The Question is The Answer

Do you ever have questions about chocolate, but were too afraid to ask? Here are some answers to some of those questions:

The Toblerone bar includes: A) Honey, B) Malt extract, C) Molasses, or D) Rum? The answer is A) Honey! This iconic chocolate bar, created by Theodor Tobler in the early 1900’s originally contained milk chocolate, nougat, and honey. Today, this bar is also made with dark chocolate and white chocolate.  Anyway way you buy it, the taste is amazing.

Eating dark chocolate can cause: A) Acne, B) Cavities, C) Migraines, or D) None of the above? The answer is D) None of the above. So true based upon several studies that chocolate cannot be blamed for any of these ill effects. yeah! In fact, the antioxidants contained in chocolate may have healthy benefits. As with everything else you do in life, moderation is the key.

Which of the following is not a classic pairing with dark chocolate: A) Brandy, B) 12-tear old Scotch, C) Port, or D) Chardonnay? The answer is D) Chardonnay. Many people have debated chocolate pairings, none of which include Chardonnay. Most suggestions are aged Scotch, Armagnac or Bourbon, while others include a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon. Be adventurous and try them all.

On Valentine’s Day (which is coming up!) in Japan, who traditionally gives out the chocolate: A) Women, B) Men, C) Parents, or D) Children? The answer is A) Women! On Valentine’s Day, Japanese women dole out two types of chocolate. This first is giri choco to their bosses and co-workers and the second is honmei choco for their sweethearts. Try it this year and see what happens.

Chocolate is amazing. So not matter where you are or what you are doing take some time to indulge.

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Pairing Your Chocolate

With dark chocolate making news as a decent source of antioxidants (in moderation!), what flavor combinations can you put together for your next party? A sophisticated sweet tooth is looking for new and unique combinations. Here are some suggestions:

Find a pure, 72% dark chocolate, such as the Ghirardelli Twilight Delight, and pair it with cognac, a dry red wine or a Cabernet. If you need additional flavor add warm toasted almonds, dried cherries, raisins or figs.

A dark chocolate, at least 72 % cocoa, with espresso beans such as Endangered Species Fair Trade, that is full-bodied in flavor. Pair with a Ruby Port, mug of steamed milk, Cabernet or hot chocolate. For additional pairings melt on a brioche or croissant, French toast, biscotti, or s’more.

Try an intense dark chocolate with mint, such as the Ghirardelli Mint Bliss bar. With 60% cocoa and fresh mint leads to a crisp and clean contrast to the smooth dark chocolate. Pair with Bailey’s Irish Cream, brandy, cognac, warm herbal tea or a traditional glass of ice cold milk. For more snack options use this bar in a brownie, in cheesecake, melted with salty pretzels or a handful of macadamia nuts.

Dark chocolate and orange is a combination hard to resist. A Lindt Intense Orange Excellence Bar will pair perfectly with a sweet dessert wine such as a Gewurtztraminer, or Grand Marnier, hot cup of coffee, espresso or cappuccino, or a jasmine tea. If you need more flavor have a slice of Chevre cheese with a square of the chocolate, dried apricots, toasted almond, or mixed into a bowl of cottage cheese.

Finally, for those who need it a bit sweeter, try an Amy’s Crunchy Organic Candy Bar that includes English toffee, almonds and dark chocolate. have a bite or two with a late-harvest Riesling or Zinfandel, a Muscat, a warm cup of chai, a glass of cream Sherry or a shot of Drambuie. This bar will even pair with salt and vinegar chips, a mix of salty nuts, and even a handful of popcorn!

So whether you are a dark chocolate fan or not. These pairings are delicious enough to create your own flavor party.

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