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New Blog! Come Join Me!

[Rampant exclamation mark usage alert!]

I’ve finally decided to make the leap over to my own domain, so I’d love it if you could come join me at wayfaringchocolate.com! Make sure to update your blogroll, reader, bookmark, feed, or whatever way you have of checking in… I’ll be posting a rather gorgeous-looking chocolate over there tomorrow, and surely you wouldn’t want to miss out?

Yep, this way folks… http://wayfaringchocolate.com/

Super fun times galore await!

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My mother, the lovely and unable-to-rest-on-her-laurels whisperinggums, has become spectacularly proficient at bringing me back gifts from her travels that invariably bring a smile to my face. Often, but not always, these gifts fall into one of two categories: earrings (which I feel naked without) and chocolate (like you didn’t see that coming).

On a recent work-related trip to Western Australia (did I mention that the lady retired some years back? And currently has about five jobs going at once? I meant it about the resting on her laurels thing), she brought me back a gift of each type. What can I say? I’m a lucky lass. Thanks Mum!

I can’t show you the earrings as they’re already at Smurf Kitchen (where I’ll properly be, finally, as of tomorrow), but I can show you the chocolate.

Carmel Valley Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Coffee Beans

Carmel Valley Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Coffee

Or, as I like to call it, Attack of the 10 Year Old Who Just Discovered How To Change Fonts And Colours On The Computer.

I was really excited to discover this chocolate nestled in the blue tissue wrapping paper it came cloaked in. Sure, I’m always pleased to find (or be handed) a new chocolate, but what really thrilled me was seeing that Carmel Valley Chocolates is an Australian chocolate company. Hurrah for local chocolate! Yes, I realise that calling a chocolate produced on the other side of the country “local” doesn’t really conform to Locavore standards, but I’ll take what I can get, thank you very much.

Perusing the (somewhat perfunctory) Carmel Valley website, I was doubly pleased to see that the company’s chocolate bars are vegan, dairy free, egg free, wheat and gluten free, and made from non-GM ingredients. Oh, and this particular flavour is 47% organic, but I feel a bit like 47% is neither here nor there.

Carmel Valley Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Coffee Beans

I loved the rustic, home-made look of this chocolate with the whole coffee beans peeking out.

Okay. Well. Okay. I can’t put this moment off any longer. I wish I could tell you that I loved the taste of this chocolate as much as I loved the idea of it, but sadly this wasn’t the case. When I first took a bite, my initial reaction was that I hadn’t. Confused? So was I.

The flavour just… wasn’t there. All I got was sweetness, and a grainy texture, and maybe, maybe, a hint of cocoa powder. Friends, I felt what I like to call Sad Inside. However, I hitched up my big girl panties and went back for another taste, this time making sure to get a whole coffee bean in the bite.

Thankfully the coffee beans did bring some life to the party, crunching in the mouth in that delightfully crispy-splintering way that coffee beans have. The coffee beans weren’t acrid or burnt, but rather had a nicely rounded taste that even managed to eke out some cocoa flavours from the surrounding chocolate.

Carmel Valley Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Coffee Beans

More peeping toms! I mean coffee beans. Yes.

For all that this chocolate initially disappointed me, I ultimately came to accept its mild sweetness and coffee flavour. “Accept” isn’t really a ringing endorsement, I know, but at least the chocolate wasn’t unpleasant. I’m happy to have supported an Australian chocolate maker (or I’m happy that my mum did) and would, without a moment’s hesitation, buy more from Carmel Valley if I could. I’d love to try the fig chocolate bar and the spirulina balls, which are purportedly made from dried fruits, spirulina, and coconut.

Any chance you’re heading back west anytime soon, whisperinggums?

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If there’s one thing I’ve learnt after seventeen years of schooling, it’s that if you aren’t sure how to begin a piece of writing, the best thing you can do is just start writing anyway. So to take what may well be my own fabricated piece of advice…

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