Up until a couple of years ago I didn’t eat chocolate. For me, it was about as appealing as coffee and lobster – I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about (and I know that sounds crazy for an Islander to say). Then I tried some dark chocolate, and now I am hooked! I must say, I still don’t get very excited about “normal” chocolate; it’s the dark stuff I like, and the darker the better. Shoppers Drug Mart has become my purveyor of choice, offering several different brands. My favourite is Côte d’Or’s Brut (86% cocoa), followed by Lindt’s 85% and Poulain’s Ultime noir (86%). I do also like those brands’ 70% offerings, but any less than 70% and it starts getting way too sweet for my taste. The folks at Just Us! have a 70% Dark Chocolate bar which is good, and I love that their chocolate is organically grown and fairly traded. I just wish they offered an 85% bar as well.
The way I enjoy chocolate is to savour it slowly, letting each piece melt in my mouth. I can make half a bar last the whole 30 minute drive home after work. I don’t understand why anyone would want to chew good chocolate – why not enjoy it for as long as you can?
Interestingly, while writing this post I have discovered something a little unnerving. Côte d’Or is now owned by Kraft Foods, and Poulain by Cadbury. Although both chocolatiers have been around for a very long time (since the 19th century), they have succumbed to the notion that “growth is more”, and have allowed themselves to be swallowed up by huge multinational corporations who can arguably better promote their product internationally. I say “arguably” because Lindt, with similarly auspicious beginnings, has managed on their own to grow into a company that boasts huge international distribution with nearly a billion Swiss Francs in worldwide sales. I find it worrisome to see a small company align themselves with something larger (as in Seaman’s by Pepsi). Will the products retain their same quality, or will they evolve into something more “marketable” in response to the new owners’ wishes? I guess if I’m really serious about this, I will boycott the big boys (like I already do with WalMart) and support the little guy who I know promotes the tenets of environmental responsibility and social JustUs! You can have your chocolate and your principles too!