Monday, February 11, 2008

Speeding Toward Valentine's Day on the Chocolate Express

I am in love again. At the Chocolate Festival in Morehead City, NC, I met a brand of chocolate bar that is superb. Meet Escazu, a gourmet chocolate maker from my hometown of Beaufort, right next door to Morehead. The company's website is

I can recount where, why, and when I've experienced great chocolate highs. But that was not always true. All through my childhood I was allergic to chocolate. After puberty however, it was "Katy bar the door-" when it came to the lovely bean. At first Hershey's Kisses were all I needed but I soon discovered the Mounds Bar, a dark chocolate candy bar filled with sweet coconut. Then Godiva (dark chocolate around raspberry filling), Ghiradelli squares of various flavors, and then the world-or at least Belgium. On a single memorable trip to Brussels, I sampled wonderful Leonidas Chocolates, which made me totally giddy, and the beautiful Guylian swirled chocolate seashells, which I bought simply because the tin was so beautiful. Along the way, there have been side trips to the Netherlands (hot dark chocolate from Droste) and England (those silly Cadbury's eggs at Easter).
Now my chocolate search has come full-circle and I discover there's great chocolate literally down the street. My favorite Escazu offering is the bar with crunchy roasted coffee beans but my husband's favorite is the Beaufort Bar, an intriguing dark chocolate spiced with sea salt. Tasting is believing.

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