Posts Tagged ‘Assassins’

My world briefly shuddered on its axis today. For a few hours, I seriously considered trading in my chocolate habit. I thought that perhaps one does not really need super dark or intriguingly flavoured chocolate to create daily sparkles of happiness, but simply regular hour-long massages at spa salons.

And cucumber water. Oh, the cucumber water.

Luckily for you (and, realistically, my bank account), I came to my senses once Asheville’s freezing air had cleared my mind of “Alive” essential oils. Thus, I present to you:

Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate

Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate

Didn't anyone ever tell Chocolove's design team that Less Is More?

Chocolove‘s chocolates tend to slot into the part of my mental comestibles catalogue entitled “pleasant, but not necessarily worth hunting for”. I do enjoy the Chillies and Cherries in Dark Chocolate and think the Extra Strong Dark 77% is lovely and smooth, but for some reason I’ve started passing over Chocolove when I’m wandering around a store’s chocolate aisle.

All this changed, though, when I chanced upon Chocolove’s new Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate bar, which is in fact so new that it is not yet listed on the website. Despite being only 55%, and therefore a far sweeter chocolate base than I’d usually pick, I adore this chocolate.

Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate

Lookee all the almonds! Roasty salty scrumptiousness!

The chocolate is sweet, yes, but it is also rich, silky, and slightly woodsy. The almonds are whole and incredibly crispy from being roasted, and in each of the two bars I ate (take note – I rarely buy the same chocolate twice when travelling), never once did I come across a stale or bad nut. Ooh, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory flashback.

The salt seems predominantly attached to the almonds, yet as the almonds are so plentiful it is rare to get a bite without a salt crystal lending its special contrasting magic to the experience. The salt contributes to the bar’s aroma of chocolatey butter-caramel popcorn (yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), and does its enhancing trick of making the chocolate seem richer, chocolatier and deeper, and the almonds nuttier and butterier. You know how most dessert recipes recommend adding a pinch of salt? That’s because salt is magical in sweets. Kind of like how The Ballad of Czolgosz is magical when it comes in at the end of the Gun Song in Assassins, or how Jack’s mother line “the slotted spoon can catch the potato” is magical as the first line in the Finale of Into the Woods. (Sondheim mood, anyone?)

Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate

Did I mention these come with excerpts from love poems in the wrapper? I'm still waiting to find one by Pablo Neruda in there.

Anyway, to get back to the topic at hand, Chocolove’s Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate bar filled me with the aforementioned sparkly happiness, and caused my tasting notes to be filled with words such as “fantastical” and “salty buttery heaven yum”.

Which, despite my brief infatuation, is more than I can say for iced cucumber water.

(In all honesty, though, I can highly recommend Spa Theology on College Street in Asheville. A chocolate when you change into your robe, heated toilet seats [flashback to Japan!], raspberry iced tea and roasted nuts when you sit in the lounge afterwards with a heatpack around your neck – lovely. And if you get a massage, ask for Ben.)


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Cinnamon Dolce Soy Lattes may just be the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth (no off-colour jokes, please. I’m writing from  Starbucks on the corner of 6th and 31st, and for all you know there are children present). I spent a good five minutes trying to decide between this, a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and a Creme Brulee Cappuccino, but this won out. And how it won! I know E.Fashionista will disapprove, but my friend, if you’re reading this, you are missing out.

I’m mildly cranky at myself, for after getting about 8 hours sleep in the 48 hours preceding my arrival in New York, I overslept my alarm and ended up waking at 1:30pm. Thankfully this is (cliché warning) the city that never sleeps, so unlike Australia, I didn’t have to worry about everything closing in four hours. As soon as I saw the time I jumped out of bed – or, to be honest, gingerly climbed down from the top bunk – and ran for the subway station, watching the clock obsessively as it crept closer and closer to 2pm, the cut-off time for cheap Broadway matinee tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square. Sadly for me, I got there at five past, and only had options for a Christmas Show which the fellow at the desk told my “my grandmother would love” (do you think he’d include my 95-year-old grandma in that?) and a few others. I declined, then felt better after discovering that Mary Poppins does not even have a matinee session on Wednesdays, so even if I had got here on time it wouldn’t have mattered. As much as I’d love to see every show, budgetary restrictions are in force, so on the advice of A.Tapdancer I’m aiming for Mary Poppins. But why, oh why, won’t anyone put on a production of Assassins?

Some men have everything / And some have none, / So rise and shine- / In the U.S.A. / You can work your way / to the head of the line!

(Especially in Starbucks.)

Okay, the man next to me just left, so I can mention that it’s fun travelling alone because you can get involved in conversations with people you meet. Not that he knew I was travelling before we started talking, but obviously if I’d been chatting with someone else he wouldn’t have talked to me. Lovely man from Puerto Rico, wife is Peruvian, showed me a e-card he’d received that lit up with more and more icons and pictures as you clicked it and, most importantly, didn’t tell me about almost dying whilst giving birth.

Though, if he had, I might have been able to get on Oprah as someone who discovered a pregnant man. Oh wait, she’s already done that story.

Oh, yummy Latte, why are you gone already? I think I’m beginning to understand why people order the mega-huge sizes. Wonder when the caffeine will kick in? And what to do now? Walk 20 blocks south to the Union Square Markets, or save that for another day? Oh golly, I do get discombobulated when I don’t have everything planned out. How shall I fit it all in?

Someone next to me just started talking about “a disease that killed them all”, then mentioned that “they all had fuzzy skin”. What on earth? Oh, wait, he just mentioned chestnut trees. And durian. So maybe we’re not looking at the next swine flu with bizarre physical symptoms.

Might stop writing now, as this is probably getting a bit long for those of you of the supposedly-concentration-lacking-facebook-generation.

One last thing – Cream soda tastes like sugar multiplied by about a thousand. Never again. And consider yourselves warned.

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