Monday, September 10, 2012

What's Your Chocolate?

I couldn't not participate in this blogfest once I saw the title on several blogs I read.  It's  What’s Your Chocolate? hosted by M. Pax, Laura Eno, Brinda Barry, and Ciarra Knight.  It's a simple and delicious premise, post about your favorite chocolate to eat, when and where you eat it, chocolate memory, anything chocolate related.  

I love chocolate.  If we had as many words for love as the Inuits have for snow, there would be one just to describe my love of chocolate.  I take it pretty seriously.  I love to read about the harvesting of the cacao beans, the hulling and roasting process.  I've read and experimented with the tempering process (it's hard to keep your own temper, let alone the chocolate's, when you are trying this in a tiny kitchen with two little ones underfoot).  I still have plans to make my own chocolates.

It wouldn't be fair for me to call out one favorite chocolate.  I grew up in Belgium, so I was in the perfect place to indulge.  Sometimes, when I would go downtown Brussels just to walk around (why don't I do that as much here?), I'd let the different chocolate shops dictate which direction I would take.  There was a Leonidas shop on Northwest corner of the Grand Place, and my friend and I would buy a few chocolates and then eat them on the steps of the Bourse before seeing concerts at the Ancienne Belgique.  I'd pick up Cote D'Or bars from the local grocery stores, the Noissette and Double Lait were my favorite.  From the American Shoppette I'd buy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which you couldn't easily find on the local economy (a shame, since peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best combinations of all time).

Nowadays, I practice a little more self control when it comes to my consuming passion for chocolate (except  lately, but I'm pregnant, and there are so few vices I can indulge in).  I no longer devour an entire bar in one sitting.  I buy small amounts of quality, mostly dark chocolate, and have just one ounce at a time.  My children are chocoholics as well, which secretly pleases me.  Two Christmases ago, my sister and I each made a dessert for dinner.  I made a Buche de Noel with chocolate ganache and mocha buttercream.  My sister made a beautiful and delicious lemon-cranberry bundt cake.  She was serving cake to my son, cut him a slice of the Buche, and asked if he wanted some of her cake.  "No!" he shouted adamantly. "It's not chocolate!"