Archive for the ‘chocolate’ Category


Trying a new chocolate

   Posted by: Livia Tags:

I bought a Black Pearl Chocolate Bar at my favorite coffee house in philly. It’s 55% cacao with a layer of ginger, wasabi, and black sesame.

This was definitely a one square at a time kind of bar, even though I am usually all about devouring chocolate. Just the week before, I had been eating chocolate covered ginger from Trader Joe’s, and that would be a much more economical version of this bar (if I’d realized it was $7, I might never have tried it), but I have to admit that the fancier chocolate was both tastier and mellower. Even with the addition of wasabi, the chocolate was such good quality and the ratio of chocolate to goody was such that it ended up being a wonderfully balanced chocolate bar.

and not as fancy
One of my coworkers brought in a whole case of Hershey’s Whole Bean bars. Now I will eat regular Hershey’s with no hesitation because while I like fancy stuff, I also like sleazy stuff. But this was better than your average Hershey’s bar. I think it was greatly improved by being just slightly less sweet. On the other hand, it is also higher fiber, so after eating four of the (1.3oz/36g) bars I was a bit flatulent, but hey.

For those interested in nutritional information: And how healthy was this new kind of candy? Well the serving sizes for these two bars were just 1 gram off, so I can do a fairly easy comparison – and the Hershey’s one is almost exactly the same, except for the weirdly high fiber (6g fiber/36g serving). Same saturated fat, only 10 fewer calories, and only 3 fewer grams of sugar. (note: this comparison is with fru fru dark chocolate rather than with regular Hershey’s) On the other hand, I was happy eating a third of the serving size of the fancy one, but wanted several serving sizes of the sleazy one.


Fancy Hershey’s

   Posted by: Livia Tags:

I had a coupon for a free bar of Hershey’s attempt at upscale chocolate: Cacao Reserve

From only 2 choices at the pharmacy across the street, I picked the 35% cacao milk chocolate bar because I have a stash of 4 bars of tasty dark chocolate in my desk already.

I think I chose poorly – because while the flavor was somewhat reminiscent of luxurious milk chocolates of Europe, the primary characteristic of both taste and texture was wax.



   Posted by: Livia Tags:

I think I am in love.


Happy thoughts

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Just off the top of my head, and subject to change without notice

Teas I Love
Twining’s Irish Breakfast
Ahmad’s English Breakfast

Cheap Anytime Tea
Red Rose Tea – as cheap as Lipton’s, but much tastier.
Orange Pekoe – or any generic chinese restaurant tea.

Grotty Weekend Lounging
Lapsang Souchong (the best I’ve had was from Reading Terminal Market, but I’m not picky)

Dessert Teas
Mad Hatter’s Teaparty (available locally at the Last Drop Coffehouse)
Orchid Oolong (available locally at the Walnut Bridge Coffee Shop)
Celebration (only had at the Hershey Hotel)

Chocolates I Love
Lindt was made for milk chocolate. I like their mini candy bars of creamy rich milk chocolate and hazelnut… but I have found a deep-seated love for their extra-dark truffles. These are not the blue-wrapped truffles that are easier to find… they are wrapped in black.

Dolfin‘s Dark Chocolate with Pink Peppercorns.

A jar full of chunks of Schokinag chocolate

Anything made by my friend who is a Chocolate Goddess

Trip to Boston – was wonderful
point a: I had managed to secure a fairly cheap ticket
point b: I got a call asking me to move my 2:30 shuttle to 3:30 because I was the only person on the 2:30 one. My flight wasn’t until 5:30, so I said yes a paid half price.

So then, when I was offered a chance to upgrade for $35, I felt perfectly justified whooping with joy and calling it a bargain.

YAY! The highest class was business class, but I was in seat 2A. Yep, I had a random upgrade and *still* ended up in a window seat.

We flew over populated areas low enough (or on a cloudless enough day) that I could watch all the pretty lights the whole way.

We got to chose assorted pretzels and chips from a little basket, and drink orders were taken while we were still taxiing on the runway.

AND there was a little wall between my seat and the person next to me, so there was no physical contact… with the added bonus of having the seat belt fit without me having to ask for an extender.

I was dropped off at Central Square because it was on my brother-in-law’s way to work, and then I walked to Harvard Square.

On the way, I had breakfast at Dado Tea. The tea was excellent, and they had lovely benches where I could sit by a fountain and be warmed by the sunlight filtering through the window glass. The scone, however, was spongy and tasteless and not particularly scone-like at all.

Stopping into a lovely used book store that smelled like fresh wood, I ended up with not only the couple maps I had wanted, but also a random old science fiction paperback as well.

I walked by 2-4 gaming stores. I tell ya, Boston has more gaming stores and comic book stores than any other city I have ever been in (that I have noticed).

I wandered around and looked in fancy stores with stuff I didn’t need and just treated it all as entertainment. There was a Tibetan store that had some lovely jewelry that was affordable, but I couldn’t quite justify buying any of it as I haven’t worn any jewelry at all in several years.

At the Harvard Book Store, I found an even better map (which I have already torn and might need to go back to get another) and a remaindered copy of a Josephine Tey book I hadn’t read yet.

Randomly walking around the square, I ran into someone I had known from college. So we’ll make plans to meet up for lunch/tea sometime next week.

By the time I decided to sit down a bit and stop walking for a while, I went looking for another good teashop. The first place that looked promising was a Peet’s Coffee, but while I will admit that it seemed a haven for coffee lovers, it was too busy, too crowded, and way too coffee-ish for me to stay. Then I ended up at Burdick’s – they had a nice tea selection, but looking around a bit let me know that what I clearly wanted way hot chocolate, instead. OH, man – incredible hot chocolate. It was a bit more bitter than I could take, but each table had a sugar bowl – and when I sprinkled sugar on top, the hot chocolate was so thick and luscious that the sugar didn’t even fall through to the bottom – just floated and liquidised on top… and then sipping it would coat my tongue in bitter liquid, and my upper lip would have sugar crystals – amazing.

Walked around a bit more, listened to buskers, and went home. Buses are oddly confusing because some stops have route maps, some just have route numbers, and others just have a signpost with a T telling you that some bus might stop there some time, but specifics are for wimps. :) All in all, I think I walked 4-5 miles. And, for all you hear about Boston drivers, everyone was surprisingly friendly to the pedestrians. I had drivers stop and wave me to cross even if I were still completely on the sidewalk and just looking vaguely interested in crossing that street. Huh.

I met RubyNye! Sexy, lovely woman! We spent a lot of time talking about her insane commitments to writing some 8 stories in a few months. And I’m not telling you anything about them because most of them were for secret exchanges – but I can say that they all sound fairly brilliant.

We started out at the Someday Cafe, which is everything I think a coffee/tea shop should be (lots of choices in loose leaf tea, eclectic comfy furniture, friendly banter behind the counter, and music just a touch louder than a restaurant). Then dinner at some diner-type place in Harvard Square with green in the name. And then back to Davis Square for more tea at the Diesel Cafe, which was larger and trendier – with sharp edges, an industrial feel, and lots of game (board games and pool tables)… the scenery might have been better at Diesel, but I hold to the first cafe as the epitome of a comfy teahouse.

And we made plans to get together again on Wednesday… possibly for a Harry Potter viewing.

So my family – haven’t seen too much of them, but we are getting on well. The plan is to spend all day today bonding.


death of the chocolate

   Posted by: Livia Tags:

My chocolate store is closed until September.