I’ve had an epiphany of sorts but before I can really speak of the matter I must give some background information:I really like chocolate, always have and always will. I come from a family of chocolate lovers. My grandmother couldn’t go a day without one small piece–she said it made her fell better. My mom likes chocolate especially with her ice cream or cake or cookies. My sister is a verifiable choco-holic– to her everything is better with chocolate. And then there is me…I like choclate, not that waxy pasty cheap stuff that is passed off as chocolate in the grocery stores at easter of Valentine’s…no, not me…I like the REAL stuff…you know…Hershey’s, especially their Peppermint Patties–covered in dark chocolate doncha know!.

At least I felt this way until I read the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat”. In it the author talks of satisfying your hunger with really good tasting food…if you are SATISFIED you’ll likely eat less and therefore slim down or stay slim if you’re already there. And if you are satisfied you don’t need a lot of anything a little will suffice. She goes on to say that she savors a small (one ounce) piece of really good high quality chocolate a couple of times a week. What! Is she nuts daily is the way I like my Hershey’s!! She then goes on to say that the stuff that is passed off as chocolate here in the U.S. is hardly worth buying…she describes it as mostly sugar and very little cocao bean. Yeah, right I said to myself…she must be a chocolate snob. Yet, I decided to look at the wrapper of my beloved Hershey’s chocolate…hmm…there was a lot of “stuff” listed on that wrapper, sugar being the first ingredient. Upon more investigation, I discovered that there is truly only trace amounts of actual chocolate in most of the chocolate that I consume–not good.

I also read in FWDGF that the author’s choice of chocolate was Valrhona. I about laughed myself right off the couch…All I could think of was watching Martha Stewart several years back extol the virutes of Valrhona chocolate…now of course Martha didn’t just say “Valrohna”. No, Martha rolled that word off her tongue as no other person can. It sounded more like Vahl-rhoh-nahh Chocolate. She further went on to say that of course you can find it at your local gourmet food store. Silly Martha didn’t she know that you can get semi- sweet baking chocolate at your local supermarket and it certainly wouldn’t require a 6 figure income to afford it!

Fast forward to last Monday, there I am with the two littles and The Boy standing in line at our neighborhood Trader Joe’s and what before my wondering eyes should appear? A selection of dark, semi-sweet and bitter-sweet chocolate bars made by…(drum roll, please)…Valhrona!! I just couldn’t resist…I bought one! Yes sirree, I bought a bar of dark bittersweet chocolate — 71% cacao, in case you are wondering. It stayed undisturbed in my pantry cupboard until yeterday afternoon when I decided to try a little one-ounce piece, ala French Women Don’t Get Fat.
Now the epiphany part…Well let me just say that itty bitty smidgen of Valhrona chocolate was the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted…bittersweet yet not bitter at all…just smooth rich, slightly fruity…yes, you heard me…slightly fruity, with hints of something more earthy. And despite its classification of bitter sweet there was no bitter after taste–just pure lovely, dark, rich chocolate.
I will never go back–I have been changed…and it’s a Good Thing! (but I’m still holding on to my Peppermint Patties!)

originally posted 2/20/07