One of my earliest blog supporters was the wonderful Louise, who found me through previously being a blog pal of my mother’s. In fact, I met Louise before I started blogging (such darkdark days) when she came to our place to have lunch during a visit to Canberra. Little did I know, that day, popping my head around the sliding door to say hello, that the fabulous woman smiling back at me would one day make my soul soar by sending me chocolate from her holidays in New Zealand and, as you’ll see today, the United States.
Thank you, Louise. You are a truly lovely friend.
Araya Artisan Chocolate Dark Chocolate Cayenne Pepper with Pecan and Lime Zest
After carrying out a little Internet research, I discovered that Araya Chocolate is an artisan chocolate company based in Katy, Texas, which makes all its innovatively-flavoured chocolates by hand. Lucky for me, Louise steered clear of Araya’s orange-flavoured chocolates, and instead picked out this bar with cayenne, lime, and pecans for me. Oh yes.
Araya’s cayenne pepper, pecan, and lime zest dark chocolate bar is a bucket of fun from the moment its aroma envelops you to the moment you whisper “no more?” whilst poking at the empty packet on your table. The aroma is woodsy, spicy, tangy, and sweet, and the chocolate’s flavour is vibrant and punchy.
The tang of lime zest hits at the first nibble, followed quickly by a definite sweetness and the buttery crunch of teeny-tiny pecan pieces. Then, just when you think you’ve experienced everything this bar has to offer, KAPOWZA. Cayenne pepper tickle-burns at the back of your throat. And so you eat another square, and another, because each flavour note is delightful and what can you say? You like the burn.
Redstone’s Old New Orleans French Roast Coffee and Cacao Nibs 72% Dark Chocolate
Louise was very selfless in sending me this Redstone’s Old New Orleans French Roast Coffee and Cacao Nibs 72% Dark Chocolate bar, because she abhors coffee herself and therefore isn’t likely to be swayed by me even if I do proclaim this chocolate to be tasty.
Spoiler alert: this chocolate was super tasty. So thank you, Louise, for thinking of my flavour preferences rather than your own. Coffee, cacao nibs, and dark chocolate? This chocolate was delicious in all the ways.
The aroma of Redstone’s 72% dark chocolate was like brownies and hot fudge sauce, all richness and loveliness, but with no hint of coffee. The taste was initially also all chocolate richness, strong in muscovado sugar, burnt toffee, and the delicious woodsy crunch of cacao nibs. Then, just at the end, the hum of espresso came through, and I smiled. In all the ways.
Scrumptious chocolate indeed. What’s better, this powered me through a Sunday afternoon of project report writing. Everybody wins! (Well, my work and I did.)
P.S. Thank you to everyone for your kind, and also stern, words following my last post. I’ve booked a relaxation massage this weekend; that’ll fix everything, right?