19 Nov 2009

Choc-a-Block! (Part 2)

Yet you will find pure cocoa and traditional drinking chocolate safely tucked away in my kitchen cupboard. I mix them together in order to obtain the perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness, before adding to organic semi-skimmed hot milk for breakfast. Indeed, I have hot chocolate in the morning - not the evening - mixed with some unsweetened Swiss muesli to add sustenance to breakfast. This seemingly peculiar gruel sets me off for the day and wards off any food cravings until lunchtime (unlike popular brands of sugary cornflakes or the toast-and-butter/ jam combo which neither seems to fill you up for long!).

Chocolate bars are a fairly inexpensive and convenient way to treat yourself, either on the go or at home. My own taste in chocolate meets certain requirements: the cheaper brands that dilute the taste in no uncertain quantities of hydrogenated fats and sugar are snubbed. I generally prefer the ‘continental’ taste, described as being less sweet than your average confectionery brands and popular chocolate snack bars (although I will make allowances for those wafer-based favourites like KitKat and Blue Riband). The continental taste bars are mostly represented by Lindt, Milka, Green & Black’s, Divine Chocolate, and selected ranges by Thorntons and Hotel Chocolat.

By the way, sorry to disappoint (or pleased to reassure you!), but I am no chocolate purist (in the chocolate purity sense of the word), as I am not a fan of those 85% dark chocolate bars (although this is chocolate at its less adulterated form and therefore at its truest taste!). Ironically it may be because it tastes too much like real chocolate, an acquired taste after all!

On the subject of chocolate variants, a special mention however to pralines/ giandujas (found in Ferrero Rochers and Nutella!)... Again, did I mention anywhere in this article that I was a chocolate purist…

Onto the next level, I dispense with special occasions in order to justify my enjoyment of the more sophisticated side of chocolates, the ones displayed in presentation boxes, in their shiny foil or veiled in a cocoa, icing sugar or mocha dusting, teasing your eye with their lashings of packaging, secretive layers and evocative descriptions from the menu card… I will try to pace myself if I am in company but if, for instance, my partner randomly orders a surprise box that is ‘just for me’, I am afraid those treats will have signed their own death warrant the moment the box is deposited in my hands…

If chocolate is your weakness too, then resistance is futile! Give in to it because it is, after all, one of life’s little pleasures!

Find out more - brush up your chemistry: Neuroscience for Kids.

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