New chocolate bars fascinate me. The anticipation of the taste is a big part of the fascination, but there’s more to it than that. Many chocolate companies are outdoing themselves in the packaging department, so the wrappers are quite a treat to inspect. Part of the intrigue are the names that the different chocolate makers have chosen (both for their company and for their chocolate), and the stories behind those names.
The fascination does not end when the chocolate that comes home with me (or home to me) is carefully inspected from front to back, photographed from every angle (remind me to tell you about my 154 GIGS of chocolate photos sometime) and sampled. The packaging is never thrown away. Instead, it goes into my collection of wrappers to reference later, to use for other photo-ops, or to be re-purposed. (A plastic insert with shallow indentations that had originally held pralines in place makes a perfect mold for dark chocolate mint thins! And I really ought to look into decoupage. Only I’d need something big in order to use up the quantity of wrappers that just had to be rehoused because they were outgrowing their drawer. Anyone ever decoupaged an entire wall of their house with chocolate wrappers?) (Disclaimer: I don’t have enough wrappers for a whole wall…yet.)
Pictured: Andean Lemon Verbena by Pacari, SeriousMilk Cacao by TCHO, Smoked Chai by Raaka, and Maple Coconut by Dick Taylor. (I’m making them sound like perfumes. Come to think of it, all of those would likely make nice scents!)
The taste, the wrappers, the packaging, re-purposing the packing…even after all of that, there’s at least one more thing that is fascinating, and that is: What will other people think of each chocolate? There are usually a few squares leftover to share with this friend or that friend. I know, I know. Leftover chocolate; is that even possible? Trust me, it takes great restraint to keep my hands off the whole bar, box, or bag. Sometimes it’s impossible; there is almost never any milk chocolate left to share (my apologies to my milk-chocolate loving friends)!