Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gifts of Chocolate from Three Friends

Some of my friends whether they live close to me or in another country, give me gifts of chocolate.  To thank them and also to continue our reviews here on The Chocolate Cult I tend to collect a few and then review them as a group.

The first gift was a bar from Sylvarose who has posted comments here several times.  This was for my birthday and it was a brand of chocolate I've had before but not since starting The Chocolate Cult and definitely not this variety.  Chocolove has several varieties but this one is the "Cherries & Almonds in Dark Chocolate" with 55% cocoa content in 3.5 oz which made this a big bar by candy bar standards.


This one bar has 18 squares of chocolate or 6 squares per serving; the squares are easy to break apart though I did get pieces of chocolate on my hands.  The chocolate melted in my mouth, the almonds were visible and crunchy, but the cherries were dried and hidden under the little domes on top that I hope this photo can show.  I liked it a lot but I'm glad that it is also easily broken up to be shared since I want to practice Moderation for you all.

Then my friend Peter sent me two bars of chocolate from a shop in his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.  We've had Canadian chocolate before, so far been pleased each time, but these were unique flavors to say the least.  The company is called Xoxolat  but pronounced sho sho la with long vowels.  Both bars are made with organic and fair trade chocolate which will matter to many of you, Sisters and Brothers.

The first bar I tried of this pair was the "Westcoast Breakfast" which has maple carmelized bacon and espresso in 52% deep milk chocolate which is really odd because that would be, without a doubt, dark chocolate in any American's mind.  The top is very pretty with these etched cocoa pods both open to show the beans and unopened.  It has a very strong coffee scent and normally when that happens I ask one of our two Mocha Acolytes to try something for me.  But this was a gift so I need to try it myself. I can see pieces of something in it that must be the bacon.  The espresso is very intense but the chocolate manages to make it through though the coffee truly dominates.  The bacon is crunchy at first then very chewy.  I don't really taste a carmelized anything however though the bacon's own taste comes through right at the end.

The second bar has more a description than a name "Sea Salt & Triple Peppercorns" in 73% dark chocolate.   This bar has a different design on the top with a sort of hewed stone pattern on the top half and some Aztec or Mayan type of figures on the bottom.  Given the research I've been doing lately I can't say that either of those cultures would have added these particular spices to their chocolate, most of which was drank.   The dark cocoa is the first scent followed by the salt.  The flavor is the sea salt that expands with each chew then the peppercorns which aren't that hot and finally settling into the bitter chocolate.  I like it better than the other bar but then you know I'm not a coffee fan.

Finally after a rough beginning of 2011 in terms of health, a gaming friend of mine, James, bought me some chocolate covered cashews knowing of my love of both chocolate and nuts.    These were just bought at a Dollar Tree and I've had both good and bad chocolate from deep discount stores.  The price is not a sure sign of quality or even whether or not chocolate will be real.

This is made with cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and cocoa.  Sure it has additives and lots of sugar and corn syrup but it doesn't have artificially flavored chocolate, just heavily treated and sweetened chocolate.  I was really impressed with the size of the pieces, some were well over an inch long and as you can see they were thoroughly covered with chocolate.  I love how they tasted, combining two things I like -- cashews and our Sacred Substance.  I don't like all nuts so this was a good choice since cashews, pecans and walnuts are really at the top of my nut preferences.  Thank you, James.

5 comments:

Tammy said...

How wonderful! I would love to get gifts of chocolate! :)
Have a lovely weekend!

xx,
Tammy

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I always welcome such gifts. I know my friends and family worry that I won't want them but honestly I do, it just may take me time to try them and mention them on here.

Thanks for commenting again, Tammy.

tanveer said...

Excellent. I love chocolate.I would like to get as gift.
Send gifts to pakistan

sharon Karen said...

I have tried that Cherries & Almonds in Dark Chocolate bar. It is to die for and would make a great gift for me. Hint hint...

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Make sure you tell all your friends it is on your wish list, sharon.