I’m walking Nitro the Two Toned Cavoodle. We have just finished our nightly stroll along Bondi Beach and have crossed Campbell Parade. I tie him up outside one of Bondi’s many Ezy Marts and head in to get some chocolate. Specifically – a hundred gram bar of Lindt Orange Intense Dark chocolate (LOID). My weekly stash has been consumed. Although I’m heading to the supermarket the next day, I need a LOID fix tonight. Even if it’s going to cost me five dollars instead of the usual three. So I pluck the bar from the shelf (the top shelf, of course) and return home. Netflix cued, I tear open the box and unwrap the foil, expecting to see the usual deep dark brown waxy rectangular corner. But instead I’m confronted by a horrific site – the bar is covered in blotches where the deep dark brown has faded to dog poo beige. NO!!!! Sun damage. Or out of date. I check the use by date stamped on the box. Still a month to go. So not quite expired. But most definitely not entering my mouth. I express my disappointment to my wife. She offers me a left over Easter Egg. I take a bite and though it’s actually better than the usual crap Easter chocolate, it is in another universe compared to the tongue tingling delights of LOID. Although my original intention is to return the damaged bar the next day, by half way through our Netflix show I decide that I will take it back once the program is over. I explain to my wife my logic that the guy who sold me the bar will still be there and therefore there won’t be any question over where I actually bought it. But I know the real reason I’m willing to head back out into the night. I need a fix. So Nitro the Two Toned Cavoodle is quite pleasantly surprised to be heading back out for his second walk of the night. Once again he is tied up as I go into Ezy Mart. I begin by seeing if the guy remembers that I was there an hour earlier. He does. Good start. I then show him the blotted choc. He agrees that it doesn’t look right. He opens the till to fetch five dollars. But I suggest we have a look at another bar of LOID just in case. I tell him that if it’s ok that I’ll just take it. He agrees. I open the only other bar of LOID left. Beige blots. Bugger. He hands over five dollars. I head up the road about fifty metres to the next Ezy Mart. The set up is the same. The LOID sits on the top shelf with the rest of the Lindt. The only difference is a little hand written sign saying $5.49. Really? They are charging fifty cents more than the other already over priced amount? I take the bar to the counter and point out this discrepancy. The counter guy is actually intrigued and says I only need to pay $5. I also relate my tale of blotted choc woe. I tell him that I want to open it up in the shop just in case. He agrees. I rip open the box. I start to unwrap the foil, counter guy watching over my shoulder. I feel like Charlie opening a Willie Wonka bar, hoping for a gold ticket. There is no gold ticket. But there is a deep dark brown rectangular corner. Hooray! I fold the foil over and stuff it back in the box. I grab the dog and start heading home. That’s when it occurs to me – I am a chocoholic, a LOID junky. I go home and have my fix.
Bahaha! It’s called ‘bloom’ and it’s the result of the chocolate at some stage not having been stored in the correct temperature range. Most likely, it’s gotten too hot (maybe air conditioner failure) – as it has cooled down again the cocoa butter fats have risen to the surface and stayed there. It’s still fine to eat even though it doesn’t look very appetising and the texture is affected (might not have ‘snap’ anymore and can feel grainy on the tongue since the fats are no longer emulsified). Your addiction obviously isn’t just a taste thing. Visual appeal forms part of the sensory enjoyment. Sorry to hear your chocolate experience was less than satisfactory.
Mrs Ch.O’C-Smith xo
Your drug of choice is good one. Nice piece, Charles. (And I learnt a lot about bloom from Mrs Ch.O’C-Smith 🙂
Noice one!!! & join the club ..can soooo relate!!!
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