I’m the poster child for “Ick, that’s too sweet.” And I love dark chocolate.
The darker the chocolate the better.
My husband jokes that one of these days he’ll come home to find me huddled in a corner, gnawing on a bar of baker’s chocolate.
It’s that serious.
And it’s not a new thing.
I love chocolate. But I am not a chocolate slut.
I am a chocolate snob.
Which is also why it is unlikely that my dear hubby will ever find me gnawing on baker’s chocolate. Most of it doesn’t make the cut for that kind of treat. And I should know. Because making chocolate deserts is a hobby of mine.
I’ve been a fan of good dark chocolate, since childhood. I’m not sure if it started because my Grandma Leona also preferred dark chocolate, and so maybe I decided that because Grandma was cool, then I preferred it too. Or if it was part of my ingrained <ick – I can’t stand über sweet things quirkiness> all along.
The thing is, dark chocolate wasn’t that readily available when I was a kid. Or at least not in my area.
There was Hershey’s Special Dark, which I could sometimes get in a bar, but usually could only find in a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures. Those Miniatures were one of the few types of candy bags my Grandma would ever indulge in. (At least that I ever saw at her house.) And usually only for the holidays.
Special Dark was better than milk chocolate, but it still wasn’t all that good. Maybe the caterpillar that I once found wrapped in a Special Dark bar is what set me seeking in a different direction. (No kidding.) I took it back to the drug store, showed them the worm and his little cocoon inside the wrapper and got my money back.
And maybe I’d already decided that I could wait for better chocolate.
In general, I preferred Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. Which, by the way, I swear used to have more cacao than they do today. I mean today, now you see semi-sweet morsels AND dark chocolate morsels for sale at the market. Today they seem much sweeter. And when I make the same deserts I made 18 years ago with the semi, I don’t get the same results. Baugh. Seems I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Then somewhere in my teens, along came Dove and the world became a little brighter.
As I grew older, I explored many brands and flavors. Dark chocolate and chipotle, dark chocolate and green tea, dark chocolate and pomegranate. Among my favorites? Dark chocolate and pecan, dark chocolate and hazelnuts, dark chocolate and caramel, and the ‘ol stand by of dark chocolate and almond.
I know. Not quite as exotic as the others.
And I learned that chocolate, like coffee, has different flavor nuances depending on where it is grown. Guatemalan chocolate is different than Costa Rican chocolate. And btw, I think Godiva is overrated. Except the liquor.
But the ickiest flavor to me is salted chocolate. The only salt that should be allowed in there is the salt in any butter used. That’s it.
And here’s the thing. I recognize that salt can be used to help bring out a flavor, or even to create a spark of interest that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
But today, it seems most ALL the dark chocolate sold in store is salted. If it’s dark, then by golly let’s salt it too. Ugh. And most of the caramel too. If I want dark chocolate covered caramel, I’m extra out of luck. Either the chocolate is salted, or the caramel is. Either one tastes bad. Ocassionally I can find it without.
I supposed I should count my blessings. The flooded market of ocean-water flavored chocolate keeps me from indulging most of the time.
But still, leave me some options people! Those who like salted dark chocolate will still like unsalted dark chocolate.
It’s a binary system. Those who like salted chocolate and those who don’t.
So leave options.
It’s a win-win. And everyone gets to have chocolate.
Hopefully one day I’ll be telling stories to my grand-kids about how all the chocolate companies used to salt dark chocolate candies all the time. Kinda like how Coca-Cola tried to replace a winning product with New Coke.
And the kids will be all like, “Ewww, Grandma, for real?”
“Yep,” I’ll say, “For real.”
“But Grandma, how did you survive it?”
And I’ll simply say, “Well kids, therein lies the lesson. Learn to make your own.”