When asked about my favourite foods, I have a difficult time replying because there are so many good foods out there that I would miss if stranded on a deserted island. Cheese is probably one of the top ones on my list, but I would also have to include chocolate as well.
I was one of those kids who would eat anything with chocolate. Smarties, Coffee Crisps (even though I don’t like coffee), Kit Kats, Peanut Butter Cups, Mr. Big, Cadbury Fruit & Nut… the list could go on and on.
As I get older though, I find I don’t like the sickly sweet taste of cheap chocolates and increasingly lean towards darker chocolates and more sophisticated blends.
Some of my current favourites include:
- Green & Black‘s organic dark chocolate hazelnut and currant, the ginger and cherry flavours are good too but a little harder to find in big bars;
- Kerstin’s Chocolates – Chocophilia Lemon Dream (white chocolate with candied lemon), Chocophilia Mad Orange Pistachio (Madagascar 64% dark chocolate with candied orange), Kerstin’s Chocolate Caviar (cocoa nibs dipped in 64% dark chocolate, then rolled in cocoa powder); and to a lesser extent
- Bernard Callebaut‘s dark chocolate bars and hand made chocolates – Leaf (black current and milk chocolate ganache), Manon (marzipan, walnut and meringue), Celeste truffle (dark chocolate ganache), Cinnamon Ginger (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and bittersweet ganache). I don’t eat this as often as I’m finding his stuff a little too sweet now.
Kerstin’s Cocoa Room retail store is a neat little place. She offers chocolate tastings and chocolate making classes; her tasting class is where I learned about and tasted chocolate made from the different kinds of cacao. I was amazed to find that they really do taste a little different from each other and that variety and origin can change a piece of chocolate quite a bit. An easy comparison would be to how coffee has different tastes depending on where it’s grown. I furiously made notes the whole time I was there, while most people just enjoyed the chocolate. 🙂
The catalyst for this post was actually this post in Serious Eats about cacao. Everyone previously thought there were three kinds of cacao – criollo, forastero, nacional, and a hybrid of criollo and forastero called trinitario. Cacao genetic investigations has discovered that forastero be split up into eight varities: Amelonado, Contamana, Curaray, Guiana, Iquitos, Maranon, Nanay and Purus.
This will probably mean nothing to you unless you’ve tried single origin bars. Don’t mind my babbling. But I do encourage you to branch out your chocolate options a little and try something other than a regular candy bar. You might be blown away by the difference.