A Chocolove Letter

In my rush to get home and relieve Charley’s straining bladder last night, I left my camera in Brooklyn at my little red-headed friend’s apartment! Horrible, I know.  It will be returned tomorrow, so to mix things up a little bit I’ll be posting about today instead of yesterday.  We don’t have to live in the past tonight! Crazy.

The alarm went off at the usual time this morning.  I’d smartly left my alarm clock (i.e. cell phone) across the room so I’d have to get up and turn it off.  Genius, no?  Not if it means I’m just going to get back into bed again.  Two hours later I woke up, completely disoriented, and with only forty minutes until a coffee date.  Oops.  Luckily, my date was understanding and we pushed the time back a bit, but I hate rearranging plans at the last minute! It’s my own fault.  I’ll just have to find a better system for waking up… or go to bed before 2 AM.

Breakfast was quick and easy: whole wheat toast with peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and 1/2 banana and a strawberry Chobani (eaten using the “plunge” method) with the rest of the banana.   I used my laptop to take the next few photos… the quality is pretty good for what it is, I think, with the exception of the mirror effect.

Breakfast

Took the pooch out for a quick (yet efficient) romp, then headed out to coffee and got my standard skim au lait with a shot of espresso.  Boy, did I need that!  My parents are running very low on coffee, and the problem needs to be remedied as soon as possible.  When I got home, I made a huge salad and thought about how much I need to trim my bangs.

Lunch

This was another salad winner.  I think I burned out on the beet/sprouts/hummus mixture (never thought that would happen!) and this was a welcome change.  I tossed in:

  • spinach
  • red chard
  • 6 oz (dolphin safe) canned tuna in water
  • 1 heirloom tomato (last one 😦 )
  • pomegranate seeds
  • baby carrots
  • 1 kiwi
  • dressing: olive oil, vinegar, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Horseradish mustard

The rest of the afternoon was spent scouring job boards and sending out cover letters and resumés.  It’s exhausting, let me tell you!  I broke for my second Chobani of the day… the pineapple is definitely my favorite, although after learning the right way to eat the fruit-flavored ones (from the bottom, up) I really love them all.  Too bad this was my last one 😦   See that little wrinkle under my left eye? It keeps getting bigger and bigger! I don’t really care that much, but if anyone has a tip to slow it on down, I’d appreciate it!

Snack

My parents got home from the airport (they’ve been in France since Tuesday) around 6 and were starving for dinner.  We went to our regular Japanese spot.  The place was packed and they were understaffed, so the meal was a little slow coming out.  I couldn’t decide whether I wanted sashimi or a bento box, and ended up going with the bento.  It came with green salad, mixed tempura (I peeled off a lot of the batter), salmon teriyaki, one California roll, and rice.  They forgot our miso soups, so we got them to go instead.  I didn’t eat any of the rice, so I packed that up too.  (My mom has the same camera, so I borrowed hers for the evening.)

Salmon Teriyaki Bento Box

When we got home from the restaurant, we had a chocolate tasting.

Chocolate Tasting

Chocolove– one of my favorite chocolate companies- was kind enough to send two bars of chocolate to review for the blog.   I’d tried their 77%, 70%, and 55% dark chocolate varieties before, and their Crystallized Ginger in 65% dark chocolate is one of my favorite chocolate bars ever. (Really. Try it.)  I first stumbled upon Chocolove at Whole Foods when I was in college; I’m a sucker for packaging and loved their wrappers.  They make really interesting flavors such as Chilies & Cherries, Cherries & Almonds, etc., that come in dark varieties.  I love flavored chocolates, but I’m not a huge fan of milk chocolate and that’s often the only option for exotic flavors. And best of all? Each bar comes complete with a love poem! It’s the perfect special date/baby-I-done-you-wrong/you’re-my-best-friend chocolate.

Here’s a little page the Chocolove story from their website:

Timothy Moley is the founder, owner and chocolatier at Chocolove. A tall and slightly eccentric man, he reminds you a little of Willy Wonka. His laid-back attitude, wry grin, and lanky physique would never lead you to believe he is a man who lives and breathes chocolate, and has been consuming two chocolate bars, every day, for the past ten years. Seriously.

It all began in a cocoa field in Indonesia… Timothy was chewing on some cocoa beans doing volunteer work for USAID, a government program that promotes agricultural and technical education in developing countries. He had been living abroad on and off for two years, visiting over 28 countries, developing his palate with spices, teas and wines. And, like most of us, he had always dreamed of being his own boss, dedicated to something he loved. The idea of a career in chocolate inspired him and an idea began to form –  to create a premium chocolate bar, paired with the romance of love.

When he returned to the States, he began his chocolate education and quickly discovered a few key facts about the U.S. chocolate market: the average consumer could tell the difference between cheap chocolate and premium chocolate and they preferred premium chocolate; the available premium chocolate bar choices were limited, expensive and intimidating; no U.S. company was indicating the cocoa content on their wrappers; and flavors were boring.

I was excited to try two new flavors: Peppermint in 55% Dark Chocolate and  Coffee Crunch in 55% Dark Chocolate.

Peppermint:

Chocolove Peppermint

Peppermint Chocolove Ingredients

Peppermint Chocolove 2

This bar came with a poem by Robert Browning called “Meeting At Night.”

Peppermint Chocolove Poem

The Panel

Mama LVP: There’s something odd about the mint flavor. The chocolate has a good texture, but I would like it more without the mint.  I don’t like the aftertaste.

Papa LVP: I don’t think the mint is odd! Just “minty.”  It’s refreshing, even though I don’t normally eat peppermint-flavored things.

LVP: Tastes like a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie! I love Thin Mints. The mint flavor is pretty strong, but it’s blended nicely and, as Papa LVP noted, very refreshing.

Bottom line: Would I buy this? If the mood for mint struck me, most definitely.  I don’t often find myself hankering for mint, but the next time it happens, this is my fix!

Coffee Crunch in 55% Dark Chocolate

Coffee Crunch Chocolove

Coffee Crunch Chocolove Ingredients

Coffee Crunch Chocolove 2

This bar came with an excerpt from “The Dream” by Theodore Roethke.

Coffee Crunch Chocolove Poem

The Panel

Mama LVP: I like the texture. It has a nice crunch to it.

Papa LVP: The chocolate has a smooth, deep, and dark flavor. I like the crunchiness of the grains.  I’m not normally a fan of filled chocolates, but I like this.

LVP: It tastes the way a good coffee shop smells: a rich aroma you can get lost in.  It’s crunchy, but the coffee grounds don’t distract from the good quality of the chocolate itself.

Bottom line: Would I buy this? Yes!  This is like a better version of a chocolate-covered espresso bean: it satisfies both my desire for chocolate and my need for coffee.  What’s better than a treat with a buzz?

Thanks again, Chocolove! And don’t forget to check out that Crystallized Ginger in 65% Dark Chocolate Bar.  If I had any money to bet, I’d reimburse each person who claims dissatisfaction with that flavor.  It’s that good.

Our tasting also included Côte d’Or with dark chocolate and hazelnuts that my parents brought back from France (and apparently can be bought at Dean & Deluca!) and dark chocolate “twigs” infused with orange.  So pretty! Wouldn’t it be fun to make a chocolate forest out of these?

dark chocolate twigs

I’m in a bit of a chocolate coma, so I’m going straight to bed.  I need to get up early (for real, this time!)  and do some work for my internship.  How was your weekend? What was the best part?

Bonne nuit 🙂

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32 responses to “A Chocolove Letter

  1. Now I have a big craving for chocolate!

  2. Oh, I’m jealous of the chobani! Never got visited by the chobs fairy and can’t find it here in S.TX! Will have to wait till I get back to CA to try it!

    Japanese for dinner! the bento box looks delite!

    And love the chocolate tasting…everything sounds delish! wish i had some good chocolate like that!

  3. Chocolate review much appreciated!!!! I had never heard of that brand and I actually try to never go into WF. It’s TJ’s, mail order or nothing. So I never see these great specialty bars. I can walk into WF for 1 item and $163 later I leave. So I just cant go in there LOL Seriously though…I love reviews like these! Thanks hon!

    And thanks for the sweet compliment about Skylar (and me) on my blog…you made me feel really nice b/c the wrinkle you mention under your eye? I can’t even see it. Whereas I can most def. see my own!

    Nitey nite sweetie…and make that Vegan PB Banana Bread if you’re craving something moist and decadent but of course I’m partial LOL

  4. You are the salad queen! LOVE the sound of kiwi, carrots, & pom.
    You’re making me crave chocolate with all the choco-love in this post.

  5. You are definitely my younger and much cuter hair twin these days!!! I have been trimming my bangs all the time by myself…its ridiculous!

  6. I loved Cote d’Or when I was in Belgium! I love the fact that you can find very good quality chocolate cheap at grocery stores. There really isn’t a big need for fancy, expensive chocoalte!

  7. Mmm, mmm chocolate 🙂

  8. mmm how good is coffee and chocolate together? They should totally get married ;). Love the reviews. mmm salad- I did not have one this weekend and am craving the crunchy goodness. A must for today. The pineapple chobani is INCREDIBLE. I can’t find it at our stores yet and I’m getting real mad. I think I will have to stop by the courtesy desk at both WFs and Publix and ask them to start carrying it. Hope you have a nice Monday

  9. ohhhhhh and the proposal was SO cute- you must see it

  10. I must be blind, because I don’t see any little wrinkle!!

    That chocolate twig reminds me a bit of a worm. But I didn’t say that. 😉

    ❤ ❤

  11. i loved pineapple the best, too! and I don’t see any wrinkle 🙂

    ah…coffee and peppermint chocolate?!? They both sound great! Mint + chocolate is one of my favorite combinations.

  12. ahhhh i love the poems that come with the chocolate – i see that brand all the time but have just never tried it. that will need to change!

    yay for sleeping in – i might need to also put my cell phone across the room to get up. however, i am notorious for falling back asleep too, so it may or may not help 🙂

    good luck with the job search girl!!!!!

  13. Okay the reviews? LOVES!!! That coffee one is going to be going into my shopping cart soon – dark chocolate and coffee, what could be better?!

    Good luck with the early morning AND the job searches. Any company would be lucky to get you, my dear 🙂

  14. All this chocolate is making me hungry!

  15. I really enjoy Chocolove. Good stuff.

    You’re on a Mac, right? Apple+F will flip your photos for you in Photobooth. : )

  16. I love Chocolove!!!
    I’ve never seen these two flavors. Can’t wait to try them

  17. I like the pineapple Chobani best too- I think it’s because it’s not fat free that it tastes better 😛 I LIKE your bangs like that! That is such a fab picture 🙂

    Now I want some chocolate…

  18. Mmmm, Chocolove is great, right? The one with ginger really is SO good! I’ve also had their orange flavor and it’s great as well. I would love to try both those flavors you received! Such the chocoholic over here…

  19. The salad looks great….and who doesn’t love a good chocolate bar!

  20. Everyone has little wrinkles and whatnot around their eyes. I wouldn’t worry too much. But my only tip is, use an eye cream before you put on concealer. That will help somewhat.

    The best part of my weekend is when it ended. lol

  21. I’m super jealous of your chocolate tasting event! Those Europeans sure know what they’re doing over there;)

    Have a nice Monday night!

  22. SUSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! you always make me proud gurllllllll!

    and look how dedicated you are witcho lap top! and so stinking cute. HONESTLY. you make me melt.

    i love you Katie!!!
    the chocolates look tasty too! id be all over the coffee and peppermint!!!

    Oh and I have to do this (read my last post to know why):
    Foundation species: plays a major role in shaping comunities by creating and enchancing their habitates in ways that benefit other species. (e.x. elephants.)

  23. That chocolate has me drooling woman. Seriously.
    Sushi also has a big thumbs up from this gal – it’s been too long since I’ve had it…you’ve already got me dreaming up a sushi bar happy hour 🙂
    Best part of my weekend was just getting home and snuggling into my lovely house…mmm.

  24. oo the coffee crunch looks really good!

  25. I have such a hankering for some good, straight up dark chocolate right now!

    This weekend was great, but my favorite part was restocking up on food (greek yo, bananas, granola, the works)

  26. my weekend would have been so much better with chocolate! the best part… relaxing at home yesterday. I’m so uninteresting these days 🙂

    what wrinkle?!

  27. what a fun tasting 🙂 i LOVE the pineapple chiobani, but i can’t find it in boston and never had the visit of a chiobani fairy!

  28. Love the pictures of food with you in them! I still haven’t tried the pineapple Chobani…I’m jealous 🙂 Chocolate tasting?!? Sounds great to me!

  29. I just turned 26 and I often worry about wrinkles. Just want to take preventative measures! 🙂

    I like the products from L’Occitane. Not too expensive, plus the company is socially responsible and uses all natural products! I use the Very Precious Eye Serum at night.

    Loved your chocolate taste test!

  30. for some reason chocolove reminds me of the vampire opera from “forgetting sarah marshall” – anyways, yumm
    ps i enjoyed the mirror effect 🙂

  31. I love Chocolove! I am sad I ran out!!! Your sushi looks great too! I’m goin for some tonight! I still need to try pineapple chobs!

  32. jealous of the sushi, i neeed some in my life! 😉

    that chocolate twig looks so interesting haha

    i know what you mean about cool packaging, im the same way about book covers!

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