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Chocolate: The Food of Gods
Brenda Himelfarb Dining June 5, 2015
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For chocoholics, just the word “chocolate” evokes feelings of comfort and joy. A feeling that can only be satiated with a taste that takes the craver to nirvana. Somehow words, say, like “cabbage” or “kale” don’t do it. Healthy? Yes.

However, doesn’t sound mouth-watering like the sweet sound of the word “chocolate”.

History says that the Aztecs and Mayans developed chocolate. British journalist, Scott Roeben, jokes that it was a “joint venture,” and for that reason, they “promptly forgot to invent the wheel.” Roeben goes on to say that not inventing the wheel was a setback for the Aztecs and Mayans, because “they (wheels) are often a necessity when driving to buy chocolate.”

In the past few years we all have heard the benefits of chocolate: counteracts the effects of depression and contains anti-oxidants called flavonoids that reduce the risk of heart disease. Some scientists say that chocolate may increase longevity. Everyone agrees – even the layman – that it stimulates endorphins that generate feelings of pleasure and well being, much like hiking on a crisp, Colorado blue-sky day.

Certainly chocolate seems to be a cure all – both emotionally and according to researchers, physically.

So, when the doctor says, “Eat some dark chocolate and call me in the morning,” be sure to follow orders. You can’t go wrong!

SUGAR BAR

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Your taste buds will go crazy with one taste of Big Little Fudge from Sugar Bar in Edwards! It’s over a square inch of lusciousness, gluten-free and made with pure liquor. A little bite of naughty – but tastes so good! Add to that Harry and David’s caramel and chocolate Moose Mix popcorn to complete your splurge!

ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOCOLATE FACTORY

Fruit, nuts, chocolate: a plethora of goodies grace the counters at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Vail and it’s hard to choose just one!

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They’ve taken the Granny Smith apples to mouthwatering heights. Whether it’s the chocolate-dipped apple with white chocolate swirls, the nut-covered apple with pecans, milk chocolate and dark drizzle or the white-and-dark chocolate drizzled apple, you absolutely can’t go wrong. Add to that the whole roasted almonds covered with milk, white or dark chocolate coupled with the almond bark – and you’ll be in another world.

MOUNTAIN FLOUR

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These bars, made by Mountain Flour in Eagle, are the height of yummy bars. Only TCHO, a single-origin chocolate produced in San Francisco that focuses on the pure flavors of the cacao, is used to make the bars. Sea Salted Caramel (brown sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, sea salt, glucose), Virginia Peanuts (puffed rice cereal is in place of the peanuts on the crunch bar) and 60.5-percent TCHO chocolate make up these treats – with the focal point of the bars being the subtle nuances of the chocolate and simple complementing flavors.

MOUNTAIN MAN NUT & FRUIT COMPANY

Products made locally are the focus of Mountain Man Nut & Fruit Company that features chocolates and truffles from Veree Chocolate and Colorado Candy Kitchen. The word “truffle” speaks of an abundance of gooey tastes that are nothing but mouth-watering and they’re always at the store for the picking.

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That’s not to say that the dark chocolate nibbles and pecan and cashew caramel turtles don’t matter. They’re a favorite. Add to that, peanut butter and caramel squares, chocolat- covered caramel pretzels, and s’mores and you can enjoy your chocolate induced coma.  Of course, the store is not responsible.

KITCHEN COLLAGE

There are lots of ways to make chocolate even more chocolaty – and that’s where Stonewall Kitchen’s sauce comes in.  As the label reads, “The heavenly combination of dark chocolate and seat salt is made even more decadent with the addition of butter caramel. The sea salt brings out the intensity of the dark chocolate and lets the salt caramel flavor come through.” Whether you pour the sauce over chocolate, ice cream or fruit, your taste buds will thank you.

English silver plate sauceboat, C.1900; 1940’s glassfooted cake plate, available at The Shaggy Ram.

RIMINI

No matter what time of day or night – you’ll find a plethora of chocolate at Rimini that is hard to resist. The tempered chocolate has a shiny finish, a juicy snap when bitten and is more resilient, than other chocolates, to environmental temperature change. As well, the 72-percent deZaan gourmet dark chocolate that is used has a rich concentration of cocoa, giving a positive bitterness and a predominate fruitiness in flavor. The top sellers are always house-made caramel with a pinch of sea salt.  And the flavors, such as birthday cake, white Russian and Mexican spice, as well as other funky flavors are inspired by the whim of the chef.  Can you say, “Yum?”

Sterling silver confection spoon in Tiffany pattern; hand-cut gourd design, both available at Michele’s. 

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