Our library closed one day last week for a Staff In-Service, where we learned to better serve you, our patrons, and also had a chocolate-tasting,* because happy librarians are far more willing to share that happy—if not the actual chocolate.
My brilliant friend Cha Cha, who does All The Fun Things, was in charge and offered eight anonymous samples for us to smell and taste and decipher, before revealing the type and telling us a little about the companies.
Informative and yummy—what’s not to like?
We started out with a Peach & Pecan in Milk Chocolate from Chocolove, which was okay. Apparently, the founder and owner, Timothy Moley, is something of a Willy Wonka, and has consumed two chocolate bars a day for the last eighteen years. After hearing that, the love poem printed on inside each wrapper is put into almost disturbing perspective—not that I don’t appreciate the sweet (ahem) touch!**
The second one was Green & Black’s Maya Gold, which I’ve gobbled like an addicted lunatic tried before—dark chocolate with orange and ‘spices,’ which aren’t listed but must include cloves. So, so good, as is every Green & Black’s bar I’ve ever had, even the white, which Cha Cha insists isn’t actually chocolate. I don’t see how that matters, but okay.
The third was a Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cabernet Matinee, which was fruity and smooth and lovely, but again, I liked the story better. Apparently, Mr. Ghirardelli made his chocolate fortune in California, selling his products to the gold rushers, but not because these newly rich men were desperate for chocolate, oh, no. They were desperate for women, but Mr. Ghirardelli’s theory, which he shared with his customers, was that women love chocolate . . . and I probably don’t have to spell out the rest.***
The fourth was my favorite, a dark chocolate with sea salt in it—thank heavens salt is okay to eat now, because it’s amazing with chocolate and caramel. I’ve been a member of the Godiva Chocolate of the Month Club for years, so I wasn’t surprised when I learned this one was theirs. Neither was a shocked when my kids inhaled the leftover pieces I brought home, because genetics. To be honest, I was a little weirded out that up until five years ago, Godiva was owned by Campbell Soup . . . it was kind of like learning that the Solo plastic cup company has owned Tiffany’s for the past forty years.^
The fifth hurt—seriously, I tasted it and my tongue lit up like I’d set it on fire. Theo Chocolate’s Congo Pili Pili Chili bar is infused with a pepper that registers just under a habanero on the heat scale; a habenero is 10, a jalapeno is a five, and a pili pili is an eight. I brought some home for my SIL, Watson, who snarfed it up like I’d brought her the Godiva, so I’m planning on buying a bar for my mother, who has the same Teflon tastebuds—proving that sometimes genetics ain’t all that.
I can’t tell you about the sixth because my own tastebuds were still ticked off at me, but it was a sugarless one from Guylian and apparently not bad. Good to know there’s a decent choice out there now for people who watch their sugar intake—I remember my grandpa, who was diabetic, making a No Chocolate for Me face that could damn near break your heart.
The seventh was a Lindt Passion Fruit bar, which was awesome, as Lindt usually is—my German teacher in high school used to reward us with Lindt chocolate. I did very well in that class.
Which brings us to the final sample. You know how I always say that if coffee tasted like it smelled, I wouldn’t treat it like medicine for a chronic caffeine deficiency? Ritter Sports espresso has me covered. Or maybe I had it covered. Regardless, I grabbed most of the leftovers and hightailed it before my co-workers noticed. What’s better for a librarian than coffee chocolate? It’s a match made in the kind of heaven you don’t tell your kids about.
So, if you ever have a chance to go to a chocolate tasting, go. It’s a great time.
And afterwards, if you have a choice of meditation or self-defense, go for the second. Naptime Meditation might sound good, but remember, after the in-service, you’ll have to walk all those chocolate leftovers through the parking lot to your car . . . And your co-workers know it.
*We had a choice between the yoga and the chocolate, but since I’m shacking up with a yoga instructor, I opted for the latter. Not, as my husband pointed out, I would have chosen differently under any circumstances, but he was happy to provide the excuse, bless him.
** I’m thinking of doing a chocolate poem post one of these Wednesdays—reporting on which poems are paired with which flavored bar. It would mean tasting a lot of chocolate, but I’d manage somehow . . . for you.
***Apparently, the spelling and pronunciation of his name was a sore spot for Mr. Ghirardelli, who spent a lot of his advertising space reminding people about the second ‘ar’ sound. Oddly, my spell check doesn’t have a problem with it—then again, it’s my spell check . . .
^ I’m almost positive it hasn’t. If you know better, please leave the remains of my naivety alone.