Taking Tea in the Kasbah

I love chocolate. This is my story.

But first, I’m in the kasbah’s very first blog hop: What’s Your Chocolate? Blog Hop hosted by these talented authors: Brinda Berry, M. Pax, Ciara Knight, and Laura Eno.

Click here and you’ll find the linky list of blogs where there’s many more chocolatey posts to enjoy. 

But while you’re here in the kasbah, I’ll tell you my story of how I became a chocolate snob. Don’t worry, I’ll be brief so you can get to the good stuff below.

It all started with the humble Hershey’s Kiss.

Hershey's Kiss

Such an innocent, little thing, really. The perfect tiny dose of chocolate to quell the craving.

And then came Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the shape of an egg in my Easter basket. Why those tasted better than the standard circular ones is one of the great mysteries of life.

Next came Twix, that creamy chocolate and chewy caramel candy bar with the cookie crunch. To me, that was candy bar perfection in the 1980’s. It was my go-to candy bar, the one I pined for when the chocolate craving struck.

Some years later, I moved west and discovered local chocolatier, Euphoria Chocolate Company. Their to-die-for truffles and dark chocolate covered graham crackers introduced my naive palate to the wonders of the artisan confectionary. Euphoria indeed.

photo credit ~ Eugene Daily News

My chocolate love doesn’t stop at candy. It will gladly extend itself to ice cream (my favorite flavor is Mexican Mocha – a chocolate/coffee/cinnamon blend of heavenly goodness) and mochas at my favorite cafe. Coffee and chocolate. Chocolate and coffee. They were meant for each other. And for me.

This is one of the smaller parcels. I highly recommend procuring a friend who sends chocolates from Europe.

Then came the gourmet chocolates from Europe. Over the past ten years, my friend, Anne, has sent large boxes filled with chocolates from Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. Then, when I was in Germany visiting her, I was encouraged to try Ritter Sport Trauben Nuss, which I believe is German for you will totally get over your raisin hatred, fall in love with this candy bar, and never go back to your old standards. Yes, it has raisins and hazelnuts. Sounds a bit unappealing, right? I thought so, too. But trust me when I say there’s something about the three flavors melding together that is so delightful in every darn bite.

Yeah, the wrapper is open. Whatever. I can’t be trusted with this much chocolate and be expected to not eat some.

And thus a chocolate snob was born. I blame it on the Germans. (Sorry, Anne.) The humble Hershey’s kiss wasn’t going to cut it for me any longer.

Then came the current chocolate love of my life: Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate. Crunchy almonds, a sprinkling of sea salt, quality Belgian dark chocolate. Sweet, salty goodness all masterfully blended together and then placed in an artful wrapper with Phillip Sydney’s Astrophil and Stella poem written inside. The only thing that would improve on this candy bar’s perfection is a classy British actor stopping by to read the poem.

Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate

And now for the fun part, sweet readers! You didn’t think I’d blather on and on about my inane chocolate obsession and not share some with you, did you? The kasbah is a classier joint than that. Chocolate is best enjoyed when shared with others, especially when we each have our own stash from which to nibble.

So, in honor of the kasbah’s first blog hop, I have a sampling of a few of my current favorite chocolates to give away to one lucky commenter. That’s right, it’s the kasbah’s VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY.

A small, tidy parcel of three different chocolates from yours truly will arrive on the doorstep of one lucky commenter whose name will be chosen in a random drawing. All you have to do is leave a comment below by Monday, September 17th and you’ll be entered into the drawing. I will announce the winner later that week.

Here’s what you’ll receive when it arrives on that most joyous of days: Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate, Green & Black’s Milk Chocolate with Toffee (also quite delectable), and Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate (sorry, I can never find Trauben Nuss here and mine are all gone – you’ll have to get your own German friend to send you that one).

photographic proof the wrappers are unopened and intact at the time of this posting…

I recommend having a cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee and a good book to read to further enhance your enjoyment. Or better yet, share them with a friend. Whatever you like. It’s your chocolate.

And remember to cilck here to see the linky list and make your way to other chocolicious blogs.

So, charming readers, what was your first chocolate love? Which chocolate confectionary delight has wooed you recently? Are you a chocolate hater? I’ve heard myths about such people but do they really exist? Sit and chat a while. As always, I love to hear from you.

56 thoughts on “For the Love of All That Is Chocolate (& Giveaway)

  1. First. I think. That should help me with the random drawing, no? Love chocolate but I, too, have become a chocolate snob. We have a local chocolatier in my town that’s been around for a looooong time and makes the best chocolate truffles called meltaways. You can only get them through their store but I’m willing to be your dealer if you need to try these. The company is called Stowaway Sweets and they have a lot of other chocolates but I never make it past the meltaways. Yum.

    • Yes, you are the first commenter. Way to go! I think I do need to try the meltaways. I could do a swap with you – some chocolate covered grahams for some meltaways. (I would offer our local truffles but they would be a melted gooey mess by the time they arrived because need to stay refrigerated.) Or whatever you like. I like the idea of cross-country chocolate swapping. It’s all in the name of research, right?

  2. I like to share, but that isn’t the case with chocolate. Particularly when it’s “special” chocolate that only arrives in my hands ever so often. And the proper way to enjoy this food of the gods? Never bite! Always, always it must be allowed to melt on the tongue or gently sucked, but NEVER EVER bitten. The bonus to this proper method of chocolate consumption? It allows for the full chocolate bouquet to saturate the senses. And, oh yeah, It lasts longer.

    • You sound like a true chocolate connoisseur, Barbara! I MUST scurry off now to savor some chocolate Barbara’s way…

  3. This past week, at the local Air Base, I approached the German chocolate aisle and stuck my nose up close and took in a great whiff of the best smelling chocolate available. Well, that was until I made it to the row of Swiss chocolate and chocolate made in Belgium–but when I do allow myself the pleasure of buying chocolate–it’s always back to the German aisle I go. I’m a chocolate snob – but in a chocolate fit – I’m content with sugar free Godiva.

    • Those Germans make some of the best chocolate, don’t they? But then again so do the Swiss and Belgians. So much chocolate to enjoy, so little time. 🙂

  4. Oh wow. Now I have to open the drawer to my chocolate stash and have a piece … Once the good stuff is tasted there’s no going back. I’ve become more of a chocolate snob, too. Our local chocolateer is orignally from Austria. Yum.

    • Once you’ve had the high quality stuff, it IS so hard to go back. So true! There are some great American-made chocolates that I love. My budget doesn’t like them as much but if you’re gonna eat chocolate, might as well make it the good stuff. 🙂

  5. Those are all great chocolates! I love chocolate and peanut butter together, or chocolate with fruit filling. Chocolate is also great mixed with peppermint.

    • Chocolate and PB is a great combo as is chocolate and mint. My favorite choc/mint bar is by Endangered Species. Their dark chocolate with deep forest mint is a particularly great one.

  6. on ,
    rabiagale said:

    I love chocolate, and I am not at all snobbish about what kind. I eat handfuls of chocolate chips from the pantry when I can’t get a candy bar. (Funny story: about an hour ago, my 7yo son caught me sneaking some. “Why do YOU get some chocolate chips?” “Because I’m special,” I retorted. I was in a hurry to get to my story. I will explain about women and chocolate to my son at a later time.)

    When I was a kid, I loved Bounty–gooey sweet coconut filling with a veneer of chocolate. During a study-abroad term in London while in college, a nightly snack of Kit-Kat was all that stood between me and depression. I adore Toblerone and Lindt truffles (mmm). Chocolate cake–in all its variations–is my favorite dessert.

    I’ve seen chocolate with sea salt before. You’ve given me reason to try it. 🙂

    • How funny that you were caught sneaking some! Great response, btw.

      Kit-Kat’s are the ones I eat during Halloween as there seems to be an abundance of them around me for some reason (though not by my doing!). Toblerones are great, too. It’s a great one to sneak into the movies. 🙂

  7. This post positively made me drool. While I was in Britain, I really enjoyed trying all their candy bars: Curlywurly, Aero, Hobnobs, and of course Cadbury. But I think a chocolate bar with “Astrophil and Stella” on the inside tops all!

    • You’ve just reminded me that there is a world of candy bars out there to try. I think that should be my new travel mission: to try at least one new candy bar per city I visit. 🙂

  8. OMG I love chocolate! I’m a bit of a snob myself though in that my favorite are Dove Dark Chocolate and Godiva truffles ;-). I’ve actually been to the Hershey factory. The entire town looks like something out of Leave it to Beaver. The streetlamps are in the shape of kisses 😀 and yes the entire town smells like chocolate when the factory is working.

    mmmm Dove Dark Chocolate….must go get some now!

    • Dark chocolate is THE BEST, isn’t it? I can’t imagine living in a place like Hershey, PA and smelling chocolate all day long. I can’t decide if that would be heavenly or torturous. 😉

      • The real torture comes when you get to the part of the tour where they have dancing cows sing at you. “It’s the milk chocolate, yeah yeah yeah!”. It’s like It’s A Small World at Disney…the same tune over and over and over LOL.

        We decided it was probably better not to smell chocolate all day. I’d gain a thousand pounds! Still a fun place to visit, if you ever get the chance.

  9. Oh. My. Gosh. There is something not right with the world if I don’t win this. I’ll keep my fingers crossed because that chocolate and sea salt bar sounds delectable. My first candy bar love was the Zero bar. My parents once gave me a box loaded with them for Christmas. I, too, evolved into a more discerning chocolate connoisseur. I now prefer Godiva when receiving gifts. I didn’t know about German chocolate.

    • I remember the Zero bar! For some reason it is reminding me of another candy bar I liked as a kid: the Whatchamacallit. I loved that one as much for the name as the candy bar itself.

      You MUST try some German chocolates. They are just as heavenly – if not more so – as Godiva.

  10. Coffee and chocolate are fabulous partners. You’ve shown me some here that I haven’t tried before…and need to! Thanks for joining the blogfest. 🙂

    Laura Eno

    • I’m glad to be a part of it! Glad I gave you some new chocolates to seek out and try (or win, as the case may be…).

      Whoever paired coffee and chocolate together for the first time is an absolute genius in my book. I’m now oddly curious about the who/when/where of it all.

  11. on ,
    marcia said:

    Chocolate is so good and good for you. They are finding out more and more how good it is for your mood, blood pressure, and general health. That’s how you can kill two bars with one stone. That doesn’t make sense, does it…oh, well. Enjoy!

  12. totally agree with Marcia. Chocoate is good for you. Chocolate is necessary. And besides that, no one should EVER write without chocolate! I love dark chocolate. I think I love the picture of those chocoate wrappers!

  13. This must be the most mouth-watering blog hop ever! Your selection of chocolate looks like true decadence. Very kind of you to offer!

    • I know – my chocolate cravings are through the roof today! I’m excited to share some of my favorite chocolates with one of you. If only I could send some to each of you… 🙂

  14. “It all started with the humble Hershey’s Kiss.” I had an obsession that started with a kiss too, but it wasn’t chocolate. 😉

  15. You’re giving away chocolate? (puts up hand) I definitely recall reading an article stating that chocolate has health benefits. So too does read wine. (I’m serious!)
    I’ve become a chocolate snob too. We don’t get all that many varieties here in Oz, but recent years have seen a definite expansion in the range of European chocolates available in supermarkets. My go-to block is Lindt Excellence 70% (I buy 10 blocks at a time when it’s on special). But I’d choose 55-60% any day of the week. (It’s not as widely available here.) The range of supermarket chocolate in Europe is amazing.

    Hey – anyone going to Cologne in Germany should visit the chocolate museum, which has a real live working Lindt chocolate factory inside…

    • My friend who commented about chocolate being good for you also likes to tell me about the health benefits of red wine. It didn’t take much to convince me to have a little of both each day. 😉

      Lindt is an excellent one to enjoy. Europeans are so lucky to have such an amazing array of chocolates so widely available. I can’t complain too much, though. My grocery store is well stocked on both domestic and European chocolates (though sadly, not Ritter Sport Trauben Nuss).

      If I make it back to Germany some day I will certainly have to look into the chocolate museum in Cologne.

  16. on ,
    Ally said:

    I love Ritter Sport bars! My favourite is probably the marzipan! And the toffee and chocolate is my favourite candy in general (:

    • Ritter Sport has so many good flavors, don’t they? My friend sends me lots of my favorite and then throws in some new seasonal flavors to try as well.

  17. I’m weird, because I don’t like chocolate & coffee together. Too much of a good thing? and possibly my favorite form of chocolate is Tilamook Chocolate & Peanut Butter ice cream. Is it fair to introduce ice cream to the competition? If you’re going to restrict me to candy, then I gotta say Frans dark chocolate covered caramels with sea salt.
    *drooling now*

    • Ooh, that ice cream sounds fabulous. Totally fair to talk about ice cream here – I mentioned my fave in the post. I’d be drooling, too, over those caramels. All this talk about chocolate makes me want to watch Chocolat again while eating my favorite goodies.

  18. on ,
    Kim Griffin said:

    I can’t remember my first chocolate love, but it was probably a kitkat. I loved nibbling the chocolate from all of the corners and eating the wafers layer by layer (still do!). Then I moved on to Godiva truffles when I worked in downtown Baltimore with a Godiva store right across the street. Ahhh… That was expensive! Ha!
    Now, I’m really into dark chocolate – love Godiva and Dove. That German chocolate sounds really interesting! I’d love to try it. Gonna have to hit up twitter or dig into my ancestry to see if I have distant family there 😉

    Great post, as always!

    • Fancy chocolate preferences can really hit the wallet hard, can’t they? But if you’re gonna eat some, it might as well be of the quality, dark chocolate variety. I hope you can find some German chocolates to try, especially Ritter Sport. 🙂

    • I’ve never been on an official chocolate tasting. If I ever do make it to FNQ, I’ll be sure to do that.

  19. Oh-my-gosh, are all of you natural skinnies? If I allowed myself to indulge in chocolate like I always want to, I’d weigh more than a car! But, perhaps you are all more disciplined than I…I can’t suck on one Hershey’s kiss, or let one side of my favorite Twix bar rest for another time. Just can’t. I adore chocolate truffles, and my mouth watered hearing about the ones described above. Sara, I do believe those meltaways are causing me angst!

    • I can pass up sub-par cookies, cakes, candy, etc pretty easily. But a good quality chocolate or fresh, organic veggies or a really good cheese? I’m all over those. Because they are so spendy, it’s a natural disincentive for overindulging. 😉

  20. While I’d love to be a snob about chocolate, I admit I have no standards at all. However, I have learned during my time in France that one or two truffles really is satisfying. But I’m also a sucker for the UK Aero bars (which I can get in international grocery stores here at home). I may be heading to Germany next year, so I’ll have to remember their chocolates (one rarely hears “Germany” and “chocolate together when talking European chocolates)

    • I’ve never had an Aero bar – will have to try one if I come across one here. I agree, the simple pleasure of a truffle, in all its decadence, is quite satisfying. And yes, you’ll have to check out the German chocolates when you’re there. I’ve really only had Ritter Sport bars, which as I mentioned are very tasty.

  21. on ,
    Coleen Patrick said:

    Yay chocolate! I particularly like it with peanut butter or any kind of nut. 🙂 We were in Belgium for a day once and I got to sample chocolate from several shops in Brugge. YUM.
    Love the photos, I’m drooling.

    • Nuts and chocolate go together so well. Kinda like coffee and chocolate. Belgian chocolate is at the top of my list of faves. Someday when I make it to Belguim, I plan to sample as much chocolate as can. And then I’ll need to run for 8340 miles to balance out the calorie intake. 😉

  22. Thank you for addressing this extremely important subject Tami! I too, am a chocolate snob and as any Brit will tell you European chocolate is far superior to American chocolate. When anyone visits me from the UK one of the first things they comment on is how bad the chocolate is in the US. In England you can pick up an amazing bar of chocolate at the gas station for a dollar. In the US you can only get good echolocate form a specialist shop – I have no idea why that is. Of course the best chocolate in the world is either Swiss, German or Belgium. They really know their stuff!

    • The more I sample and eat chocolates from Europe, the less inclined I am to eat American chocolate. Sad but true. Except for the gourmet chocolatiers based here, of which there are several and they’re quite good. I find standard American chocolates too sugary and not containing enough quality cocoa.

      The Swiss, German, and Belgian chocolates have been winning me over for a while now. Like you said, they really know their stuff!

  23. on ,
    Meryl said:

    My new favorite is Newman’s Own Organics Super Dark Chocolate 70%. Ultra creamy, smooth, deep, dark chocolate with a lot of complexity. I’ve had lots of great European chocolate, but this one can stand up to any of them – Try it – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Thanks for commenting, Meryl! Newman’s Own chocolates are good. I haven’t had very many of the flavors but the ones I have tried are good quality.

  24. on ,
    Louis said:

    I’m a milk chocolate fan – I like Valrhona and Dove.

    • I’ve never had Valrhona before. I’ll have to see if my well-stocked grocery store has some. Thanks for commenting!

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