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Complete Your Research Before the Experiment October 11, 2007

Posted by KG in Books, Food.

There it was, right in front of me:  material for a great post.  The inspiration?  A particular passage from Steve Almond’s excellent Candyfreak.  The objective?  To see if an admitted non-chocolate fan (me) would have the same rapturous reaction to a high-quality chocolate that he did.  The hypothesis? No, because even chocolate described as “gourmet” rarely has me begging for more.  But while typing out background, the requisite blockquote from the book, I realized I’d committed a particularly egregious error.  

In the book, Almond (previously dismissive of “gourmet” chocolates) falls in love with the Five Star Hazelnut chocolate bar.   He’s inspired to travel to the source –Lake Champlain Chocolates’ Vermont HQ — and conduct an extensive interview with the “candy engineer” responsible for the bar’s creation.  Such devotion to a single bar was enough for me to question my general policy on chocolate (no consumption in bar form). Unfortunately, by the time I’d found the Five Star bars in a store, I’d forgotten the specific variety mentioned. And purchased a peanut bar instead.

The peanut bar gets the thumbs up from Almond.  He likes it — but nowhere near as much as he likes the hazelnut.  I hadn’t noticed my purchasing error when I tasted the peanut bar, so I was more than a little disappointed.   The chocolate was clearly high quality, as was the peanut butter.   The peanut chunks were smaller than expected.  The peanut butter was smooth, earthy, and sweet, without sacrificing the peanutty smokiness I enjoy.  I didn’t get much rice crisp, but there was some there.  Overall a good bar, but I’d probably not buy it again.  Or purchase it as a gift for my chocophilic friends with hope they’d have an out-of-this-world candy experience.  This was enough to inspire piligrimage? 

Of course, with the basic supplies incorrect, my entire experiment was flawed.  I messed up before I began.   Still, this is an example of another observable phenomenon:  my love of science trumps my dislike of chocolates enough for me to go out of my way and buy another candy bar for personal consumption.           



1. Tom - October 11, 2007

I salute your commitment to rational inquiry.

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