I wasn’t much into chocolate as a kid.
No. Seriously. My poison of choice was more along the lines of Starburst, Skittles, and Abbazabba. Being a kid, I wouldn’t REJECT chocolate. But I didn’t seek it out either. Over the years, milk chocolate worked its way into my treasure trove of sweets. Somewhere along the way that chocolate became far less satisfying.
Enter Italy. My first experience with artisanal chocolate was Gay-Odin in Napoli. (Aside: God, I had to look this up. Next thing you know I’ll require reading glasses and have an obsessive need to talk about my bowel movements. Love ya, Grandma.) Gay-Odin was amazing. They had spicy chocolate bars (peperoncino), bars with cannella (cinnamon). They even had volcanoes of chocolate. Vestri in Firenze (Florence to Anglophiles) was the next place (really some amazing creations here).
These places changed my perspective of chocolate. It is no longer about the sugar content. It’s actually about the cacao bean. How it’s processed. Quality outweighs quantity and satisfaction is more determined by the subtlety of the flavors.
We’re fortunate enough to have some good options here in San Diego. I confess I haven’t been to most of them. Eclipse is far too convenient and delicious.
I am not a chocolate hoarder. No intervention is required. Most of these beauties will be leaving me (tis the season).