Thursday, February 16, 2012
So the very day that I was grumbling about Valentine's Day, my significant other turned up at the romantic Italian restaurant to which I had (rather unimaginatively, being dull that way) invited him for dinner toting the absolute sweetest Valentine's Day present I've ever received.
OK. It was chocolate.
But it was no boring Whitman's in a circulatory-organ-shaped box. Oh, no, no, no. My honey has not got much of a sweet tooth but if there's one exception to that rule, it's really good, rich chocolate, so when he set out to get me chocolates, he came up with a fantastic combo.
There were 3 different kinds:
1. Mast Brothers chocolate. Brooklyn's FINEST. Five BARS of Brooklyn's finest, each one a different flavor. This stuff is so artisanal it's got batch numbers. Hmmm, I wonder if it would be possible to figure out whether this is schooner chocolate?
2. 2 packets (4 discs) of Taza Mexican chocolate - with chipotle chiles! Because I have been on this mad chipotle chile kick with my cooking since sometime late in the summer. I had gotten a large bag of these smoke-dried jalapenos at a butcher shop on Cortelyou Road that carries a nice selection of Mexican spices. I don't remember what I got them for & they sat in the back of the cupboard for ages, but one day I was cooking something totally random that I would never usually add chiles to (may have been chicken soup, actually), and I threw in a couple just for kicks & because they'd been sitting around for a long time and holy cow, it was delicious! So since then, I think every soup or stew I've made has had a couple of chipotles in it. So TQ got me chipotle chile chocolate. I broke into one of those tonight & the other thing I notice is that the chile is the perfect foil for the one thing we didn't like about the plain Taza, the time we got one for dessert at Bierkraft - the ingredients couldn't be simpler, cacao beans and cane sugar, and the chocolate flavor was fantastic but we both found it to be a bit sweeter than we like. Add that smoky spicy chipotle and oh my. I have GOT to restrain myself & save the other packet to share with TQ, he's going to love this stuff.
Come to think of it, I better share the Mast Brothers too, or the poor guy is gonna find his girlfriend's getting curvier than might be considered optimal (plus there's a drysuit I need to keep being able to put on if we're going to have any more paddling dates this winter)!
So. Mast Brothers. Taza chipotle. So far so good, right?
Oh yes, but I've been saving the best for last.
What really knocked the gift right out of the park, as far as I was concerned, was the third riff on the chocolate theme:
Is this brilliant, or what?
These are too big for me to try until I can share one with TQ (we thought about splitting one after dinner last night but we'd both had a couple of glasses of wine with dinner & were feeling pretty full & drowsy & further libations just didn't seem necessary...yep, that's my story & this is a G-rated blog so I'm sticking to it) so I don't know how it is yet. I bet it's going to be delicious but no matter how it tastes, I already love it as a fantastic bit of thinking outside the (candy) box.
That's my guy!
Next year, I may not grumble about Valentine's Day as much! :D