Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #3

13 of My Favorite Chocolates

1) Marabou Milk Chocolate (Mjolk Choklad) - Every Christmas, or Jul in Swedish, for as long as I can remember my brothers, sister, and I have received at least one giant bar of this most perfect bar of decadent milk chocolate as a stocking stuffer. In Sweden at my grandparents' house, there were always bars of this chocolate hidden away in the refrigerator, waiting for us to grab a few pieces before breakfast or bed, while watching TV, or whenever we had a craving. I loved putting a chilled chocolate square on my tongue and letting it dissolve until my entire mouth was filled with gooey delicious chocolate. It always made me imagine swimming in a river of smooth chocolate. If you love milk chocolate, you have to try this chocolate.

2) Savannah Chocolate Pralines - I discovered chocolate pralines through my mom, who moved from the Northeast to Savannah a few years back and introduced and addicted the whole family to these Southern pecan-chocolate delights. Pralines are delicious enough on their own. Add chocolate, and it's pretty damn close to heaven. Visiting my mom, I've ruined many a meal by filling up on these beforehand. And forget about getting them as presents and keeping some around the house for a rainy day. Whenever I get a box from my mom, I usually can't help myself from finishing it before nightfall. They're awesome.

3) Marabou Aladdin Chocolates - These chocolates, my Dad's favorites, I also associate with Christmas because the only time I get to sample them is during the holidays when I'm visiting my Dad. There's always an unopened box wrapped in cellophane sitting in the pantry, but my Dad waits until Christmas to break it open and offer us two or three of the delectable pieces. It's always an event as my brothers and I carefully match up the pictures of the individual chocolates with their descriptions in an effort to choose wisely. My favorites are the nougat-filled chocolates. Except for #1 and #2, there's nothing better.

4) Godiva Chocolate Praline Hearts - As a general rule, I love anything Godiva, except possibly the chocolate covered candied ginger; what a waste when there's so many truffles and chocolate covered strawberries to be had! Naming my favorite Godiva chocolate was difficult, though the Praline Hearts are the clear winners in my mind. They are followed closely in second place by the Open Oysters. Both consist of a "creamy blend of finely ground hazelnuts and milk chocolate." Sounds divine, no?

5) Cadbury Creme Eggs - Creme eggs are not for the every day chocolate pick-me-up occasion, but they are something I revel in each Easter holiday. I have a system for eating them which includes first biting off the top ever so delicately, so as to keep all of the molten sugary goodness safe inside the broken chocolate shell. Second, I scoop out some of that molten goodness with my tongue, while nibbling down the sides of the chocolate shell. The piece I always eat last is the thickest piece of the chocolate shell that's filled to the brim with the remaining creamy sugar mixture. I pop it in my mouth and let the chocolate and sugar cream blend and dissolve together on my tongue. It's so much fun.

6) Daim Bars - In the U.S., we have Score Bars or Heath Bars, the red-haired stepsiblings (no offense Wood) of the creme-de-la-creme of this chocolate bar breed, the Swedish Daim Bars. From their chocolate coating to their crunchy caramel center, everything about them is as it should be. They come in bars or bite-sized candies, and I prefer the latter, although the danger of eating an entire bag is usually irresistible. Luckily, my siblings would never let that happen. As with all my beloved and longed for Swedish candy, generally the only time I get a taste is at Christmas, at IKEA (so far away from Manhattan!), or in Duty Free after returning from a trip abroad.

7) Hazelnut Lindor Truffle - I went back and forth between the Hazelnut Lindor Truffles or the Ferrero Rocher Balls. Both are chocolate and hazelnut, but where the Ferrero Rocher balls are crunchy with a whole hazelnut at their center, the Lindor Truffles are smooth and creamy and more deeply satisfying if you're in the midst of a chocolate craving. Plus, I ate way too many Rocher balls at my birthday two years ago, and I have yet to recover fully my taste for them (though that doesn't stop me from picking them up at Duane Reade from time to time). Border's sells the Lindor Truffles - hazelnut, milk chocolate, peanut butter, or dark chocolate - 3 for a dollar, a great price. My mom always eats things in threes, as do I when it's convenient, and three of these are just enough to be satisfying without making me feel like I'm destroying my, somewhat unrealized, efforts to be healthy.

8) Perugira Baci Chocolates - These Italian chocolates are also pretty awesome, and of the same rich chocolate-hazelnut variety as the Lindor Truffles and the Rocher balls. In many ways, they are the perfect blend of hazelnut crunch and creamy chocolate. Though I'm sure I shouldn't, I get them occasionally (read somewhat frequently) when I pick up lunch at the deli. It's so freakin' convenient. You buy your sandwich, you innocently walk up the register and than Bam!, you're surrounded by little miniature chocolates all staring up at you from next to the register begging you take them back to your desk along with your sandwich and soda. What can I say, it's hard to say no under those circumstances, even if I know it's all a cruel manipulative advertising ploy.

9) Toblerone Bars - These need little explanation. I mean, who doesn't love a triangular chunk of toblerone on occasion? What gives the Swiss Toblerone it's distinctive quality are the tiny flakes of honey and almond nougat suspended within the chocolate. It's chewy, creamy, sweet and chocolatey all at the same time. I associate it with airports and traveling. The last toblerone I had was a miniature toblerone bar that my brother Bacchus bought me in the airport in Thailand on our way back to the U.S. It was so good.

10) Whole Foods Semi-Sweet Chocolate - Can I say antioxidants? Who needs blackberries, green tea, and blueberries when rich dark chocolate is packed with beneficial antioxidants? Ok, though not a substitute, the antioxidant properties of dark chocolate are real, and something we can all feel good about when we're having a bite. I actually prefer dark over milk chocolate, in part because of the lower fat content and higher antioxidant levels of dark chocolate as compared to milk chocolate. Recently, I made a chocolate cream pie which involved melting chunks of semi-sweet and bitter-sweet chocolate on the stove, mixing with sugar and eggs, and creating a rich custard center. The custard came out perfectly (to my proud amazement) and the pie would have been delicious, except for the tiny fact that I neglected to defrost the pie crust before I baked it! Oops.

11) Cadbury Mini Eggs - Along with Cadbury Creme Eggs, Mini Eggs are a must for Easter. This past Easter it was very strange because all of the Duane Reade's in New York had somehow forgotten to order a sufficient amount of either candy. I think the last time I tasted Mini Eggs was two Easter's ago when I celebrated by getting Raj his first Easterbasket and then proceeded to enjoy the basket's contents with him. It was a mutually beneficial gift.

12) After Eights - Here again, I struggled to choose between the many varieties of mint-chocolates that I love. My list of contenders included Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate Squares, the perfect size for a little taste of chocolate, Junior Mints, my must-have candy for movies, and the mysterious Mint Bark that my grandma used to bring me from New Jersey when I was young (I have yet to discover it's source). Ultimately, I chose After Eights. They are delicate, a nearly perfect blend of mint and chocolate, and they are to die for over pears with whip cream; a famous family dessert.

13) Russell Stover Boxes of Chocolates - I love boxes of chocolates. Upon receipt of said boxes of chocolates, I generally eat all of my favorites first and then work my way down to the least desirable chocolates - which, in accordance with the laws of supply and demand always get more and more desirable as the numbers around them go down, even if they've already been bitten into, passed over, and put back in the box. Thanks to my Mom, I've never had to depend on boys for boxes of chocolates on Valentine's Day. Thank God!, because you know how that would have worked out. No matter whether I've been in relationships or not, February 14th is always a holiday I look forward to because I know it will bring me something nice in the mail that will remind me that I am loved and that someone out there thinks that I'm the most special person in the world (save for my other siblings of course). She's a great mom like that.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)
  1. Norma
  2. Jenny
  3. Lyn
  4. Gypsy
  5. Agent PMS
  6. Ash
  7. J.
  8. Southern Girl
  9. Carmen
  10. You're next!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Bubbles said...

I am a little disturbed that not one of your chocolate selections involved a peanut butter center. You know that peanut butter is the new chocolate, right?

Norma said...

Now you've done it. I'm craving chocolate!

My TT is up.

Jenny Ryan said...

Russell Stover is my all-time favorite chocolate EVER! :)

Lyn said...

Mmm, we're getting an exchange student from Sweden - hope she brings chocolate! lol Thanks for stopping by Bloggin' Outloud. lgp

Buttercup said...

Bubbles, I'm sorry, I've just never been a huge chocolate peanutbutter fan. I'm sorry to disappoint you!!

Gypsy said...

Mmm.... Toblerone.

Agent PMS said...

Daim is addictive. SO. Addictive.

Thank you for making me hungry. Must go find the leftover Easter candy now. I'm sure I at least have a Cadbury - maybe a Snickers in the freezer.

Our 13 is up, we'd love for you to visit.

Ash said...

Now I'm craving. Well done!

J said...

I think you just cured me of my chocolate craving for at least a week, because that was so satisfying. Mmmm.

Thanks for checking out my Thursday 13. :) I've done them in the past, but this is the first time I went to the 'official page' and left my code there.

This Pastor's Wife said...

Wow! There's a world just on the other side of Hershey's that I had no idea about. Yum!

Southern Girl said...

Oh, you've made me so hungry. *g* I eat my Cadbury eggs the exact same way you do! The caramel flavor is my favorite. :)

Thanks for visiting my TT!

Bubbles said...

Oh, I have to add something about eating a Cadbury Cream Egg. I highly recommend biting it length wise, across the seal as oppose to the top. It will come apart perfect and all the "yoke" will remain in the other side for perfect tongue scooping. The only thing I think I would rate higher then a Cadbury Cream Egg is the Reeses Peanut butter cup egg. I don't celebrate Easter, but it is totally my favorite candy time of year.

Carmen said...

you mean I have to pick my favorite?!! The stress. I just love ALL chocolate

Veronica said...

I think my pancreas actually twitched a little looking at all that...

ivan said...

simply, i love chocolates. they're to die for..hehehe.

specifically, i love TOBLERONES, GODIVA, CADBURY!

thanks for tagging my T13, btw.

Karen said...

hmmm, craving as I type!!!

Bean said...

I saved 3 cadbury creme eggs from this past easter...just in case I get a craving. I have been good so far, but I may have to have one tonight! I think mine would be the same numbering except you left out belguim chocolates, those are divine.