With descriptions more often found on the back of a wine bottle than a bar of chocolate, Mast Brothers gourmet chocolate is no average candy bar. Available in 19 flavors and split into two categories, Single Estates/Origins and Blends & Pairings, expect to taste the unexpected. From Vanilla and Smoke to Black Truffle and Moho River, no bar comes in with under 70% of organic cocao harvested from small farm cooperatives dotted around South America, and no, none of the bars come with a milk or white chocolate option as, to the gourmet chocolatier, either would be cocao sacrilege.
Easter candy may be the best time of year if you’re as much of a chocoholic, candy-feign as we are. Just think about it; there’s peeps dipped in chocolate, pectin jelly beans in every flavor imaginable, there’s chocolate eggs, mello-creams, Cadbury cream eggs, and chocolate bunnies, lambs, cows, ducks, etc. Not to mention specialty cookies and cakes that are holiday specific. So, are you drooling yet?
We’ve compiled a list of delicious and decadent holiday gifts to help you narrow down what to put in your basket or someone else’s if you’re feeling generous enough. Don’t live in NYC? Don’t worry some of our Easter favs ship nationwide.
The 2nd Annual Chocolate Week will be taking place next week, from February 4th through 13th. Presented by MPB Agency, in partnership with Cacao Noel, the event celebrates the versatility of chocolate and chocolate-lovers. This year, the week will be embracing a new concept with the promotion of Cafe Gourmand, Tea Gourmand, or Bubbly Gourmand. Participating shops will offer a cup of coffee, tea or sparkling wine with a chocolate inspired mignardises (aka sweet treats) for $10 ($15 with sparkling wine). The goal of the event is for "people to have a chocolate treat at the end of their meal, the ideal sweet ending" states Chocolate Week founder, Severine Picquet.
Calling all chocolate lovers! It's always a treat to receive some sort of delicious chocolate no matter what the occasion is. As the holiday season sets you in a gift buying frenzy--go the easy way with giving out some delicious sweets! After attending The Chicago Fine Chocolate Show last month, and eating more than my fair share of chocolate over the last several months, I can confidently recommend the following as the best of the bunch for chocoholics on your Christmas list:
1. Katherine Anne Confections – This Chicago-based chocolatier ships nationally, although you have to stop by her Logan Square storefront if you want to try her decadently thick hot chocolate topped with homemade marshmallows in flavors like early grey and salted caramel. For a holiday gift, order her mixed pack of truffles, fluffy marshmallows and caramels here!
For that perfect intersection of salty and sweet, turn to Chuao Chocolatier's new maple bacon chocolate bar. This bar contains crisp bacon and premium maple syrup, finished with a dash of sea salt. I was surprised by how much bacon could be loaded into the bar, but it's diced so fine and evenly spread throughout so it blends smoothly into the rich milk chocolate to balance each bite. This bar isn't as thick as some other chocolate bars, and the beautiful design on front isn't broken neatly into squares, so you might have a little trouble with portion control!
For those who don't think breakfast meats belong in chocolate, give the sweet and salty chocopod a try. The same milk chocolate is sprinkled only with a hint of sea salt to offset the pod's creamy sweetness. One pod is only 60 calories, which is enough for a pick-me-up even for those on strict diets.
Let's face it, weight gain can be absolutely exhausting, especially around the holidays. Deliciously satisfying, but exhausting! The unfortunate end result is always the same, rather than thinking of how much fun you had, you obsess over the new filler renting space on your stomach and thighs. Nine times out of ten, the meal itself isn’t too bad for you, as long as you steer clear (Ok, a taste won’t hurt) of the fatty appetizers and side dishes. With that being said, it is safe to say dessert is the point of contention for most. Dessert options are always the same, between fat grams, too much sugar, carbohydrates, and of course, fruit. Even though you know you should opt for the fruit, some meals demand a sweeter finale.
Many of us have had a lifelong affair with the combination of wine and cheese. And to our delight, most large cities have an array of wine and cheese bars to choose from. They are quite easy to find. However, when I came across AYZA and discovered they not only had an extensive wine and cheese list, but they also had a gourmet chocolate menu, it took my love of wine/cheese/chocolate to a whole new level. What genius thought of doing all three in one place!? And why isn't it done more often? Reservation booked!
The inside space is small, intimate and laid out like a classic wine bar. Bar-height tables, dim lighting, wine bottles stacked to the ceiling. They also have patio seating, but we opted for sitting inside for the full experience. We were immediately greeted with mini shots of their tropical sangria, which was fruity (obviously) and mild. We ordered a flight of four wines, four chocolates, a plate of six cheeses, the crispy baby shrimp dumplings, white truffle pita tart and the baby rocket arugula salad. The shrimp dumplings came with (delicious) garlic chili sauce and yellow sea wakame salad. The dumplings were crisp on the outside and flavorful on the inside. The garlic chili sauce was key in this dish. The white truffle pita tart was basically pizza made out of pita bread. It was tasty and thin. The truffle oil and parmesan definitely stood out on this otherwise simple dish, that was topped with the mild flavors of arugula and mozzarella. The baby rocket arugula salad was my favorite. The combination of micro-diced manchego cheese, crisp green apples, walnuts, dates and a light hand of balsamic vinaigrette made this one of those dishes you could easily eat everyday. It was a balanced combination of perfectly portioned ingredients --not one overpowered the other.
For chocolate lovers, Cadbury is indisputably deeeeeeeeelish but could we ever imagine that this delectable treat was politically incorrect and racist?
Cadbury's regrettable advertisement caused controversy with camera-magnet and supermodel, Naomi Campbell.
After seeing the advertisement, she said, "I am shocked. It's upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humor in this. It is insulting and hurtful."
Activists like Reverend Al Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson were infuriated and even went far enough to threaten to boycott the entire company.
Did Cadbury really think they would get away with racially insulting an international supermodel...?
Way to go, Cadbury...you scrumptious yet racist piece of chocolate.
Premium chocolate is something we just can't get enough of here at Joonbug, especially when it supports social and environmental causes. Our latest infatuation is with a company that is both organic and fair trade - Theo Chocolate. Many of their bars are gluten free, dairy free, soy free and vegan. So even those on the strictest of diets can enjoy their delectable creations.
The Single Malt Scotch Ganache is unlike anything I've ever tasted. Each ganache in the four-piece set has a distinct flavor -from woodsy to fruity. The flavor profiles of chocolate bars ranging from the intense 85% Dark Chocolate Bar to the more playful, sweet and savory Bread & Chocolate Bar, are as complex as any wine.
Fashion is like chocolate for women- one taste and it’s over, and its love at first bite! The craving for more and more is on the menu, but unlike chocolate, fashion does cost a pretty penny. But, isn’t the sheer feel of trying on that fabulous coat for the first time like ecstasy? Even twirling around in front of the mirror for hours, imagining the lust in everyone’s eyes for that certain coat, while you are the lucky one that snagged it!
This is especially true when Paris designer, Andrew GN, is in the house and has these certain goods up for grabs! Just the welcoming of his hypnotic and enticing clothes intrigues you and casts a certain spell on you, almost as if in a trance or something. And as for the designer himself, he just welcomes you with open arms and makes you feel like that certain piece was made just for and only you.