Mr. G: "Oh, I ate that truffle with the espresso bean on top."
Me: "What? And you didn't split it with me?"
Mr. G: "It was the verisimilitude of what a perfect chocolate truffle should be."
Me: "And you didn't save me a piece?"
Mr. G: "I ate half and was on my way to give you the other half." (Here he breaks into hysterics. It's so nice that he can amuse himself so easily.) "But then I ate another bite, so then I was bringing you a quarter, but then I ate that and turned around."
Nice, right? Then he had the gall to hand me a "commemorative" calendar from his place of employment.
"Here, have a calendar instead."
So here's Mr. Goodbar's review of Gail Ambrosius Dark Chocolates:
"Some were better than others, but in all of them, the flavors served to highlight the chocolate. I don't know what kind of chocolate she uses, but it's good."
(Very perceptive, Mr. G. The chocolate is single-origin from South and Central America and Hawaii.) I can speak for the Cointreau truffle. I love orange and chocolate, and this was no exception. The description on the enclosed chart says, "The dark boldness of Costa Rican chocolate is the perfect mate for this bright, happy fruit." I couldn't have said it better myself.
I was quite surprised by the Shiitake Mushroom truffle. Yep, you read that right. Here's what the brochure says:
"The warm earthiness of this 65% Peruvian chocolate combines with savory shiitake mushrooms in the ultimate expression of umami, the fifth taste sensation. Dried shiitakes, steeped with cream, create a mild, fragrant ganache. Bits of mushroom add a pleasantly chewy texture-- a deeply satisfying taste experience."
I agree. I was all set to hate it (you know I'm not fond of savory and sweet combinations), but it did in fact give that rich, umami taste which was a nice compliment to the bitter chocolate.
As for the calendar, well, the pictures are boooooorring. But the trivia factoids are actually kind of interesting.
As I was reading them, Mr. Goodbar said, "Did you know that in the 1800's in New York City there was a fire ..."
Yes, I just read it on February's page. While some insurance companies couldn't meet the catastrophic losses, "Eliphalet Terry, president of The Hartford, took every Hartford insurance policy on New York property, hired a sled and team of horses, and set off in a heavy snowstorm for New York where he announced that The Hartford would settle claims in full."
"That makes me feel good," said Mr. Goodbar. "If you've got to work somewhere, it's good to know they stand behind their promises." (Too bad his morals don't extend to truffle-sharing.)
And here's a real whopper:
"Not until the north has won, Mr. Lee!"
"Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee faced each other across the gulf that divided our nation during the Civil War. Despite their allegiance to different flags, both men chose The Hartford to insure their homes against fire damage."
I'm not sure that having this bit of trivia stuck in my head is as good as say, an espresso truffle, but what can you do? Maybe someday I'll go on Jeopardy and one of the categories will be Presidential Insurance Policies and hopefully not Espresso Truffles.
For more info, visit www.GailAmbrosius.com