Chocolate Sunday – a bit of decadence

This is my first Chocolate Sunday post in a while. After my blogging hiatus in the summer, I found it hard to get back in gear. I also realized over the ensuing months that I preferred a looser blogging schedule, at least for a while, so that I could post four days a week if I liked, or less often if it suited me.

But I’ve been hoarding ideas, and I’ve got three chocolate-related items on my desk that have been begging to be blogged about – reminders of why I like to blog about chocolate in the first place.

These are real treats. A bit of decadence, even to read about.

hedonist chocolates1. My son brought me some coconut curry bark from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates in Rochester, NY, last year. What a great mix of flavours! And not too much heat. Delicious.

 

 

flagrants desirs2. A few months ago, at a Montreal dépanneur, I discovered French chocolate bars called Flagrants Désirs. The name just hints at the description on the package, which promises “a sensuous gourmet moment in every bite.” Dark Caramel & Sea Salt was especially tempting. But I think it sounds more decadent in French – Caramel et Fleur de Sel.

 

chocoMe3. I was at Toronto’s annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo in November, and swooned over ChocoMe chocolate, a high-end brand with unusual and quality ingredients. I took home a square of dark chocolate topped with crystallized rose petals and freeze-dried sour cherry pieces, and another with crystallized violet petals, pistachio, and freeze-dried sour cherry pieces.

I’m enjoying them all vicariously just writing about them.

 

 

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Chocolate Sunday – Chocolate Show in Toronto/Chocolate Fun in Niagara!

Toronto’s fourth annual Luxury Chocolate Show is coming up November 2, and I probably won’t get there. Sigh! I enjoyed it so much last year. It’s the final event of a larger chocolate festival, which includes chocolate high tea at the King Edward Hotel.

There are also coupons available if you click on “Chocolicious” (under events) on the chocolate festival page. One of the coupons in particular caught my eye – the one for Criveller, in Niagara Falls, Ontario – because it ties into what I wanted to write about in this post.

Last Sunday, my husband and I rented bikes in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and planned to cycle the wine route.

We added an extra stop to our route when we learned that there’s a chocolate factory in St. David’s, about a 12-km ride from where we started. It opened in 2005. How did I not know this before?

Much to my chagrin, my husband – who was leading the way – overshot the chocolate factory. Pretty much everyone I know cycles faster than I do.

chocolate f:x factory

If you don’t want to go right past Chocolate F/X like we did, this is what it looks like.

I caught up with him near the entrance to Ravine Winery, and we decided to check it out before heading back to Chocolate F/X.

We had a light lunch (soup and a sour cream/chive muffin), and after tasting a couple of wines, headed to Ravine’s “grocery” store to try an oversized, over icing-sugared doughnut.

chocolate mousse doughnut ravine winery

Ravine Winery’s chocolate mousse-filled doughnut – decadent!

I wasn’t particularly tempted by it until I found out that it was stuffed with… wait for it… chocolate mousse. Whoa! It wasn’t just a doughnut; it was an experience! Messy, fun to eat, and more than enough for two people. We got lucky with the chocolate mousse, because they rotate fillings.

While we were waiting in line, we spoke to a local woman, who recommended Criveller. We’ll have to check it out next time we’re in Niagara Falls.

At Chocolate F/X, we took a 20-minute tour. More fun, and a variety of samples. We bought some milk chocolate maple walnuts and two dark chocolate peanut butter cups. We were advised to hold the peanut butter cups upside-down to eat, because the chocolate top is thicker than the bottom. Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Sunday – Be choosy about chocolate!

This week, the news about chocolate was kind of disappointing. This article from The Globe and Mail says that health benefits are “unlikely,” because the amount of resveratrol is not high enough in a typical diet to create the kind of benefits that have been hyped. Resveratrol is a compound found in chocolate, which is thought to be linked to reduced inflammation and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. Sigh.

But another article in Forbes ends on a more positive note, saying that a little bit of chocolate and red wine “may do you good.” It also says there may be other substances in chocolate that are beneficial.

The good news is that nobody is saying to avoid chocolate. Just have it in moderation. Which we knew, anyway.

But it got me thinking. If you’re going to consciously limit your chocolate intake – and maybe limit it further – what is the very best chocolate? The most decadent?

I think if you’re going to have just a small amount, it should be a chocolate you can savour. Something rich and maybe expensive, so you won’t be as tempted to overindulge.

The first two chocolates that come to my mind are Valrhona and any high-quality chocolate truffle, the kind you buy one-at-a-time because they are so rich. Like the truffles at Cocolat in San Francisco, circa 1984. But they were so big that I’m not sure they qualified as something to eat “in moderation,” unless you shared one with a friend.

What comes to your mind? Is one chocolate enough, if it’s perfection?

Hmmm.