10g should be a minimum starting point.
- Allow the chocolate to rest at room temperature before tasting. Cold temperatures will hinder your ability to detect the flavors. Some even advise that you rub the chocolate briefly between your fingers to coax the flavor. This procedure is optional.
- Look at the chocolate. The surface should be free of blemishes such as white marks (called bloom). Observe the color and manufacturer's job at molding and tempering. Does the chocolate appear to have been crafted carefully or slovenly? The bar should have a radiant sheen. Chocolate comes in a multifarious brown rainbow with various tints, such as pinks, purples, reds, and oranges. What do you see?
- Break the piece in half. It should resonate with a resounding "SNAP!" and exhibit a fine gradient along the broken edge. This is quality stuff!
- Smell the chocolate, especially at the break point. The aroma is an important component of flavor. Inhaling will prime the tongue for the incoming chocolate. It also gives you a chance to pick up the various nuances of the aroma.
- Place the chocolate on the tongue and allow it to arrive at body temperature. Let it melt. Chew it only to break it into small enough pieces that it begins to melt on its own. After all, we're tasting and not eating! This step is crucial, for it allows the cocoa butter to distribute evenly in the mouth, which mutes any astringencies or bitterness in the chocolate.
- Observe the taste and texture. As the chocolate melts, concentrate on the flavors that are enveloping your tongue. Melting will release more volatile compounds for you to smell. Close your eyes, take notes, enjoy this moment of bliss, and bask in contentment. Texture can be the most obvious clue about the quality of a chocolate. Low quality chocolates will have a grainy almost cement-like texture.
- Now the chocolate is nearing its finish. How has the flavor evolved? Is the chocolate bitter? Heavy? Light? Was the texture smooth or grainy? Do any changes in texture and flavor occur? Take note of how the chocolate leaves the palate. Is there a strong reminder lingering in your mouth, or does it quickly vanish? Note any metallic or unpleasant flavors in the finish. This is a sign of stale or lower quality chocolate.
- Repeat the process with a different chocolate. The comparison will highlight the subtle flavor notes in each chocolate. By sure to cleanse your palate thoroughly before tasting each different chocolate.
- Dark chocolate (as opposed to other kinds of chocolate) is considered healthy, and recommended for daily consumption in small amounts to maintain a healthy heart and lower cholesterol.
- Dark chocolate is also an excellent energy source because it releases slowly into the bloodstream and does not elevate insulin levels. (Indeed, dark chocolate has a GI rating of a mere 22.) As a result, the sustained energy it provides is ideal for endurance activities and even weight training routines.
- If you don't like dark chocolate, start with a very mild dark chocolate such as 45-55% cacao. A good example of this is Bournville, an easily available brand (in the UK) with distinctive packaging. Mild dark chocolate will taste similar to milk chocolate and won't be too bitter. If you are more adventurous, you can get dark chocolates that go all the way up to 100% cacao (i.e., unsweetened).
- The formation of whitish spots, or bloom, on chocolate is due to a separation of some of the fat in the chocolate. While it affects the aesthetics of the chocolate somewhat, it isn't harmful to eat or use chocolate that has bloomed. Bloom is related to heat and humidity, so store chocolate in a cool, dry place free of odors.
- Remember that most of all, you should enjoy dark chocolate, and don't be too pretentious because you'll turn people off instead of turning them on to dark chocolate.
- from wikihow.com
Thursday, January 10, 2008
amano has an excellent texture and taste - - - the chocolate is very smooth and earthy. i taste truffles - a forest full! this bar is also incredibly sensuous and it got nigel quite excited! if you are seeking a fine chocolate or feeling lonely, definitely check this company out!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
by Mangesh - January 2, 2008
If you love Cadbury’s chocolates, you definitely owe a note of thanks to the Society of Friends. As a young man, Cadbury hoped to pursue a career in medicine or law. But because Quakers were discriminated against by all of the major universities at the time, John decided to focus on business. Believing that alcohol only exacerbated society’s ills, Cadbury decided to focus on a happy alternative: chocolate and drinking cocoas. In addition to his views on temperance, Cadbury was also a bit of an activist. He led a campaign to stop the use of boys as chimney sweeps, and he founded an organization to prevent animal cruelty.
With all the nation making such a big deal about Kennedy being a Catholic, it’s interesting to note that old Milhous Nixon was born and raised Quaker. According to the web, his strict mother instilled conservative Quaker values in him (no swearing, drinking or dancing). When he couldn’t afford to go to Harvard (despite earning a scholarship there), he attended Whitter- a local Quaker college where he became class President, started a frat, practiced with the football team, and even spent his Sundays teaching Sunday school to little tykes. The most interesting part of his faith to me, though, isn’t that the non-violent doctrine conflicted with his personal views on Vietnam, but rather that his straightlaced upbringing hindered his ability to communicate as a family lawyer. According to wikipedia, “He later wrote that family law cases caused him particular discomfort, since his reticent Quaker upbringing was severely at odds with the idea of discussing intimate marital details with strangers.”