"ChocolateBar" news and stories
Why am I spending more money on candy when I am economizing on just about everything else?
It's psychological. Consumer Analysts at the Nielsen Co. explain that the candy business is "recession-proof." Besides having the feel-good factor, candy is easily accessible and cheap. Since people are reducing their shopping trips further from home to save gas, they are ending up at drug stores where there's lots of candy. Chocolate bars are probably one of the cheapest foods that seems to fulfill your appetite and simultaneously put a smile on your face. In fact, during the Great Depression, nickel chocolate bars practically served as meals.
Is there a solution?
While it's not a problem for the candy business, an increase in candy consumption cannot be a good thing for our health. Are there ways to encourage people to follow a more nutritious diet during economic recessions? What are your thoughts?
Last night, a friend offered me a taste of a Newman's Own Organic Sweet Dark Chocolate Espresso Bar. I've typically been quite happy with Newman's Own products and always feel good about buying them since Paul Newman and the Newman's Own Foundation donate all profits and royalties after taxes for educational and charitable purposes.
I've had many different chocolate bars that contain espresso. Before the Newman's, my most recent chocolate espresso bar experience was a Vere Chocolate Espresso Anise bar which was unbelievably good. I point this out so you know I'm not just an espresso hater.
Typically, espresso chocolate bars have a deep chocolate flavor with a small, lingering coffee flavor. In some cases, they have a slight crunch where there are pieces of coffee beans in the bar.
In Newman's case, however, the espresso flavor was so overpowering that it completely hid the flavor of the chocolate. I felt like I was having a full shot of espresso with one small chocolate square. Something was way off about the flavor proportions. I like to taste my chocolate.
Filed under: Ingredients
New York City's Chocolate Bar is often described (or perhaps is self-described) as a "candy store for grownups." Despite their fun, inventive packaging and love of retro combinations, they always put out high-quality, well constructed products that kids of any age - especially adult ones - will enjoy. Their cookbook, Chocolate Bar: Recipes and Entertaining Ideas for Living the Sweet Life , maintains this same standard and is packed with adult recipes for the kid in you. Assuming that that kid likes chocolate, of course.
With a name like "chocolate bar" it shouldn't come as a surprise to find that every recipe uses chocolate in some way. The recipes are divided into "classic," "retro," and "swanky" chapters. Classic includes Deep Dark Brownies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. "Retro Reconfigured" has worked bolder flavors into Egg Creams and Chocolate Icebox Cake, while "Swank Stuff" deals with White Chocolate Lemon Creme Mousse and Shiny Chocolate Orange Tartelets. The thing that sets it apart from other chocolate cookbooks is that there are a ton of ideas for parties, celebrations and other ways to "create a chocolate-centered lifestyle," from spur of the moment cocktail parties to long-planned holiday gatherings. Finally, the book concludes with a discussion of the history of chocolate and the tools needed to work with it.
It was a few days before I tasted it, and when I did, I was truly in a new cioccolato heaven. From this day forward, Caffarel will be my chocolate of choice when I just need something incomparably creamy, rich, melt-in-mouth-able.
You know how most chocolate bars settle on one extreme
of the creaminess scale, either too soft and sticky, or so hard they hurt your teeth when you break off a chunk?
Caffarel's gianduia bar is so soft and delicate, it's already melting when it hits your tongue; but yet the bar is
solid, easily broken into chunks by hand. And still, no chocolatey fingerprints. The hazelnut taste is perfect, just
the essence of flavoring, not tipping the balance to bitter, as so many hazelnut-flavored chocolates do. I give
Caffarel the chocolate gold medal. My bar was $3.89 (definitely not cheap) at Pastaworks. Hopefully I'll be able to afford it more than once every four