My one-woman online campaign to get "US man survives chocolate ordeal" to the top of the BBC website's most-read list, out of appreciation for the sinister last sentence of the article, has sadly failed to yield tangible results. So as a sort of New Year's resolution I made a vow to eat less chocolate this year, but better.
Waitrose cruelly took their limited range of Michel Cluizel off the shelves a few months ago, so some googling was in order which led to the discovery of the Chocolate Trading Co and since then all hell has broken loose. As any small child could have told me, access to good chocolate means more gets eaten, not less, and before one knows it, one has a fifty quid a month chocolate habit. I like to think I'm doing my bit for the French economy.
My current favourite is Noir aux Ecorces d'Orange, which has little pieces of orange peel incorporated into the chocolate.
Also extremely fine, and slightly crunchy, is the Noir aux Grue de Cacao (cocoa nibs). There are multi-packs to feast the senses and the packaging is smart and colour-coded to enable you to tell your Los Ancones from your Maralumi single estate. The possibility of wheeling out a box of tasting discs at a future dinner is very tempting, and they also sell chocolate mushrooms. I haven't tried those yet, but it's only a matter of time. How cute are these?