When I was younger, my family and I used to go to the coast for a week over the Christmas holidays. Of course, in my family, “going to the coast” meant staying in cabins a half hour drive from the beach and only venturing near sand and surf once in the seven days (if we were lucky). And, usually, that once was at the request of one of my grandmothers, who is over seventy years my senior.
What can I say? Apparently my dislike of water is genetic.
Anyhoodles, my favourite part of those holidays (apart from the Scrabble and tennis and trampoline-in-the-ground and annual expedition to the embroidery/cross-stitch store) was feeding the native birds and wallabies. There are stories relating to that which I’m tempted to delve into, but I shan’t, for I brought this holiday-anecdote up to explain that I now understand why the lorikeets, king parrots, cockatoos, and crimson rosellas were so into my seed mix. (Not a euphemism.)
It was because seeds can be like crack. See below for proof.
C’ôte d’Or Dark Chocolate with Roasted Seeds/Bloc Noir Graines Grillées
There are two categories of Top Chocolates in my understanding of life. One category is high-quality, unadorned, pure chocolate, whereby the flavours and excitement emanate from the cacao beans (and perhaps the sugar and vanilla) alone. The other category is chocolates that are enjoyable not because of the chocolate itself, but because of what’s been added to the chocolate: nibs, herbs, salt, caramel, edamame… you name it, I’ll try it (unless “it” is orange).
This C’ôte d’Or Dark Chocolate with Roasted Seeds belongs to the latter category. The chocolate itself didn’t strike me as amazingly mind-boggling, but when combined with its plentiful sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seed inclusions, it became out of this world.
I know that’s a big statement, but just think for a moment. These seeds haven’t been thrown into the mix plain and unadorned. No, these seeds are more like three fairytale women preparing for a prince’s ball; they’ve been pampered and they’ve preened and now they’re presenting themselves in their best possible light, all in the hopes of kissing a frog and landing a kingdom.
The sunflower seeds are roasted.
The pumpkin seeds and roasted and salted.
The sesame seeds are roasted and caramelised.
And in combination with the chocolate, which at 46% is honey-sweet yet undeniably richer in cocoa notes than, say, Lindt’s Excellence dark chocolate, these seeds make me feel like an addict, unable to resist going back for more even when I know all I’ll feel at the end is misery that the sensation/hit is over.
Each seed in this chocolate stands out, both in terms of its different preparation and its nutty essence. There is no bland, musty nuttiness to be found here, only the savoury, almost-bitter burst of sunflower seeds, the incredibly crisp and intense snap of salted pumpkin seeds, and the burnt-sugar halvah-like crackle of the caramelised sesame seeds. As you can see, this chocolate is bursting with seeds, and the flavour is a testament to such [ingredient] generosity.
I absolutely adored this, and it hurts my heart that this is not a C’ôte d’Or that I’ve ever seen in Australia. Please, if someone in a position of chocolate power is reading this, please swap out the caramel milk chocolate C’ôte d’Or or the raspberry one for this slab of heaven.
200g was simply not enough. I must needs get have tasty eats nom nom more.