“Oh Gosh I LOVE that stuff”, I just found myself saying outloud, jumping up from the computer and grabbing another big hunk of V Chocolate’s Almond Toffee. It’s addicting stuff, that’s for sure, I even have to hide it from myself.
I recently visited V Chocolates newest retail location in the former Norwalk furniture store just south of the Fashion Place Mall in Murray, UT (East of the Macaroni Grill). It’s such a great location – tons of visibility and a quick on and off of State Street or I-215 to get there for a quick fix. They haven’t filled the whole former place with chocolate goodies, but it is a large location, and it could be temporary – I’m not sure. But what I do know, is their toffee is to die for.
I purchased a large box at the Utah Chocolate Show earlier this year, and had a nice chat with a couple people in their booth. I think they thought it rather funny I was such a huge fan. The 1lb box didn’t last long. I just keep chipping away and chipping away until it was gone and I wanted more. Perhaps it’s that bitter sweet crunchy combination. Hmmm.
So if you’re in the area, swing by and pick up some chocolates. You’ll be glad you did. Are there any other V Chocolate fans out there?
Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe
526 NW 23rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97210
http://www.moonstruckchocolate.com (Corporate Website)
While in Portland, Oregon recently I stumbled across the Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe on NW 23rd Ave. 23rd has all sorts of trendy/fun shops and restaurants and is a great place to find gifts for friends or for yourself. I must say first off that I am amazed at how beautiful their chocolates are. Wow. When they say “Minature Works of Art” on their “Meet the Truffles” page, they are not kidding. But not only do they look fantastic, they are even tastier. Very unique mixes of flavors. My only critique would be that they seemed very heavy on the dark chocolates as far as range of selection. Since I’m a huge milk chocolate fan, I guess this was one thing that stood out to me.
Here’s a recent tidbit I found on the Scharffenberger FAQ page that asks that very question:
Q: Does your chocolate spoil?
A: Eventually every food product will go past its prime. Dark chocolate, however, is one of the longest lasting and most stable foods you can buy. Our dark chocolate has a shelf life of approximately 18 months. If held properly, chocolate can last for years. That being said, many people wrongly identify the phenomenon of fat or sugar “bloom” as “spoiled” chocolate.
The best way to store a chocolate bar is in a cool, dry environment where it will not come in contact with heat or moisture. There is usually no need to refrigerate dark chocolate that you will use within 8 months to a year of purchase. If you live in a very hot or humid area and must refrigerate your chocolate, we suggest wrapping it tightly in an extra layer of plastic wrap to help protect the aroma and flavor. Always allow the refrigerated chocolate to warm to room temperature before eating. We suggest that you never freeze chocolate.
So what about that stuff that looks like mold? That white or grayish tint on it when it’s old?
Q: Why does chocolate sometimes get a white or gray sheen on it?
A: There are two possibilities for this: 1) the cocoa butter has “bloomed” because the chocolate got warm enough for the cocoa butter’s crystalline bonds to break and re-form in a “sloppy” pattern (“fat bloom”); or 2) condensation of water on the chocolate’s surface has caused “sugar bloom”. Neither type of bloom damages the chocolate for cooking purposes, but both make the chocolate grainy for eating out-of-hand.
I attended the Utah Chocolate Show last weekend as planned, and had a great time visiting with some of those who had booths at the show. I purchased several things, one of which was Hot Chocolate from HC Hot Cocoa.
I purchased one of each of their products: HC Hot Cocoa Immunity, and HC Hot Cocoa Energy.
The HC Hot Cocoa Immunity has a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to help strengthen the immune system. It can be used as a preventave messure against colds, or enjoyed after you’ve already got the cold to get you back on your feet. It includes Vitamin C, L-Glutamine (used by white blood cells), Vitamin E (antioxident), Great Tea Extract (antioxident), Vitamin B6 (red blood cells), Zinc, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12.
The HC Hot Cocoa Energy has an exclusive blend of minerals that provide a surge of energy and sustained endurance. It’s perfect for anyone who participates in any winter activities. (The folks in the booth kept on asking me if I snowboard – “why yes I do” I said.) Its ingredients include Magnesium, L-Carnitine, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Grape seed extract, Chromium, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B1. All these elements help turn fat into energy, metabolize sugars to create energy or are antioxidants that provide an easy recovery from exercise.
But most of all the product tastes really good! Very creamy, light chocolate flavor.
Continue reading HC Hot Cocoa – Fortified for Energy or Immunity
A good friend of mine gave me Almond Roca the other day, you know the familiar Toffee candies in the pink container?
I remember as a kid, I always thought this was an “old person” candy for some reason, but now I love the stuff. Does that mean I’M getting old? It must be the mix of sweet and bitter that appeals to the older-crowd perhaps (and me). I realized after the can was empty and I was trying to decide if it was recyclable or not, that I didn’t know who made Almond Roca. So I delved into the pink and read the can. Brown and Haley, since 1912. Wow. So I visted the Brown and Haley website.
Here’s the background from their website on this, one of my latest favorite candies, Almond Roca:
ALMOND ROCAÂ® comes to you with a history as flavorful as its fresh almonds, and as rich as its buttercrunch toffee. It all started back in 1923 in Tacoma, Washington. Harry Brown developed a recipe for the crunchy log-shaped candy destined to become a worldwide favorite. J.C. Haley wanted an unusual name to go with the new almond confection they had invented. A local librarian suggested “roca”, and ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee was born. In Spanish, the word “roca” (pronounced Roe-ka) means “rock”, which seemed appropriate given the crunchy center.
After 5 billion pieces and 5 billion smiles, “Roca” has taken on a new, universal meaning: fresh – and – lively – crunchy – chewy – taste – sensational – buttery – chocolaty – delight.
The product was an immediate success, but some method had to be found to protect all that fresh, buttery goodness. In 1927 ALMOND ROCAÂ® confection became the first candy in the world to be put in a sealed tin. After all, JC. Haley reasoned, if tins could keep coffee fresh they could certainly do the same for ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee. And if a regular tin could do the job, imagine what a pink tin could do!
The confection emerged from being a well-kept secret of the Pacific Northwest during World War II. Since it was packed in air-tight tins, it could be shipped to the troops overseas and remain fresh. It became so popular that an entire chapter was dedicated to the crunchy morsels in the Official History of World War II. In one memorable event, American generals would not turn over responsibility for an occupied country to other Allies until three railroad cars of ALMOND ROCAÂ® confection could be taken with them.
ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee has traveled around the world ever since. It has been shipped to more than 63 markets over the past 80 years. Sir Edmund Hillary packed it to the top of the world on many of his Himalayan ascents. It’s one of the favorite candies of Japan’s royal family. It’s also a market leader for imported gift confections in many markets from Asia to the Middle East, including Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. Today, ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee can be found on retail shelves in over 35 countries on six continents.
Today, nine decades and three generations of Haleys later, ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee is still being made with the same care in the same factory where it all started. The factory has become a historic landmark and the candy has earned the title of “America’s Finest ConfectionÂ®.”
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!
One cannot talk about Chocolate and popular culture without talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. From my former post, you can see that over thirty three thousand of you are looking for either the book or the movie.
When I was a kid, my mom gave me a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Daul (same cover as below – the 1964 version). It was one of the first books I read from cover to cover (and still have on my bookshelf downstairs). His descriptions were lively and playful, and you could tell that he was thinking like a child would. I read all of his books and even attempted a “Georges Marvelous Medicine” of my own. It didn’t really do anything “marvelous” to me, but rather made me sick to my stomach. Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn’t have drank that solution in the first place.
I loved the movie as a kid – the tales of a somewhat crazed chocolate maker who let a few children into his chocolate factory and divulged his somewhat strange secrets on making chocolate and other candies. As I’ve read the book “Emperors of Chocolate” over the past couple months, it’s interesting to see how much of the secrecy of the Hershey and Mars Families inspired this kind of literary work.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve gotten the inkling to see the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again, and haven’t been able to locate it in any of the local video rentals or department stores. (They seem to be overflowing with the newest version) So I ordered it on Amazon. While I thought Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Willy Wonka was a lot of fun, and the visuals to the show were quite superior to the original, I didn’t like what they had done to the storyline at all. In the original the whole story surrounding the “bad” guy who wanted a sample of the everlasting gobstopper carried me through the movie and gave it a deeper story line. In the remake it seems that either Willy Wonka was the bad guy, or perhaps his childhood upbringing, but either way I didn’t lack the thread that I was looking for to hold the somewhat tragic occurrences to each child.
I ran across this link the other day that I found interesting. Hand it to Wikipedi to have a whole section on the differences between the book, and both film versions of Charlie. It’s a fun read of your a Charlie buff.
The Lost Chapter?
I also ran across an article talking about the “lost chapter” that intended to be in the book which featured Miranda Piker, but was cut by the publishers of the book. The chapter dealt with implied cannibalism and was cut due to the character’s grotesque ‘elimination,’ which was more violent than those of the other naughty children. The chapter recently resurfaced, and is located at the Times Online.
So which is your favorite version of the movie? And favorite treat? Do rivers of chocolate flow into your life occasionally? Or do you wish you could have a whole meal in one piece of chewing gum?
Did you know that 144006 of you searched for Chocolate in September? Chocolate is on my mind lately, so I got curious to see how many others were thinking about it. In creating the greatest sweet shop of all time, I think it’s important to know what people are interested in right now, (chocolate) and what they’re tastes are right now, (chocolate) and with the Internet so full of stats it makes it easy to find out (about chocolate).
If you don’t do any keyword optimization for search engines (or even know what that is, for goodness sakes) you’re probably unaware that Overture (Yahoo’s company for adding paid search) has a little tool that tells you how many times a certain terms/words were searched for on Yahoo for a close-in-proximity previous month. (If you click on that little tool link, please note it takes a LONG time to appear and do searches.)
So according to this tool, how many of you ARE looking for chocolate?
Continue reading Chocolate, Gourmet Chocolate, Chocolate LG, and more Chocolate
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: The Peak of Perfection in Handmade ChocolatesÂ®
510 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Corporate Website)
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Location Finder
The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is a publicly-traded franchised company with locations all over the world. (There are 7 in Utah from St. George to Salt Lake City) They have good chocolates, hand-dipped caramel apples, and a friendly atmosphere. The Park City RMCF is located in the historic downtown area in front of Dolly’s Bookstore, with tables for fudge making, and a big kettle for melting caramel in the front window. Stop by when you’re walking Main and pick up a treat – I recommend the caramel apple with almonds – they’ll cut it for you to share.
I’ve been to at least a half dozen Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory locations in the past few months – in the Denver Airport, near Pikes Place in Seattle, in the Provo Riverbottoms (Utah), in historic Trolley Square Salt Lake City, and in downtown Park City. Each have their stamp of familiar franchisee posters and menus, but my favorite has got to be Park City. I don’t remember exactly when the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory moved into the front of Dolly’s Bookstore, but I do remember before it was there (I remember cats use to wander the bookstore).
My least favorite is the RMCF in Trolley Square – last time I was there, it was dirty, the display cases were covered in greasy fingerprints and the store looked unorganized and the chocolates unappetizing. When I visited the Provo Riverbottoms franchise location last month, it was clean and tidy inside, but the black covers on the windows from the outside made me pause at the front door thinking it was either NOT the front door, or this location had been closed (the Provo Riverbottoms loses lots of businesses – even the franchises).
Continue reading Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – Park City, Utah – Review
I ran across this picture on flickr while doing a search for dessert (I always find amazing pictures of desserts and dessert tastings from other countries and big cities). It reminded me of a cake my sister made for her daughter’s birthday. Barbie had been stripped of clothing, poked into the center of a dome-carved layer cake, and then decorated to look like she was wearing a big poofy dress made of frosting. It’s a rather cute idea – since my niece got a cake, and then a Barbie to boot. The closest I had as a kid was a Hot Wheel driving across my cake (which I loved BTW). In one case I found on Flickr, it didn’t seem to work out too well on a boy’s cake.
I’m told this is called a “Princess Cake” – and here’s an example of one.
When my sister was ready to cut my nieceâ€™s cake, and the photos had been taken to preserve its memory, she carefully slipped the frosting-clad Barbie out from the middle (now half exposed, since the bottom half of her dress was the cake) and then flung her around the room and asked “who wants to lick Barbie?” We all started laughing, and my sister turned bright red with embarrassment, having just realized what a silly question this was (noting the fact it was only frosting covering her upper body).
Are you looking for Glazie’s Donuts in Provo or Orem, Utah? Well, it seems that others are looking as well. Below are the 2 locations I know of, and addresses and directions. Since I’ve already noticed a couple hits from people looking for them (there is no page for them online – not even on Hogi Yogi’s website) I thought I’d put this information up. I’m a big fan of Glazies, I like their thick bread-like donuts (it’s a nice change from Krispie Kreme which is really light and very sweet).
Glazies Donuts (in Provo)
“The Corner” (Across from Provo High School, next to Fat Cats Bowling Alley)
44 E 1230 N
Provo, UT 84604
You’ll find Glazies in side a large building called “The Corner” which includes a Hogi Yogi and a Teriyaki Stix. This building was built in 2003 where an old Winchells stood. (Nice to see they replaced a donut place with another one, isn’t it?) Parking here is pretty tricky, and tight.
Glazies Donuts (in Orem)
“Parkway Crossing” (Just west of the University Parkway exit, enter off Geneva Road)
1270 W. 1130 S.
Orem, UT 84058
You’ll find this Glazies included in a student housing complex called Parkway Crossing. The development is only a couple years old and viewable from the freeway. Turn right on Geneva just past the Chevron, and then take your next right into the complex. Glazies is on the South Side.