CHIC – CHOCOLATE has arrived. Have you CHECKED them out?


Sometimes it’s the little things that bring us back to trips we savored for various reasons – but today the savoring was all in the chocolate!

On our trip to Bali, Jakarta & Singapore we met with some newer friends and enjoyed traditions and delicacies we would never have experienced on our own.  The picture above was a traditional store opening in Singapore with countless bouquets from well-wishing merchants.

Today we received some of the most world-recognized – most amazing chocolates – Royce’ from Hokkaido, Japan, and Patch founded in Beirut Lebanon.

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I checked, and they are all available online: Hokkaido Chocolate

Look at this totally neat –  Kimi Tour Guide article Hokkaido Chocolate Factory

Woodhouse Chocolate

Recently I took another cooking demonstration class at Tante Marie in San Francisco on chocolate technique & again it was fascinating on evaluating dark chocolate and all.  I never knew that it’s considered and graded just like wine.  Now, the date of harvest and origin of the original product source is sited on the products.  We’re better off sticking with the medium range priced chocolate, versus the most expensive.   In the chocolate tasting portion, we had to close our eyes and literally smell, taste and feel the textures.  It would be a fun thing to do at home with friends and some excellent red wine.

It was interesting to note the descriptions commonly used to describe chocolate – they were often words such as smokey, full, bitter, floral, chocolaty – seems kind of contradictory, don’t you think?

We learned it took approx. Two years for the flavors to fade for dark chocolate and only 12-14 months for milk chocolate.  Another fact is that you only want to freeze chocolate for a very brief period, if at all, as it takes on an odd taste.

My favorite was called Plus produced in Roanne, France and the name on the bar was CUBA – a type of beans was Trinitario – cocoa at 75%.

Here it is at $11 a bar not too bad:  Plus – Chocolate

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Our instructor said that much to the French chagrin that many of the high-end chocolate are now being produced right here in the good-old-USA.

Here were two of her favorite chocolates:

Ritual Chocolate from Madagascar 

Ritual is also available here:  Amazon-Ritual Chocolate

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and this was her absolute favorite – Dandelion –  Dandelion Chocolate  

So next time you are out or on an exciting journey trip tries the chocolate!

Ok, what’s your favorite specialty chocolate?

Happy Trails