Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Sacrament, March 7, 2009

This week, your Chocolate Priestess will reveal the nature of one of two related products from the CVS store brand "Absolutely Divine," which purports to support "responsible farming" practices. The chain recently had a sale on its 3.5oz bars of 70% and 30% cacao products. This week I will lead you through the darker version, and next week we will uncover the milk chocolate version.

The "Intense Dark Chocolate Bar" comes in a gold and dark blue paper wrapper that has two flip tabs you can use to open it. Inside, the bar is again wrapped, this time in gold-colored Mylar that only opened easily on one end. Several claims are found on the back of the paper wrapper. First, it states that each piece (there are 10 individual squares etched into the bar) "delivers heart-healthy antioxidants." Furthermore, it states that it is all-natural, and indeed the only ingredients are "chocolate liquor, sugar, and chocolate liquor processed with alkali and cocoa butter," rendering it free from trans fats, gluten, sodium and added oils. The 3.5oz bar is actually 2.5 servings, so be aware of that if you eat this product.

Upon opening up the gold Mylar the scent of dark chocolate rushed up into my nose and made my eyes blink. This initial scent, though, dissipated over a few minutes. The bar does not feel greasy or waxy to my touch, and most surprisingly, the 10 squares break quickly and smoothly. Your Chocolate Priestess can't remember the last time this happened with a bar whose pieces were partially cut into it.

The pieces are not quite squares, measuring 1.5 by 1.75 inches, but they do make for easy handling and tasting. Taking one, I breathe in the scent deeply, slightly disappointed that the intensity I first felt when I opened the gold Mylar is no longer there. Each piece has a border etched into it as well as the letters A and D.

Biting into it is a bit of a challenge, and 1/4 of it snaps off into my mouth with very little melting on my lips. Likewise it almost refuses to melt on my tongue even when I caress it gently, so I must bite into it. The taste is indeed dark, with barely any sugar or sweetness from it detectable, but I would not classify it as "intense," merely a touch bitter.

In three more bites I have eaten the first piece, and each experience is the same. In terms of consistencies, this bar is a champion of simple unadulterated darker chocolate. But this taste, the texture on my tongue and in my mouth, the scent — they do not create a rush in my mind and soul. It is simply solid dark chocolate that leaves a slight bitter aftertaste behind. For the sale price of a dollar it is an acceptable product, though it did not aid me this week in feeling closer to the Divine by adding that extra rush to my senses.

Next week I will reveal the nature of its companion bar, the 30% cacao milk chocolate.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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