August 2012

Chocolate and cheese

A sweet, savory combination

Really? Chocolate and cheese? I’ve heard of rather odd combos like chocolate and bugs (ewww) and chocolate and bacon (interesting?), but never cheese and chocolate. I mean, chocolate is a more sweet flavor while cheese a bit sharp and tangy depending on the brand. I wonder how this idea even came about. Then again chocolate and milk go together awesome – and cheese is kind of just old milk. But really, cheese has sort of moved beyond liquid milk to well, cheese. I just don’t get how this came about.

Cheap candy finds

Where’s the cheapest place to find your favorites?

I know mine! No matter what I’m doing—staying up late to study for a test, working the red eye shift, or simply satisfying a big craving—I often find myself turning toward cheap candy, which means I know where to get my sweets without spending too much.

If you turn to the gas station or the grocery store for candy, you know exactly what I am talking about! You might pay $5 to $8 for a simple bag of candy, depending on what you want (especially if it’s chocolate), which is just silly. When I lived in Spain I was spoiled with affordable candy shops everywhere, and I could just buy what I wanted since you scooped it out fresh by yourself. The candy shops we have here are much more pricey and, dare I say it, not as fresh.

So what do I do when I need my candy fix? Easy…

Cacao seeds

The rawest chocolate

I’d heard a little about the origins of chocolate before traveling in Southern Mexico and Belize last summer. Before the conquest of Mesoamerica by Spain, chocolate was highly prized and exclusively drunk by the aristocracy. It was so valued that the seeds were used as currency by native peoples like the Mayans and Aztecs.

Chocolate frogs

À la Harry Potter

I’ve heard of many things that have been dipped in and made up of chocolate. Chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, chocolate chairs and chocolate bears. But chocolate frogs? The horrible thought of a real frog being made into a dipped chocolate treat grossed me out. I mean there’s a thing that involved bugs dipped in it! 

Apparently, I missed out on a Potter joke. A Harry Potter joke. In the wizard world, they too enjoy chocolates and sweets. Well, with a twist. Unlike muggles (i.e. us non-wizards), the sweets were magically created and were a bit more ‘active’ on your plate. Recall the first Harry Potter movie when Harry and Rob first meet on a train? They chat and order from a dessert tray full of sweet treats on the train. Harry opens a box to eat his treat, assuming it is ordinary chocolate, only to have it hop out and flee the box! 

Chocolate soy milk

Oh chocolate milk. You were my (not so) secret crush. I indulged in you with fervor. I drank you from mixing milk and chocolate syrup together, to the myriad of various pre-mixed drinks. Nestle Quick, PET, plain old store brand. I loved you straight from the carton to being mixed slyly in homemade milk shakes. 

But alas, you and I became incompatible. The gassiness. The - to put it kindly - farting of epic foulness. The horror lactose befell upon me. I had become, over time, lactose intolerant. Now I, at times, ate things like cheese anyway as I rarely ate such things filled with milk. But my, I could not live a day without my chocolate milk. But I had to in order to spare my surrounding roommates.