what is it about the stereotype that all women love chocolate - and eat it in times of need - that so often rings true? or am i confusing it with the stereotype that i, more specifically, love chocolate and eat it any time i can? i will honestly say that this is not due to the upcoming 'holiday', but i've really been on a chocolate kick lately (as proof that it's not because of v-day, i will have you know that i started this post eight days ago and just now am finishing it! laziness, thanks for coming to my rescue on this one).
after i became vegan a few years ago (it'll be my 3 year anniversary in march!), chocolate seemed like it was just one of those things i couldn't have. oh sure, peanut chews are delightful and you might find one or two bars in a gourmet or health food shop if you read every single ingredient label, but i pretty much stuck with baking homemade desserts for myself. a few months ago, i started noticing random bars of chocolate in the kitchen, tucked into this nook or that cranny, nestled between the raisins and the cashews or hidden behind the panko bread crumbs. what is this, dark chocolate with crystallized ginger? ahoy there, 43% soy milk ecuadorian vintage plantations bar. then my mom gave us trader joe's organic dark chocolate truffle bars for christmas and things just skyrocketed from there.
since then, i've been buying, trying, exploring, testing and tasting all different kinds of special, fancy, interesting and/or gourmet vegan chocolate and chocolate products. does someone up there like me? or is the lack of milkfat, whey, buttermilk, milk solids or butter a sign of quality? i'm not one to judge, but i will say that these chocolates are BANGING. wait, i am one to judge.
behold, my newest favorite:
chocolove, i love you. and each chocolate bar has a little love poem printed on the inside. so what if they are mostly cheesy, or boring, or don't really make sense, it's the thought that counts. and did i mention the combination of chocolate and raspberries does things to me that nothing else really can?
yesterday i had a chocolate craving at work and what do ya know, hershey's chocolate syrup is vegan! i wouldn't normally buy or ingest this corn syrup laden product, but in times of desperation, a vegan hot chocolate will surely do!
last night's vegan balsamic fudge drops made by our trusty vegan sidekick, tony, only furthered my cravings for chocolate + a fudgey texture. enter: awesome foods raw chocolate coconut goji berry fudge. i was introduced to the awesome foods brand when i first started working at willow creek, and i do like most of their stuff. i had never bought the chocolate goji fudge because it's rather pricey, but after trying it at work last weekend, i'm hooked. it has a super fudgey texture and coconutty flavor, and a little textural crunch from the goji berries and i guess it's good for me so i don't mind popping one at, oh, 9 am, before breakfast.
lastly, but not leastly, ho ho no, not least, tonight, i will be embarking upon a chocolate journey thanks to one of my favorite blogs, Mac & Cheese. i'm going to make her recently posted Coconut Truffles, as well as last year's Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes. i don't know if she knows it, but i have a food crush on that girl. maybe i'll send her a valentine this year. or maybe a special cookie will suffice. nothing says i love you quite like chocolate. oh wait, there's that holiday talk again. maybe this year, chocolate can just be my lover?