Chocolate, in what country do I begin?
Chocolate, most of us love it and cannot get enough of it, but which one tastes best? Chocolate is known the world around to be an almost universally enjoyed pleasure.
For my money, I consider the Irish chocolates to be among the finest in the world. For my palate Swiss chocolate rates right up next to them. The Swiss do not just have the best ingredients and world class dairy to mix with the cocoa bean, they have processes that are kept as tightly guarded as state secrets. The number of times that the chocolate is stirred is very closely regulated and even that number is also guarded. The entire process is shrouded in secrecy.
To my taste, chocolate from Ireland is more buttery and creamier than any others while still not being too sweet. The Swiss chocolate, on the other hand, is rich with great depth of flavor. Swiss chocolate’s rich flavor and texture is satisfying beyond all others.
Some folks tout Belgian or Italian chocolate as the world’s finest. I cannot agree. I find the Belgian to be less creamy than the Irish and less rich than the Swiss. Others love their Italian chocolate. I find the Italian chocolate to be a bit waxy in texture and excessively sweet almost cloying.
Of course there is the version of chocolate produced in the USA that I have, so far, not mentioned. Some will point to that commercially mass-produced cocoa product coming out of Pennsylvania as standard fare from the USA. It is grainy and waxy, a far cry from the ideal chocolate experience, sadly not how chocolate is supposed to be experienced at all. Those who limit themselves to that sad cocoa bean product have not experienced what the finer candy makers in the USA are truly capable of. Those treats produced by the small fine chocolate shops that dot the country with their specialties are the finest. To my taste buds, many of these are delicacies will stand up against the worlds best.
I recently tasted a spicy Vietnamese flavored chocolate from a small fine chocolate shop in Cranford, NJ in the USA. This particular combination of flavors, to me, was beyond amazing but I cannot expect everyone to love such exotic flavors. Each of us brings his or her own palate to the tasting table of life and its treats. Who am I to say that my sense of taste is better than the sensibility of some one else?
Despite the fact that I consider myself a chocolate connoisseur, I must say that everyone has his or her own favorites. Some tasters swear by Italian, some love their Belgian or French. Who am I to disagree with the opinions of their taste buds? We can still get along fine if we all agree that: “If it is not chocolate, it is not dessert.”
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