Today I went to Made in France, my local chocolate pusher, I mean supplier, for some serious chocolate indulgence. It is, after all, almost time for my yearly chocolate extravaganza, and I wouldn’t want to risk running out of chocolate partway through. Also Made in France, being primarily a wholesaler, only has warehouse sales every month or so, so it’s not like you can just run down and buy some whenever you feel like.
So, there I was, in the chocolate aisle, surrounded by Valrhona chocolate.
Araguani? Nice, and a 72% cocoa solids, but a little too smoky for my tastes.
Guanaja? Ooh, a nice 70% chocolate, but my favorites were coming up…
Pur Caraibe? 66%, rich, earthy, warm flavor – 13 pounds, into my cart.
Extra Bitter, of course – 61%, nice, well-rounded flavor, melting smoothly on the tongue – another 13 pounds for the cart.
And what’s this? A new milk chocolate? Tananariva, no doubt named after Tananarivo, Madagascar – supposedly with a pronounced caramel flavor. Four small bars for tasting, into the cart.
And more! A couple of estate varietals, and an 85% chocolate – more bars in the cart.
Then I ran into a Made In France employee who tried to coax me into trying Cacao Barry, Patisfrance, and other lesser lines – but no, I’ve tried them all and I’m a Valrhona girl, through and through. (Not to be mistaken for blind worship, of course – they occasionally do “miss”, as with their organic chocolate, which tastes awful IMHO.)
After taking care of my basic needs, I dipped into their fridge for some smoked duck breast (exquisite) and briefly considered buying some of their excellent salami, but since Mike and I are both trying to lose weights, decided against it. Then I passed through their “sale” section, and discovered lavender honey! and chestnut honey! I had been searching for lavender honey for quite awhile, and had never tasted chestnut honey, so I added both to the cart (which was getting quite full, thank you very much). Then I bought a jar of capers for Mike, who likes them in his tuna salad.
Finally, it was time to exit. As I was going up to the counter, I encountered Philippe, their pastry guy, who looked at the ~28 lbs of their finest chocolate I was escorting to the cashier, and said, “Aha! I sense pastry!” and said, “Would you like some samples of the new Valrhona lines? They are coming out with two more Grand Crus – not available yet, but soon, soon – I’ll get you some samples.” He vanished into the back room as I lit up with a delighted grin, and came back with the samples AND…an invitation to a chocolate demo/tasting October 8, featuring a pastry chef from Valrhona!
Bear in mind that this is no common chocolate tasting. This is Valrhona, the finest chocolate in the world, demoing its products for the trade. And I get to be there…! I’m excited. Definitely going. Can’t wait. 🙂 🙂 🙂