According to Slashfood, it’s National Chocolate Day. Huh. I had no idea. But perhaps that explains why I’ve been pretty much mainlining the stuff all day. People, I am out of control. Don’t tell Stephen, but I even raided his freezer stash of Hershey’s almond bars. You scoff? So do I; a straight-up, room temperature Hershey bar doesn’t tempt me in the slightest. (OK, the smell might tempt me since anything that smells like chocolate tempts me, but one waxy nibble is enough to remind me why I hold out for the good stuff.) Frozen, however, and studded with almonds, even a Hershey bar is pretty freaking good. Pleasantly hefty, with a great snap. Better yet, though, is one of these:
That’s a PB&J Bar from Tumbador, and as it says on the label it’s handmade right here in Brooklyn. It caught my eye the other day at the Bedford Cheese Shop, our local supplier of overpriced elitist goodies. It’s quite an unassuming package, isn’t it? Upon close inspection, the label appears to be printed off a home computer (their Web site is equally inelegant). Wisely, the Cheese folks keep them next to the register—I took one look at the $4.50 price tag and put the darn thing back down, but then I made the mistake of asking the salesperson if they’re any good. She assured me that yes, they’re really good, and since I don’t require a whole lot of convincing when it comes to chocolate, I snuck one into my coat pocket (after paying, of course—Harry was with me and as far as he knows, we don’t eat candy regularly in this family. Ha! Stupid child).
So, what does one get for $4.50? It’s a distressingly small bar:
Why yes, that is a hundred-dollar bill. I use them to ignite the pilot light.
Stephen and I split it after Harry went to bed that night, which meant that we each got approximately three bites, at $.75/bite. Outrageous, when you think about it. Buuuut, each bite was definitely worth it. Who needs fancy labels and sparkly Web sites? These Tumbador people put all their money into the goods. The crisp, peanutty praline had an exciting pop to it. I would’ve enjoyed that part all on its own. But the thin layer of raspberry pâte de fruit provided the perfect amount of ever so slightly chewy resistance, and the dark, dark chocolate coating—come on, people, how can you go wrong dunking something in good-quality dark chocolate? And with that little sprinkle of tart powdered raspberry on top? It tasted so darned good that I went back and bought a second one the very next day. The salesperson remembered me and commented on my quick return, which was a little embarrassing, so I explained that I’m doing it for you, dear readers! I simply had to buy another one, just to photograph it for Words to Eat By.
Never say I don’t love you.