A gift of chocolate from Jacek Chocolate Couture arrives in the mail. I admire the sleek design of the box, done in chocolate brown and turquoise. My favourite colours—a portent of something good. Inside, a selection of exceptionally beautiful, artisanal chocolates, each one with the serious chocolate connoisseur in mind. I breathe deeply, appreciating the intense sensual aroma of fresh chocolate, and read the “map” with eager anticipation. I do not want to share, not even with loved ones.
The Chocolate Intensity Factor
First, Peppermint Mocha, an intense bite of espresso infused dark chocolate with peppermint, wrapped in milk chocolate. The flavour quotient is so high, I just don’t crave another. But in the interest of research, I forge on. Atomic Orange is a blast of vanilla bean and orange in a creamy white chocolate ganache. Cardamom and Pistachio Caramel is a chewy caramel, laced with toasted pistachios and fragrant cardamom. I’m getting lightheaded by this dizzying chocolate intensity.
A Little Pick Me Up
It’s not my imagination. Fact is, chocolate does contain phenyl ethylamine (PEA), a natural antidepressant that acts as a mood elevator. Also, it simulates the same reaction in the body as falling in love.
Reading the facts about Jacek chocolates, they suggest that you don’t leave them lying around too long, since they are made with utterly fresh ingredients. Well, I wouldn’t want even one of these beauties to get stale. As a result, I pop a Caramelized White Truffle into my mouth, follow it with a Dark Truffle, and end this trilogy with an Espresso Caramel.
While commercial chocolatiers add their own signature enhancers, flavours, fruits and crispy crunchy things, not all chocolate is created equal. Some chocolate contains no real chocolate or very little, while some are pretty vessels for liquors. Chocolate manufacturers mold chocolate into edible sculptures of things you would not believe. There are as many chocolate fantasies as there are stars in the sky. But, one of the best is the Box of Joy from Jacek, which includes White Chocolate and Candy Cane sipping chocolate.
Chocolate is the world’s favourite flavour, beloved by all ages, genders and religions. But I say the Jacek confections are too good for the kids. While money talks—Jacek chocolate sings, dances and does exuberant backflips.
Sara Waxman, OOnt, is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.