I’ve been to the Salon du Chocolat in Paris and in New York. I scour every country I visit for the local chocolate. I stop by Jacques Torres in Chelsea Market weekly for a $3 work day pick me up. I may be unsure of my destiny, but I don’t hesitate for a second when I profess that I’m the most die-hard chocolate fan I know. As a result, finding a life-changing batch is like scoring gold, and I often like to make sure my loved ones can partake in my addiction.
That brings me here tonight, as I sit with a block of what I think is not only the best chocolate I’ve had in recent history, but some of the most soul-striking chocolate I’ve tasted in my life: The Chocolate Nation’s 1.5 pound dark chocolate and caramel truffle fudge slab. At $50 a pop, I’m lucky enough that the company’s inspiring owner Grace Lissauer, whom I befriended during the holiday gift fair I had planned at Google, was kind enough to give me an entire box as a holiday gift. When I opened the glossy white carton to find the smooth, dense chocolatey brick, I had an immediate flashback of overdosing on samples the day of the event. I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase – the last thing I needed during holiday season’s party-eating-boozing frenzy was a fat block of chocolate in my kitchen. Slippery slope.
But now, I couldn’t be happier that it’s mine. And while you only need a cubic centimeter to satisfy any chocolate craving, I’m hoarding it as if cocoa beans are going extinct tomorrow. Rich truffle fudge stabilizing a thin layer of caramel, all covered in a dense shell of dark chocolate and crunchy pink Hawaiian sea salt becomes a precious, awe-inspiring chocolate that is so uniquely delicious. And the common reaction when I happen to slice a sliver of the slab to share it? People take a bite, their eyes roll around in pleasure, their brows burrow in angst because they want to eat more but their subconscious thinks otherwise, and then they sigh in disbelief of the chocolate’s mesmerizing effect. The way it so beautifully disintegrates in your mouth like a spoonful of rich chocolate frosting makes it as moving as a piece of art.
So before I freak everyone out with my intense descriptions of this tasty chocolate, my advice is to order this online immediately so you can relate. Stick with this despite the fact that The Chocolate Nation’s website offers chocolate from a variety of hand-selected purveyors. No need to buy the entire $50 block; you can purchase a smaller box of “bites” for just $15. It’s the perfect gift, but I again urge you to buy some for yourself first. It’s like putting the mask on the child before yourself when the plane is going down. It’s essential.