C is for Chocolate
The best Christmas present we got this past season was five pounds of Dagoba hot chocolate mix, which I purchased from the Sundance Catalog (sometimes the best presents ARE the ones we get for ourselves). There have only been a few treasured chocolate-sipping moments so far this winter, but they have included my DH Glenn, and my lovely DD Nikki, usually on Saturday mornings, but also on Christmas Day, so sipping chocolate, or mixing it with home-brewed espresso, is really the epitome of relaxing to me. I will happily savor my chocolate mix all the way through winter.
Dagoba is probably my favorite artisanal brand of chocolate. It is organic, and I strive to eat mainly organic foods; they also do not include genetically modified foods, thank you very much. The makers have developed some really unique blends, including Mon Cherri, with dried cherries (Glenn's favorite), Xocolatl (with chiles and cinnamon, my personal favorite, and it also comes in baking powder form), and Lavender, which is unlike anything else in this world. The company strives to offer only fair-traded products, and their chocolates are readily available here on the West Coast, but they are building an extensive online store, in case you cannot find them where you live. You can even buy "broken bars" at a discount; this is kind of like "hurt books", for those, like Sylvia, who would prefer to rescue something that might otherwise go to waste. And, the makers declare "Chocolate is sacred", so they obviously share my worldview.
My other favorite that is locally available is the Endangered Species company... maybe it is just because of the cute little animal collectible cards that they package with the bars, or the paintings of animals that grace the wrappers (remember, I was the one who posted "A is for Animals" a month ago). However, the Endangered Species dark chocolate/mint bar received very high ratings in a recent Prevention magazine survey of best chocolates around, as did Newman's Organics Dark Chocolate (their version of chocolate and orange is another fave). And, at least 10% of their sales goes to raise awareness about the plight of endangered species around the world, including offering fair-trade, shade grown chocolate, and putting profits back into groups purchasing land and protecting animal habitat, so do some good while eating something good is my motto!
OK, I will stop... I am sure many of you have already started digging through your pockets for change to make a chocolate run, and I don't want to do too much damage...
Some of you may have noticed that I let this Monday slide right by without a Product Review... yes, that's right, nothing, zip, nada for this week. I am just too overwhelmed with change and the resultant paperwork, but will be back in fine form next Monday. Happy snacking!