Celebrate World Chocolate Day

Today is World Chocolate Day.  Yum!  Chocolate is so popular that it has at least four other national days and a national week.  (Can you say marketing? Who makes these things up?)

The “Love you” squares were perfect to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

Dark chocolate is my favorite.  I’m talking about 70-85% dark chocolate.  More than that is too bitter for me.  Less than that is too sweet.

The darker the chocolate is, the more bitter it tastes.  A former co-worker used to break off a tiny piece of 90-95% dark chocolate, put it on her tongue, and then sip her black coffee.  I tried it, but it was all too dark–I’m not a black coffee drinker to begin with.  She had definitely acquired a taste for the combination.

Rather than going on a semi-sweet rant about Dark Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate, I’d like to share with you some handmade chocolates from around the world.  It is World Chocolate Day, after all.

It all started when The Husband went to Europe on business.  He took a side trip to Brussels, Belgium, and found the famous Manneken Pis fountain (yep, little boy peeing) on Rue de l’Etuve.  At that intersection are two Belgium chocolate shops across the street from each other: Neuhaus and Leonidas. Both shops have large chocolate imitations of the fountain’s little boy taking care of business (or having a contest with each other? *eyes roll*  I only mention it because you can see them in Google Street View.  LOL).

The Husband brought home a box of Neuhaus chocolates that we shared.  We split each piece and then savored the flavors–one piece per day.  After deciding that we liked the dark chocolates best, we ordered a box of them.  The Husband admitted that he tried the Leonidas chocolates, too.  They were delicious, but he neglected to bring some home.  Grr.

The Koko Black pocket poster..so you know what you’re eating.

Then he went to Melbourne, Australia, and brought home a box of Koko Black chocolates. While the Neuhas chocolates were flavors were the expected traditional pralines, nuts, and ganaches, Koko Black added spices (cinnamon, saffron, and chillies) and created unusual liquor pairings, including a caramel made with a Western Australian microbrewery stout. We savored the selection piece by piece, too.

When I went to Boston (hey, it’s still in the world) with a few of my friends, I saw a Max Brenner shop and restuarant.  There, I picked a box of dark chocolates to bring home to  continue our tradition.

Of the three, the Neuhaus chocolates are my favorites. Since then, I’ve discovered that they have a store and a cafe in not that far away from home.  Can’t wait to go!  Maybe I’ll go today for World Chocolate Day.  Yum.

Do you love chocolate as much as I do?  Would you travel the world or the Web for chocolate or another delicacy?  How will you celebrate World Chocolate Day?

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