Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Sacrament, July 11, 2009

Your Chocolate Priestess received two samples from Enstrom's Toffee — a dark chocolate sample, seen on the left below, and a milk chocolate sample, seen on the right below. Each box had a pound, 16 entire ounces, of product inside, so this is a huge offering, and I must find someone to share it with after I've revealed its nature to you. The type of chocolate is indicated by the color of the slip on label — darker brown for dark chocolate, and lighter for the milk variety. The Chocolate Cult has been offered toffees before as potential Saturday Sacraments, and as with those, our question must be: Is this chocolate enough to be a Sacrament?

Inside the two boxes the toffee looks very much the same. The top and bottom of each piece is coated with crushed almonds. Under that is a thin layer of the appropriate chocolate. Sandwiched between these is a thick toffee with almond pieces in it. At the risk of repeating myself, a word of caution: real toffee is made from almonds, so if you have a nut allergy, avoid it. Luckily the toffees are in pieces, so I don't have to try to bite off a section.

The label slips off, and the white box top comes off easily, revealing that the inner section is wrapped in plastic. Using scissors I cut that off, then I break the gold seal on the dark brown paper covering the toffee. Probably from shipping, there are some little bits of toffee that fall out when I open this paper wrapping. Inside is the product, seen to your left. Leave the brown paper in the brown lower box, or your product will come tumbling out — trust your Chocolate Priestess on this one, please; let me make the errors on this Path so you can avoid them, Sisters and Brothers. Now I need to wait and let the toffee warm up a bit, because I've kept the boxes in the fridge since I got them, as the company recommended. Right now, still quite cold, they don't smell like much, but I'm betting that will change as they adjust to room temperature. A short time later, when the toffee is at room temperature, it has a very, very light scent of butteryness and almonds — in other words, it smells like toffee.

I'll start with the milk chocolate variety. The bite crunches as I take it and then continues to crunch as I chew; the buttery and almond flavors are dominant, with only a very light milk chocolate flavor mixed with that of the crushed almonds on top. I let the next bite sit in my mouth, which releases each essence slowly, bringing out the buttery and nutty flavors even more strongly. For the final bite I focus on the different textures of the firm toffee: the smooth chocolate, the powdery topping, and the crunchy nut pieces.

After cleansing my palate and waiting 15 minutes, as I do between any two types of chocolate The Chocolate Cult is offered, I assay the dark chocolate variety next. The bitterness of the darker chocolate can just be tasted here, which gives this variety more of a chocolate quality than the milk version. Otherwise, eating this is identical to the toffee from the other box, right down to the toffee's sticking to the tops of my teeth.

These are not low-fat treats, Sisters and Brothers. Each box has about 11 servings in it, and, again according to the website, each serving has 220 calories, 7 g saturated fat, 0 transfat, 25 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 15 g sugars, and 3 g protein. That means that you should not eat an entire box in one day — indeed, I recommend you spread it out over more than a week, or share it with several friends, as I am planning to do.

According to the literature on the website, the company has been around for 60 years and has been run by three generations of the Enstrom family. Their toffees are also certified kosher, for those who follow Jewish laws in food matters. While there is not enough chocolate here to be a Saturday Sacrament, Enstrom's is an excellent toffee product that you can enjoy on other days or for special occasions. I note that they do also sell chocolates, and perhaps in the future I can reveal those to you all as well.

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

If you are reading in the eastern half of the Midwest, don't forget The Chocolate Cult's first CONTEST. Don't put it off until the last minute; apply now and earn a chance to get free chocolate, one-on-one time with the Chocolate Priestess, and your opinions published on The Chocolate Cult.

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