Ever since the cacao bean started its takeover of the planet, human beings have found more and more decadent ways to indulge in this most delicious stimulant. Scientists have discovered that eating chocolate can trigger responses in the brain that are similar to the ones the body fires off when we fall in love or have sex. No wonder people crave chocolate when they are down. Eating the stuff makes us feel happy. Even orgasmic.
But not all chocolate is created equal.
The stuff on sale at the checkout of your local convenience store may look, smell and taste like chocolate, but only those with deep pockets can ever truly understand what it is to experience lust in food form.
Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, we are able to at least see what it is we are missing out on. If you are a foodie or a chocoholic and you have a bucket list of ‘must eats’, make sure you put at least one of these treats on your list.
One of the simplest chocolate bars in the world is also the most expensive. Making chocolate requires only a few components, but any great chef knows that the quality of the ingredients is the key to amazing food.
Fermented for 2 years and then hand ground, the beans from a heavily protected and pampered group of rare 100 year old Ecuadorian Arriba Cacao trees. These trees are the last of their kind. The small forest produces only enough powder to make 574 bars of chocolate a year. This valuable dust is then added to finely processed pure cane sugar and the paste results in an 81% dark chocolate bar called To’ak. The bars weigh 1.5 ounces and cost between $270 and 345 USD each, depending on the wood the chocolate is matured in. Yes, really. You can find out more at www.toakchocolate.com
But if you’d like more than just a bar, how about a cupcake made with Venezuelan chocolate (from the ultra rare Porcelana Criollo bean), along with edible gold flakes, Tahitian Gold Vanilla caviar and 100 year old cognac? You know, just like Mum used to make for your school lunches. The ‘Sweet Surrender’ cupcake can be purchased in Las Vegas (where else?) and will set you back around 750 USD for 1. One. One only. So enjoy it.
Another delightful and delicious cupcake just waiting for an afternoon tea to become a part of can be purchased in that bastion of modesty…..Dubai. Shoppers at Bloomsbury Cupcakes can pick up half a dozen small cakes made exclusively with Amedei Porcelana chocolate and Ugandan vanilla. The chocolate frosting is speckled with edible 24 carat gold dust, and, for the health conscious, also comes with (chocolate covered) strawberries to be eaten with a golden spoon. This pretty thing can be yours for 1000 USD. Per one.
But if 1000 USD is your price point, you might prefer something chocolaty and chilled. At Serendipity 3 in New York, New York, you can buy yourself a bowl of Tahitian vanilla Ice cream covered on 23 carat gold leaf and drizzled in Venezuelan Chuao chocolate, candied French edible flowers, and Grand passion Caviar infused with passionfruit, orange and Armagnac. Subtle it isn’t, but scrumptious it no doubt is. If you want this ice cream for a sweet tooth moment, you will need to order it two days in advance…..because they need to fly the edible flowers in, and that takes a day…..
Another frozen treat from Serendipity 3 is the Frrrrozen Haute Chocolate which contains the chocolate from 14 different countries, plus a 5 gram 24 carat gemstone….and whipped cream. The gold diamond encrusted goblet cannot be taken home, but you are allowed to keep the gold spoon. Which is good, because the desert costs 25,000 USD. For one. The good news is, you don’t need to pre-order. They have everything on hand. So if you are suddenly swept up in an attack of chocolate craving, you don’t even have to wait a day.
Finally, even though the sweets you find at 7/11 don’t cut the mustard in terms of purity and excellence, there is one somewhat humble candy that sets a record of its own.
A humble brown normal sized M&M once sold for an astounding 1,500 USD. Why? Did it once lodge itself in the back of the throat of a US president, or does the face of Jesus appear on it if you hold it up to the light in just the right way? No. This very M&M once travelled into space ! This simple brown M&M spent time on Paul Allen’s Space-Ship-One in 2004, which was the first privately funded human space flight. This is one well-travelled chocolate morsel. It may still be delicious, it may now be a bit stale, but either way, it certainly makes it an indulgent treat that would need to be youtubed should it ever get eaten. Best not to leave it in the sun. Imagine having it melt into the upholstery of your car !!!
Whatever your budget, when it comes chocolate a bit of what you fancy can’t be bad. Just remember to savor each moment. The way things are going, good tasting food may well be the last legal drug.