My favorite sister’s name is Gwen.  Before you go and get all huffy about me picking favorites, please note she’s also my only sister.  (It’s a joke we have.) We’re twins.  We certainly don’t look identical and we were born in different years, but we’re twins.  We say the exact same things at the exact same time, we know exactly what the other is thinking (most of the time), and our own parents can’t tell our voices apart when they’re speaking to one of us on the phone.

Gwen hates coffee. (This is a phenomenon that does occur in a very small percentage of the world’s population. It is also a revelation that rather bewilders coffee lovers.  “How could anyone not like coffee?”)  I, on the other hand, can take or leave coffee.  After reading the laughter-inducing “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity,” (quote by Dave Barry) it has come to my attention that my coffee drinking habits are, well…recreational.  I’m not quite sure I would go so far as to say they’re inhumane.

No Coffee Allowed - Kakao Coffee Chocolate Still Life Photo(See what she’s missing out on?)

This aversion to coffee does not just apply to the liquid form.  There are also issues with the smell (which further astounds the coffee lovers) and extends to coffee being added to absolutely anything.  This, of course, brings me to chocolate with coffee in it.  I can remember at least two occasions when I very innocently ended up feeding her coffee by way of chocolate.


When visiting a new store, I usually make a beeline for the chocolate section.

It’s not that I don’t care about other foods.   I like other foods.  But they can be found at the grocery store, and I’m at the grocery store every week.   On the other hand, visiting new stores isn’t an every week occurrence, especially one that might potentially have chocolates I haven’t tried yet.

During one such trip to a new-to-me market, my initial scan of the store only turned up large bars of baking chocolate.  Upon further investigation, I hit the jackpot:  A shelf filled with a variety of chocolate bars and bonbons.  Immediately, my eyes rested on one particular bar.   I could almost hearing it saying, “Pick me! Pick me! I’m photogenic! Pick me!”  So I did.  Behold, Sanders Chocolatier Cafe Crunch, Closeup:

Sander Chocolatier Coffee Beans Chocolate Bar

This chocolate wasn’t lying about being photogenic!

Sander Chocolatier Cafe Crunch

Dark and milk chocolates, crafted to look like coffee beans, decorated this beautiful chocolate bar. Inside the bar were flecks of coffee beans.

The coffee flavor wasn’t particularly strong, making this bar perfect for those who like both coffee and chocolate but, when the chips are down, they’d pick chocolate flavor over coffee flavor any day.

But wait, there’s more…

Sander Chocolatier Pimienta Limon (Lemon Pepper)

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if I would like this chocolate.   Yes, it had lemon (lemon + chocolate = fantastic).  But it also had pepper.  Pepper goes on steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes.  I needed convincing that pepper belonged in chocolate.


Consider me convinced.  Well, at least I’m convinced pepper belongs in chocolate as long as it is paired with lemon crystals.  This delicious bar is so incredibly flavorful that it made my list of favorite chocolates.  (It will hold this position for at least a couple of days.  My list of favorites keeps expanding and changing!)

It turns out that lemon pepper is rather photogenic, too:

Sander Chocolatier Lemon Pepper Chocolate Bar

Website: Sander Chocolatier
Twitter: @sanderchoco


Chocolove Coffee Crunch Banner

I came home from work one day and found all my scarves tied up in knots. I still don’t have a clear answer as to why, and the culprit still has to be dealt with.  (Is withholding chocolate an appropriate punishment, or is that too harsh?)

The silver lining: I’m always on the lookout for new props and backgrounds for chocolate photos, and colorful knotted scarves were too good to pass up.   Off I went to my chocolate drawer and back I came with Chocolove Coffee Crunch in Dark Chocolate:

Chocolove Coffee Crunch On Scarves

(To anyone I may have shared this chocolate with afterwards:  No.  The chocolate is not resting directly on the scarves that have been, to quote my mother, “who knows where” since they’ve last been washed.  Very clean hands and a very clean paper towel were involved with the making of this photo.)


The Many Diverse & Delicious Chocolates of Venezuela

El Rey. Nestle Savoy. Kakao. Mantuano. Paria. Sinfonia.

Chocolate with red pepper.  Chocolate with Earl Gray tea.  Chocolate with sea salt, coffee beans, ginger, granola, and rattlesnake*.


Venezuela, home to the prized criollo bean and exporter of over 8000 tons of cacao per year, manufactures chocolates that are just as diverse as its wide range of landscapes. This is no small feat, considering Venezuela boasts beautiful tropical beaches, lush jungles, the world’s tallest waterfall (Angel Falls), and a desert that could easily pass as the Sahara. (I kid you not.)