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Posts Tagged ‘Endangered Species’

When I clicked on “Register a Blog” several months ago, I knowingly created (as do all bloggers) a space on the Internet for my thoughts. What I didn’t realise was that this act of clicking would lead to another act of creation, one less tangible in nature than, yet just as integral to, the blog.

It seems that a part of my mind has seceded from the rest and devoted itself entirely to sifting through the events of each day in order to narrate them back to me as a possible blog post.

For example: Majority Hannah think "I'm in Liverpool, and that is a KFC knockoff", whereas Blog-Voice yells "Stop the Presses! This could link back to the Mr Bottom Post!"

[The Mr Bottom post, for those who are interested, can be found here.]

Most of the time, the blog voice is great. I don’t mind its presence, and the process of “writing the world anew” has helped me find humour in unpleasant situations (treks to Parisian hospitals, laundry kerfuffles, and disappointing chocolates, for example).

Sometimes, though, I wish I could turn the voice off. Not because I don’t like the suggestions, but precisely because I do… and because I know I can’t publish them.

Already, there have been stories from my travels that I couldn’t post (those of you able to foist more than one glass of wine upon me might like to ask about Fish-Boy). Then yesterday happened, and I found myself pushing through dispiritedness by imagining how I could put a positive blog-spin on the situation.

A positive spin such as... Yes, these Munich lingerie mannequins are the scariest I've seen anywhere in the world, particularly as the one behind looks like an indentured brothel worker trying to escape, but you know what? I can ask my readers whether they also thinks the lingerie set looks like a cross between a sunglasses-wearing face and Mickey Mouse.

Yet because these writings of mine are public, I have to bite my tongue. Suffice to say, if anyone wants a list of things to check before saying yes to a house-sitting gig, send me an email. I’ll gladly ensure you don’t end up in an, erm, interesting place for over a month.

But readers, we (my blog-voice and I) shall endure. I’ve already got myself past my melodrama and am quite accepting of my abode. I mean, I have clean drinking water, a ready supply of chocolate, and credit on my phone. As long as I’ve got those things, I’m surely walkin’ on sunshine.

What was that sound we all just heard? A segue? I think you’re right.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate 72% with Cranberries and Almonds

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds

Why Grandma, what big eyes you've got!

Firstly, this one is for Lauren, who likes bits and pieces in her chocolate.

Secondly, (question time!) I’d love to hear what story comes to mind when you think of wolves. Perhaps Little Red Riding Hood, or The Boy Who Cried Wolf, or another such wolf-motif tale I’m drawing a blank on? Personally, I can never think of wolves without thinking of Laura Ingalls Wilder, from the wolves in Little House on the Prairie who circle Laura’s cabin while Jack keeps watch to the wolf den that Laura and Carrie chance upon in By the Shores of Silver Lake.

But enough about wolves. Let’s talk chocolate.

As I’ve come to expect from Endangered Species’ dark chocolate, this 72% with cranberries and almonds has a strong aroma of sweet coconut. Although the aroma also puts forth hints of red berry, the coconut is what carries through in the taste. The chocolate itself is sweet without being cloying and, at the same time, punchy without being bitter.

What, no wolf jerky bits? (Ew. I apologise for that.)

The taste reminded me immediately of Yum Yum Balls (no snickering, Amber) which, in my household at least, were childhood snacks made from a mixture of crushed weetbix, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and cocoa (if memory serves me correctly).

In terms of the “bits and pieces”, the cranberries and almonds appear as tiny and not-altogether-prevalent chunks. The cranberry pieces, sadly, contribute little more than vague sweetness to the bar, yet on the upside the almonds offer a notably roasted and buttery flavour.

This isn’t a rock-your-socks chocolate, but is perfect for when you’re in a less-than-stellar mood and just want something sweet and pleasant and easy to eat. (When you’ve just discovered that the vacuum-cleaner and oven don’t work, for example.) The add-ins aren’t striking, flavourwise, but they do build upon the chocolate’s sweet notes of maple syrup and coconut.

If only they could also build the Internet and a mosquito net for my current place of residence.

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Back in January, I spouted forth about the times when only the truly dark and strong chocolates will do. In the comments section, the lovely-and-soon-to-be-met-in-Paris Camille recommended Theo’s Venezuela 91% bar, and I mentioned I had both had and planned to review it. Over a month later, and I’m finally following through…

Theo Venezuela 91%

I only have a photo of this chocolate in its packaging, so I’ll keep the review short in order to avoid boring you with tempting-photo-less text.

Theo Venezuela 91%

For once, we won't subscribe to the "it's what's inside that counts" mindset - at least pictorially.

While Guittard’s Nocturne tasted undeniably of fennel and the 90% Lindt’s flavour brought to mind non-sweet but delicious cookies, this particular Theo bar was earthy, woodsy and, more importantly, tasted purely of chocolate. Completely lacking in tangy, citrusy, or red berry notes (which aren’t up my alley), the Venezuela bar is definitely intense in its lack of sweetness. It does, however, offer up divine cream and cocoa notes.

I revelled in the Venezuela bar’s flavours of peanut butter, walnut, hazelnut, and tobacco, and wrote (in all capitals), in my ever-growing chocolate document, “LOVE LOVE RICH CHOCOLATE ESSENCE GOOD”.

I do think you have to be in the mood for this dark-spectrum chocolate, but the absence of sourness, acridity, or bitterness in its flavour makes such a mood one well worth tuning into.

Endangered Species Extreme Dark Chocolate 88%

And while we’re at it, let’s take a peek at this slightly sweeter yet “extreme” dark chocolate produced by Endangered Species.

Endangered Species Extreme 88%

Grandma, what big eyes you've got!

Endangered Species uses the image of different (wait for it) endangered species for each of its chocolate flavours, and includes a plethora of information about these animals’ plights on the inside label. 10% of the profits go towards helping said animals, and so I’d like to think that there’s a pleasant, friendly jaguar out there alive today just because I munched away at this chocolate. Hopefully, he or she isn’t currently munching away on an unsuspecting child.

While this chocolate has a cacao content of only 3% less than Theo’s Venezuela bar, it is noticeably sweeter, even in the aroma. It smelt strongly of coconut and granola (the good American type of granola… no one does granola like the US). And the coconut flavour appeared in the taste as well, albeit mildly, and blended in with tobacco notes.

Endangered Species Chocolate

Aha! We have a money shot!

One night, I switched between these Theo and Endangered Species chocolates to see what differences I could pick up, and oh! what fun was had! The latter’s use of beet sugar and vanilla was immediately noticeable, and I believe factored into its sweeter taste.

In addition, the Endangered Speices chocolate had a smoother mouthfeel and a fruitier taste when eaten alongside the Theo, though when eaten alone had stronger smoky and granola/muesli notes.

Without any other photos, I think I’ll stop blathering on now. Also, for those of you interested, I spent over twelve hours today getting from Amsterdam to Paris, so I’m rather knackered.

There was a tram, two trains with a five minute dashed-connection between, then a half hour wait before getting on another train, which stopped before it ought to have because “someone didn’t come to work today”, which meant everyone on that train had to pile out to get on a bus for two hours, then there was another train, then there was the metro…

And now I can’t help wishing I’ll go to sleep and wake up tomorrow with someone I love in the bunkbed above me, to help navigate Paris’ metro system and eat pastries and go to the Louvre with me.

Anyone willing?

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