There are some chocolates (or candy with chocolate in them or on them; it depends on who you ask) that can be found just about anywhere on the planet. Like Hersheys.  Or Snickers.  (Disclaimer: Hopefully I’m not starting another passionate debate on what constitutes REAL chocolate. When it comes to  brands, I really don’t take sides.  I have absolutely no problem with talking about M&Ms and Dick Taylor in the same sentence, nor would I have any problem whatsoever with eating both of them in the same weekend.) I’m not a chocolate “snob”.  Nor do I have anything against chocolate “snobs”.  (From what I can tell, they call themselves that, and it’s all in good-natured fun.) (They’re missing out on the M&Ms, but apparently they’re not worried.)  (Yes.  I just entirely overused parentheses just now.)

The Allure of Limited Editions Chocolate - Mantuano Aji Dulce

In contrast with the-found-just-about-anywhere chocolate, there are the chocolates that are found just-about-nowhere. Just as there is a certain allure of limited editions in the wonderful world of literature, limited edition chocolates also exists.  Both are designed to make you feel special.  While I’ve never gotten swept into the limited edition book craze (despite being so much of an avid reader in my youth that my mother had to impose a limit of one book a day to save my eyesight), I seem to be dabbling in limited edition chocolate.

News reached my ears (via social media) that Mantuano debuted a special limited edition chocolate bar in honor of Maria Fernanda Di Giacobbe, the 2016 winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize.  Only 500 of these bars exist (if I have the story straight).  Out of those, only 200 were shipped to my neck of the woods.


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