midafternoon pick me up

The French Student came for a piano lesson today.  I so admire this particular student, as she started not only piano lessons in her mid-60's, but also Mandarin Chinese lessons.  (In case you're wondering, I only teach piano and can only speak Chinglish.)  Knowing my penchant for All Things Valrhona, she brought along a special treat for me. 

I don't know if you've ever bitten into a piece of bittersweet chocolate, only to spit it out a few seconds later.  We're talking artisanal here- small batch, handmade chocolate- you know, bean to eight dollar bar.  I've experienced this far more than I care to remember.  The bar is all bitter and no sweet. You then run to find a piece of mint gum or listerine to cover the acrid aftertaste... well, you won't have to with this gem.  I introduce to you Valrhona Le Noir Amer, 71% Cacao, Dark Bittersweet Chocolate.

I took a bite, just a nibble, and wanted to hide away in a closet to savor every morsel.  I tried to ignore The Kid who asked what I was eating.  I said it was adult food. Only grown-ups could appreciate a deep, rich chocolate with lush fruit overtones. (Everyone, however, would enjoy the clean finish with nary a bitter sensation.)  Okay, I did let him have half of a half of a square.  Reluctantly.  I'm hiding the rest.

(If you're interested in reading up on Basic Chocolate Tasting 101, visit The Nibble.  This foodie magazine lists and reviews many chocolate bars and additionally has a wealth of information on gourmet and specialty foods.)

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