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July 11, 2007

Chocolate Slacking

Yeah, I haven't been posting. I've kind of been ignoring actual chocolate in favor of beating the heat with ice cream. My vice of the moment is Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Caramel Fudge though I've also been enjoying some Edy's® Nestlé® Drumstick® Sundae Cone (I was amused by all the trademarks lurking in the name) which, as I found it, came in a package looking very little like the one shown on the site. Whatever. The skinny on it is that it makes up for the one flaw I found with the Ben & Jerry's Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream by adding the nuts that I felt it needed, but lacks the caramel that made the AmeriCone Dream so good. I just can't win. Well, without buying a jar of caramel to pour on my Edy's. Or some nuts to add to my B&J's. Anyway, I've been eating chocolate in a more frozen form. I'm snacking on a little real chocolate on the side, but it's kind of fallen by the wayside in the heat of summer.

Oh, before I forget....
I was over at the local Big Lots looking for cheapie decorations for my new place and wandered over to the candy aisle to see if there were any limited editions lurking in the racks that I had failed to try before they disappeared from the shelves. And what do you suppose I found a large supply of? Yep. Pirate Pearls. I've said it before: close out stores are your friend. If you're one of the people who are still looking then I can tell you, they're still out there. You just have to look for them. Close out stores and drug stores are probably your best bets these days, though the internet is always an option. But they're still out there for the finding.

So, during my period of chocolate inactivity I actually did eat an entire bar of chocolate - something that would generally get stretched out over an extended period of time. I managed to devour my Chuao Caracas bar with barely a thought toward reviewing it. I brought it to my desk thinking review, and then proceeded to tear it to pieces over a few days and was left with an empty box and no review. I hate to write a review without a good sized chunk in hand for reference and a solid pile of notes from two or three separate tastings and I just don't have either. Until I get another one (which might be as soon as Friday) I'll leave you with some impressions. The top of the bar is well formed. The bottom has a texture like a gravel road. There are huge nutty protrusions everywhere. The nuts extending from the bottom of the bar nearly double the height of the bar. And there's loads of them in there as well. Tasty and crunchy and good. I may expand on this after I get another bar.

I also managed to try a "mystery bar" that I found in the cupboard when I reached in for a little taste of chocolate. The outer wrap was missing and only the foil and chocolate were in the bag I grabbed. I popped it open and took a bite. Very nutty. Very nice. I thought it would be really good with some fruit in the mix. And then I tasted the fruit. And it dawned on me. It was the Charles Chocolates Hazelnut and Candied Orange Peel bar. It's wrapper had suffered a mishap while waiting for my attention so I chucked the wrap and tossed the bar in a zipper bag and threw it in the cupboard and forgot where I put it. And, surprise surprise, I found it. Quite tasty stuff. I might be getting another bar of theirs in a couple days so I'm going to hold off on the review until I know for sure whether I'm reviewing one or two bars.

I've had my eyes open for the Elvis Reese's Cups, but haven't seen any in the wild yet. Still looking, though. Thrill of the hunt and all that. When I get some I'll probably end up doing a little more of the chocolate mad science thing (like with the Peeps and the whole Caramel Marshmallow and bacon experiment) in honor of the King. I've got an idea. A very bad idea. It should be fun.

And that's about all I've done with chocolate lately. I'm really slacking. I was thinking about making some truffles while I'm on vacation (I've got an idea I'd like to try that I haven't seen in retail yet and I know it's only a matter of time before everybody does their own version), but I just haven't felt motivated to do it. I'm relaxing for a few days and that's about it. The biggest thing I've done so far has been to get my oil changed. I do think I'm going to drive down to Jungle Jim's on Friday, though, and I might grab a few ingredients for experimentation while I'm there. At worst I'm going to stick my nose in the door at Godiva to try one of their new varieties of Chocolixir (Dark Chocolate Raspberry - yum!) so I'll at least post about that. Oh, be sure to stop by your local Godiva sometime between 7/27 and 7/29 - they are going to be giving out Chocolixir samples.

It just sort of feels that summer is more about ice cream than chocolate. I just have to work on getting in a little chocolate with my ice cream.

Stay cool everybody!

wow. just.... wow.

wlk-small.jpgIf you've been paying any attention over the life of this (poorly updated) blog you'll probably have picked up on the fact that I really love the big, crazy, mind-bogglingly huge things that people make out of chocolate. Normall it's a clock, or a christmas tree, or an Igloo, or an alpine village or something of the like. Something with small parts that is as impressive in its intricacy as it is stunning in it's size. This isn't quite one of those. It's a bit simpler in design than a lot of the giant chocolate items, but it doesn't fail to impress. It is a giant Hershey®'s Kiss® made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the tiny treat (and if you've already read about it make sure you didn't miss the video - it's very cool). As a kid I was always impressed with the giant kisses you'd always find running around at Christmas. They were like a whole pound of chocolate. For a kid that was really impressive (now the thought of trying to eat a whole pound of chocolate makes me a little ill), but the giant Kiss we're talking about today is on a whole other scale. It's 12 feet tall and made of - get this - 30,540 pounds of chocolate. That's fifteen tons (and change). That is BIG. It is, in fact, World Record big.

And if you can't see it in person you sometimes have a hard time comprehending just how big a thing like this is. And that's why it's so nice that there is a video taken over the nine day build. It really illustrates just how much chocolate that actually is.

And, yeah, I'm late posting this. I was eventually going to put it in a mass post, but when I finally realized there was a video (!) I decided it deserved it's own post. So check out the video and the pictures and maybe have a Kiss (or three) to celebrate 100 years of sweet history (the history itself being a great read).

Press Release