Saturday, October 29, 2005

Virtual Chocolate

Finally, I join the world of blogging... There's just so much to say about chocolate, I can't keep up with it in my Chocolate Ecstasy newsletter (go to Besides, the newsletter is more about recipes, tips and facts...and I keep getting the urge just to chat about chocolate.

Whenever I travel my priority is to seek the best in chocolate in every location. This is the reason I decided to start my business in London. I figured I couldn't be the only person keen to try the best chocolate of the world - or to get my fix when abroad! I have just spent 2 1/2 weeks in Tampa, Florida. An amazing few weeks. Finding great chocolate outside of city centres can be a challenge and (dare I say it?) especially in America. I do love America and absolutely adored my time in Tampa - perfect weather (we left as it started getting windy!) and gorgeous, incredibly friendly people.

I largely went on a chocolate detox during my "vacation", which was an interesting experience for me. My love of chocolate is confined to quality. If it isn't fantastic chocolate I'm not interested (well... I will try anything chocolate once). One thing I do like about the states is that you can buy pure chocolate without sugar or any other additives in any supermarket. Yes, it's bulk cooking chocolate but it is at least free from nasty additives.

So, after 12 days with only one piece of Tollhouse Baker's Chocolate I finally got to a shopping centre... At this point I was almost delirious at the thought of ending my chocolate abstinence. I decided I'd be able to get some good quality chocolate-something at the Cheesecake Factory. On the way there a man in the Godiva store waved a sign at me through the window that said "Hello, come in for a free sample." Enough said! There I tried a pumpkin cheesecake chocolate. Yummmm.... Bizarre, and delicious. I love trying peculiar chocolates.

Then to the Cheesecake Factory... where I purchased a brownie. I'm almost ashamed to say I couldn't finish it, lucky I have chocoholic friends. Chocolate is always better shared. It was a fine example of a brownie, a little crunchy on top and moist and dense inside with large chunks of dark chocolate...

On a chocolate high that continued to the next day, I discovered Choxico (I think that's what it's called?). Very attractively packaged (always judge things by their covers : ) ... and then always reassess), I tried the dark chocolate with rasberry and lemon biscotti. It was good, if it hadn't been my last day I would have found my way back to the department store to try all the varieties. If you find this chocolate and don't like it, please keep in mind I hadn't had really good chocolate in weeks and this may have affected my standards... (Plus with the strange flavour combination it was hard to judge the quality of the chocolate but it was certainly a sufficient quality for a filled bar.)

Now I'm back in London eagerly awaiting Chocolate Week that begins today!