Last week there was a little impromptu party at a local Mexican restaurant.  Staying true to my quest to try as many new chocolates (or chocolate-related foods) as possible, I bypassed my favorite dish (chimichangas), resisted the temptation to say “make that two” when the orders for burritos, tacos, chipotle chicken, & nachos swirled around me, and ordered Pechuga de Pollo con Mole Poblano.

That is (and I am taking liberty with the translation) chicken with a sauce that included chocolate.

Not So Mad About MolePhoto Credit: Pati Jinich


Are you wondering how chocolate can be terrifying?  Me too.  I realize chocolate can be borderline terrifying if there are too many to choose from.  And I’ve heard chocolate can be a little terrifying to some waistlines.

gallery_photo_melted_chocolate(This particular chocolate doesn’t look scary to me.)

But recently, at first glance, there have been more and more mentions of the “terror” of chocolate.  My immediate thought is: How can chocolate freak people out? Only when I backtrack and read the word again do I keep realizing – laughing at myself – that the word is actually terroir, “how a particular region’s climate, soils, and aspect (terrain) affect the taste of”….and here is where the dictionary usually says wine.  

The term can also be applied to chocolate.


Despite me being a part of Pinterest’s target demographic, the first time I’ve ever made something using a recipe found via Pinterest was only a few weeks ago.

Yes, I’m aware it’s 2016.  Before you go act all shocked:

I do cook and bake.  Not on a regular basis, but the concept is not a foreign one.   But when I do make something, out come the recipes we’ve used time and time again, because they’re the tried-and-true.   While certainly nobody was complaining about me making chocolate chocolate chip cookies for the umpteenth time, I decide to branch out a little and try something new.

The very first recipe I tried from Pinterest was a winner.  I’ve already made it twice.  It has already been approved by at least a dozen people, and it only takes three ingredients.

Last (but certainly not least) one of those ingredients is chocolate.  Naturally.

The recipe? Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge from the House of Yumm:

Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge


To recap:  A few weeks ago, I may have mentioned something about plans to be brave and try chocolate with BIG ants on it.  The point was not because it sounded perfectly thrilling (far from it!) but rather because it was a type of chocolate I hadn’t tried, and I’m apparently up for trying anything chocolate related… for the experience of it all.

Well, almost anything.  I’m sure I might run across something covered in chocolate that I might balk at.  Can’t think of anything right now though.  (Bacon, goat’s milk, hot pepper, cilantro, and the like are all fair game.)  Wait.  Let me take that back; I thought of something.  Chocolate with worms on it might be going a bit too far.   (Don’t ask me to explain the difference between ants in chocolate and worms in chocolate.  It has something to do with the texture.)

In case you forgot how big the bachaco ants were, or how the pincers were very, very real, let me remind you:

Chocolate With Fat Bottomed Ants Gallery Photo

Well.  This past weekend was the ant-tasting party.  It just so happened there were fifteen ants and exactly fifteen adventurous taste-tasters, so that worked out perfectly.  (There may also have been a few onlookers, a few other types of non-insect-infested chocolates, and chocolate fudge involved.)


I seem to have a reputation of being more than a casual fan of chocolate.

It’s come to the point where multiple friends call me to report if they’ve found any new chocolates, and I often show up here and there with chocolates that are too good not to share.  (Like one of my latest acquisitions, Green and Black’s Maya Gold.)

And then there is the fact that one of my favorite T-shirts says:

I Heart Love Chocolate T-Shirt

(Sorry. There are currently no internet-worthy photos of me actually wearing this shirt.  While photos do exist…I seem to recall one of me wearing it while showing off two 1kg bars of chocolate…let’s just say the picture quality was awful and leave it at that.)


What do I mean by “there’s more chocolate than you think”?

In the future, I’ll explain how I found out that there is more chocolate than I thought… a rather large community of creative chocolate makers that didn’t even exist when I started eating chocolate (back in the age when floppy drives roamed the earth).

Today, though, I just want to make sure you’re not missing anything being added to The Chocolate Website behind the scenes or on social media.

Case in point, the chocolate photo gallery.  New photos like these are added several times a week:

More Chocolate - Sinfonia Chocolate from Venezuela

More Chocolate - Cherry Chocolate


You will also find The Chocolate Website on:

Twitter: In addition to tweets announcing new content for TCW, you will also find tweets pointing out new or interesting chocolate products, informative chocolate articles, or amusing happenings in the chocolate world.

Instagram:  Because one can never like too many photos of chocolate.

Pinterest: Sharing quotes about chocolate, photos of chocolate, fun chocolate-related wearables….and, well.  If you’re at all familiar with Pinterest, you know the list goes on and on!

Facebook Subscribe for notifications regarding new posts.

Until next time…

I knew the day was coming.

For a long time, I’ve lived with the realization that chocolate with ants existed. And that, one day, it would be available somewhere locally, and that I would make myself buy it.  It would make for a great story and, apparently, “you haven’t lived until you’ve gone out on a limb and eaten chocolate with bugs”. Think of the extra protein!

Bugs are not my thing.  Bugs in chocolate are definitely not my thing.  But for the sake of trying as wide a variety of chocolates as possible (and hopefully living to tell about it), and because such a chocolate was too interesting to pass up, I bought a bar.

I’ll be honest.  I was hoping for a chocolate with tiny, black ants that could be mistaken for bits of pepper if one didn’t think about it too hard.    What ended up staring me straight in the face and following me home was a little alarming:  larger-than-should-be-legal bachaco ants:

Chocolate Studded With Fat Bottomed AntsMantuano 60% Lemon With Bachaco Ants

Google has informed me that this variety are leaf cutter ants straight from the rain forest.   I didn’t even need to be told that these ants are rather famous for their large, fat bottoms (as that part was quite obvious at a glance).


So, a few weeks ago I had a brilliant plan.

At least, it had all the makings of a brilliant plan.

With snowstorms raging in the U.S. (it being the middle of winter and all), I thought it would be a perfect time to chance shipping chocolate to the tropics.

With such cold temperatures, the chocolates were sure to be fine in any delivery trucks.  Shipping offices (the box passed through quite a few on its trip south) are air-conditioned.  I think.  Furthermore, it hadn’t been 110º Fahrenheit (43.33° C.) locally… lately. (85° maybe, but not 110°).

So, I took a chance, ordered a box of chocolates* I wanted to try, and hoped for the best.

It turns out that the chocolate must have spent a lot of time in the un-airconditioned belly of an airplane.  Or perhaps on the tarmac in 85° F. weather awaiting processing? Or maybe shipping offices aren’t as air-conditioned as I thought!

Melted Mess of Chocolate


This Tuesday (January 19th) was National Popcorn Day.  Last year I was totally oblivious to the fact that National Popcorn Day even existed.

This year, I’m on Twitter.

While my Twitter feed usually serves up a steady stream of decadent chocolate photos (or chocolate-and-fruit or chocolate-and-nuts), I started noticing a lot of popcorn-mixed-with-chocolate photos and therefore found out about National Popcorn Day.

Which led to the question:  What chocolate-related national days should I be keeping an eye out for?

I’ve compiled a handy reference list (with the help of the National Day Calendar) of the upcoming national days involving chocolate.

Assorted Wrapped Chocolates


A few weeks ago, a friend of mine informed me that her son had brought her a chocolate bar all the way from the ‘States. She said it was a special chocolate that had won an international award, and wanted to know if I wanted a photo of it.

Of course I did. New chocolates aren’t easy to come by. Unless the local stores surprise me, acquiring most brands or new flavors of chocolate is a tricky process. It involves finding a site that even ships here, ordering it online, and hoping it doesn’t melt during its journey.   (I can’t do that all the time; it turns out that chocolate can be a rather expensive habit!)

I was mystified as to which chocolate it would be, and from which far-away place that it would be from. A celebrated hand-crafted bean-to-bar chocolate made in the USA? Or perhaps highly acclaimed European bar?

When the chocolate arrived at my house to have its picture taken, I had to chuckle.

Behold, Franceschi Chocolate, 70% Dark:

Franceschi Chocolate Comes Home to Venezuela

Award-winning chocolate, yes. Very fine tasting chocolate, without a doubt.

But it is hardly from a faraway place.   This chocolate had been transported back to the place of its birth; Franceschi Chocolate is Venezuelan.

We sampled this chocolate immediately after taking a few pictures of it, despite the fact it was before lunch. (Mom, if you’re reading this: I know you always said “no candy before lunch”.   But since chocolate comes from cocoa beans (beans are vegetables) and sugar comes from a beet (which is also a vegetable), I think it was okay. You never said anything about not eating vegetables before lunch.)

Franceschi Chocolate Comes Home to Venezuela, Unwrapped

I enjoyed my taste of this delicate, velvety smooth dark chocolate. Since I do not have any formal training or experience tasting and naming the flavors or “notes” contained within each bar of fine chocolate, I won’t try to give my opinion on the exact flavor.

You’ll have to find this, try it for yourself, and see what you think!

I’ve quickly decided it is simply not possible to write an entire article or commentary for every bit of chocolate related news.  There aren’t enough hours in the day.

It is, however, entirely possible to present a collection of assorted chocolate news that I found interesting.  Therefore, this week, I present:

Assorted Chocolate News (2016 – Week 2)

(Mmmm.  Assorted chocolates.  I am officially making myself hungry.)

Sisters Who Can’t Eat Chocolate Due to Dangerous Health Condition
It’s hard to imagine, but there are those who can never take a single bite of chocolate without endangering their lives.  It sounds as if these girls are making the best of their situation by experimenting with new dishes made with ingredients on their “safe food” list.

Things I Know to Be True About Craft Chocolate & Small Business: As The Dust Settles on Mast-Gate
A well written, thought provoking article on Huffington Post by Shawn Askinosie (Founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate).   “It’s not about the chocolate, it’s about the chocolate.”

Chocolate Makers Fight a Melting Supply of Cocoa
We’re being told not to panic.  Yet.

Then, of course, last not but least, there was the Toblorange:  Simple Lifehack to Make “The Best Chocolate Bar in The World”

Toblorange Photo Credit: James Hannah

If you took one look and guessed that a lot of people got a stomach ache when trying this out with their Toblerone at home, you’d have guessed correctly!

Long ago in a land far away, my brother used to take naps.
Yours (if you had one) probably did the same thing when he was two.

Sam would take forever to go to sleep.   At least, for two impatient, older sisters that were allowed to have a snack as soon as he drifted off, it seemed like forever.  He’d play with his toys.  He’d play with his toes.  He would do anything other than drift off to dreamland.

At one point, one of our favorite snacks was a small bowl of chocolate chips.   Not wanting to waste time, we started asking Mom, many times within earshot of our supposed-to-be-sleeping sibling,  “May we have some c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e c-h-i-p-s later?”

Chocolate Chips