It’s that time of year, again. Besides Valentine’s Day, Christmas is a great excuse to buy some chocolate (not that I need any excuses.) I think everybody is a little bored with the usual luxury truffles, and let’s face it, Ghiradelli and Godiva are just so “been there, done that.”
To make your life easier this Christmas, I already did the hard part (okay, it wasn’t really that hard) and sampled a bunch of unique chocolate that you can send as gifts or give to yourself. Some I liked, others not so much. I still have a few more to try, but here’s a quick rundown on my thoughts so far.
Sea salt is all the rage in the gourmet food industry, and it’s showing up in chocolate as well. I have to admit, the idea didn’t sound all that great. I was dead wrong . . . it quickly becomes addictive. I’m totally hooked on the Sea Salt Caramel Collection from Lulu’s Chocolates in California. It’s a great introduction to sea salt caramels because each piece has a different kind of sea salt on a chocolate covered, soft and chewy caramel. At only $13 a box, this is hard to beat. I’m not the only one who thinks these are great – it’s a best seller at Chocolate.com and you can read the rave reviews.
I’ve always loved Vosges Chocolates, and they have similar product, the Black Salt Caramel Exotic Candy Bar. I haven’t tried it yet, but Vosges is one of my favorite exotic chocolatiers.
Want a double dose of the great antioxidants that are in dark chocolate? Try Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranates. The packaging isn’t too attractive, but the taste of these things is wonderful. The dark chocolate blends beautifully with the slightly sour taste of the pomegranate. You can pretend you’re eating healthy, too.
This one might seem a little off base, but I’ve always loved Popcornopolis and their Zebra Chocolate Gourmet Popcorn. They were sampling it again in Costco last week, and that sample reminded me just how yummy this stuff is. And added to the pile of stuff in my shopping cart. These folks make some outstanding gourmet popcorn, but the Zebra has got to be my favorite. It’s their excellent caramel popcorn drizzled with stripes of dark chocolate and white chocolate. This could have ended up an overly sweet mess of a product, but the excellence of the base caramel popcorn combined with the high quality of chocolate that Popcornopolis uses makes this very special.