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Aug. 3, 2005
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
I'd like to say thanks to my friend Joe, who celebrated is 28th birthday on July 17. He LOVES chocolate, so, in his honor, we held a chocolate celebration!!!

There is this awesome place in Oakland called Bittersweet Cafe, a chocolate cafe.It serves different types of hot chocolates, mochas, and baked chocolate goods. There's also a selection of over 200 types of chocolate bars! We chose about 12 different types of dark chocolate and had a hardcore chocolate-tasting party.

By carefully and deliberately tasting chocolate, it's amazing how different they all taste. It's like sitting in a winery listening to people describe the flavors in wines - there are many similar flavors found in chocolate. We tasted characteristics like: fruity, smoky, vanilla, spice, earthy, bitter, and others. The chocolates also had various types of textures ranging from super creamy to waxy. Bars from various parts of the world or from one bean source also had unique flavor and texture qualities.

Here is a example: "This 72% Venezualan chocolate is made from a single bean origin. It has a rich aroma and a clean snap when a piece is broken off. The chocolate melts easily and uniformly in your mouth and has an initial warm, and comforting flavor. Not too sweet or bitter, there are hints of spice and vanilla, finishing with fruity, possibly berry notes. The aftertaste is clean with no residual particles or astringency left in the mouth. A pleasent fruity aroma can be detected for several minutes after eating."

On another note about chocolate, I'd like to mention that one of my favorite local chocolate makers, Scharffen Berger, recently sold to Hershey. On the one hand, I can understand why they might have done that, but I am also sad at the same time. Like Clif Bar, they are a locally-owned company that produces an extraordinary product. Hopefully, the new owner Hershey won't make too many changes to the business or the products that they make. It would be sad to see such a delicious, high-quality chocolate be lost.
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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