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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pure Nacional, baby

We have latent yuppie tendencies that manifest themselves from time to time. Like that coffee they call Panama Esmerelda. We sampled a little in Peet's one day, amused by the fact that they were charging $25 for a half pound of coffee beans. But it was so good, we bought a bag for a friend as a Christmas gift, and another for ourselves. We had some of it over the holidays, and it tasted so fine we had a second cup. We were up until around 4 in the morning.

But it was worth it.

Then one day a while back, we read this article, about some rare cocoa trees discovered in Peru. The beans were so exquisite that the author raved about them. If only we could try some! Then we saw that Portland's own Moonstruck had bought up a bunch and were making chocolate bars out of them. We mentioned to the Mrs. that we'd have to get over there and buy one.

Our to-do list is long, however, and the whole thing had slipped our mind until one day last month when the Mrs. came home and presented us with a bar.

Twelve bucks, she said it cost. We opened it carefully, broke off a tiny sliver, and popped it into our mouth.

Holy cow. They were right. Fruit, nuts, coffee -- it's all there, but in the chocolate itself. Here's to the Peruvians! And we've gone back and nibbled, one awesome little square at a time, and been wowed every time.

And so, along with our boast of sometimes drinking $50-a-pound coffee, we now can say that we sometimes eat $100-a-pound candy bars. Hey, life is short.

Comments (9)

I've tried all sorts of chocolate. Trader Joe's has something called "the dark Chocolate Lover's chocolate bar -- 85% cacao." You get two 1.75 oz. bars for something like $3. The box it comes in says, "smooth and fruity from the Tumaco Region of Columbia."

Fruity is right. It is the best chocolate I've ever had. Don't be put off by 85 percent -- it is sweeter than it sounds. (I'll eat 92 percent if that's all there is, but normally prefer about 75 percent.)

My pantry has about ten boxes of this stuff.

I don't mind dark -- the blacker the better. Have a bunch of 83, 85 this and that. No Trader Joe's, though -- that's a chick thing. Perhaps the Mrs. will bring us some.

...and you'll be up until 4 am - but happy.

Lindt has a 90% bar that you can pick up at Freddy's for about $3. Some super-high percentage bars are sort of dry, but this one has a great melt and mouth feel, and also has rich flavor with fruity overtones.

That said, I'd love to try the Fortunato some time!

'Love chocolate but I'm influenced by what I've seen traveling abroad in poor countries. I'm frugal but at least part of the time I pay about $15/lb for Divine and Theo, both Fair Trade chocolate bars. The chocolate is good enough and I know that the poor people who grow and pick those cacao beans are getting a fair deal. That makes the chocolate taste better to me. They're both available at Freddies in the Nutrition Center. Theo is made up in Seattle, Divine is processed in Germany.

I had some dense, dry, not very good chocolate recently from Theo. We just discovered a good chocolate-ish experience- Tempt, the company that brings us the only good hemp milk on the market, has branched into hemp "ice cream" and the coffee-chocolate biscotti flavor is very good, especially considering it has 65% of the fat and calories of regular ice cream, and is made by a local girl who is definitely set to become very, very rich.

oh, and she has to import all her hemp from Canada because of our RIDICULOUS drug laws.

Go for it! You only live once!

Kinda hoity-toity for a mayoral candidate, doncha think?

Oh, wait - this is Portland...

...it fits!

Tant pis, Jean.

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