By The Writing Gourmet
"He has enough ties. Give him beer and chocolate." --Vosges-Haut Chocolat
As the author of my latest book The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010), I'm often asked the question: "What's the best brand of chocolate?" Today, I'm thinking of three of my fave companies that made me smile during research--and can make the dad in your life smile on June 20. So, here you go--a quickie list of the chocolate worth writing home about and keeping some for yourself!...
Lake Champlain Chocolates: To decide which product I enjoyed the most would be an arduous task. The day I opened the box of chocolate products, I was overwhelmed. Every item was impressive to the eye and palate. For a gal who was eating Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bars, biting into an Organic Spicy Aztec Chocolate Square put me in another class of chocolate. I was hooked on spicy flavors in chocolate, thanks to the Lake Champlain Chocolates Seelection, in an impressive green box with an image of a lake surrounded by mountains--much like Lake Tahoe, my home. the epicurean nutty-tasting Chocolate Peanut butter Cup had me at the first bite. I was ready to move to Vermont.
RICHART Paris: I chose the citrus selection out of the family of seven flavors offered by RICHART. It was an exotic experience to bit into a burst of the Grapefruit Ganache fruity delight. I discovered it has a healthful 74 percent cocoa content. Its small size made me recall why the French who practice the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle do not get fat. It's all about savoring superb food, including fruity chocolate, and practicing portion control. (There was only one Grapefruit goodie in the box of chocolates, and I was left craving another one.)
Vosges Haut-Chocolat: The Italiana collection was my choice of a box of exotic truffles. The Rooster: combined with Italian taleggio, organic walnuts, Tahitian vanilla bean, and bittersweet, dark chocolate--a spicy and nutty truffle to love. The Balsamico is a truffle to remember: 12-year aged balsamic vinegar from Modena mixed with dark chocolate and roasted Sicilian hazelnuts. Nor will I forget Olio d' Oliva, with extra virgin olive oil and white chocolate topped iwth dried Kalamata olives. It was like a box of European delights custom mad for the author who wrote the "Healing Powers" series, including vinegar and olive oil.
So, there you go. You've got time to get to these chocolates and give 'em to the father(s) in your life. One more thing. Grab a copy of my chocolate book and give it to that guy--tons of health-oriented stuff that'll keep him healthier and happier.