Friday, March 22, 2013

The Chocolate Conneisseur's Desert Island List

When marooned on a desert island, make it rain.
(Note: This list was updated in 2016.)

The Chicago winters aren't the only reason I've been thinking about life on a desert island. Having finally gotten around to reading The Chocolate Connoisseur* by professional chocolate buyer Chloe Roussel-Doutre, I've been creating my Desert Island list. Many people create a fictional list of people they'd love to spend time with on a desert island** or the albums***/books **** they'd want with them, but Roussel-Doutre challenges her readers to meditate on the ten chocolate bars they'd want in their suitcase. (Presumably the suitcase has a regulated temperature in the fantasy.)

Without pause, I scrawled out a list of my ten of favorite chocolate delicacies, as well as five other treats that, despite my year-round cravings, are seasonal or unavailable in the U.S. That this task came so effortlessly for me is proof of my growth as a student of chocolate. After much studious research and personal exploration, I feel I can officially and confidently declare myself a chocolate snob--EHEM!--connoisseur.***** Make a note of it, friends.

Ten Chocolates for My Desert Island List:
Honorable Mention:
  • Ghirardelli - Peppermint Bark
  • Ritter Sport - Coconut Macaroon, milk chocolate with coconut filling
  • Theo Chocolate - Jasmine Truffle
  • Unknown brand in Belgium - Sp├ęculoos and chocolate covered almonds
  • Vosges - Gingerbread Toffee

* This book came recommended by the good people at Seattle's Chocolopolis.
** Most people choose what is known as a "fox" (i.e. Keira Knightley or Ryan Gosling), while I usually go the practical, trying-to-stay-alive route and choose an Eagle Scout.
*** An ever-changing list. Let's go with summer listening: The Ruby Suns' Sea Lion, Cory Branan's The Hell You Say, The Beatles' White Album and Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
**** You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers, my favorite, and Stephen King's The Stand: Complete & Uncut, which I've never read but when else does a person have that much time?
***** The chief connoisseur, Ms. Roussel-Doutre, and I do not always see eye to eye, especially on whether or not chocolate with stuff in it belongs in the company of solid chocolate bars. She says the true chocolate connoisseur is content enough to taste the subtle differences of the chocolate itself. I say a true gastronomic explorer of any type of cuisine sees the value of tasting how other ingredients combine to create a new effect. She also disapproves of white chocolate, something I usually agree with. Hopefully these clashes don't cause her to boot me out of the chocolate connoisseur club.

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