Last week I found nirvana in a chocolate shop in a wee village in the north-west of Scotland. I should explain that chocolate is as important to me as air is for breathing. At island parties parents ensure I have a party bag of chocolate and sweeties so I don't steal any from the kids. OK not one of my more endearing traits, but it demonstrates the seriousness with which I regard chocolate.
Imagine my delight then when I visit Cocoa Mountain in Durness. Visitors can see through the clear glass doors to the chocolate making emporium - there is probably still an imprint of my nose that was pressed against the thick glass on a daily basis viewing with awe huge quantities of liquid chocolate...... Yes, dear reader, daily.
The shop also served mocha to die for (a double espresso, with chocolate, froth and liquid chocolate drizzled over the top) - I did resist the full blown "hot chocolate" experience as I feared I may die of joy and there is still too much chocolate left to taste to go just yet.
But I did sample a different "truffle" each day. The flavours run like a litany... black cherry and toasted almond, fresh raspberry, cranberry and cashew, chilli and lemongrass, ginger and cinnamon, coffee vanilla, whisky caramel, and my personal favourite - orange and geranium.
And then there were the bags of chocolate - with pieces of fudge, pistachio, marshmallow, almonds, hazelnuts or ginger embedded in the thick sweet delicious chocolate coating. And chocolate buttons, chocolate nibs, chocolate beans........
OK, someone asked, if we didn't know it was "special" would it *taste* special? Well I think so - YES! And as well as delicious chocolate (white, dark, milk) it was the interesting mix of flavours - who would think to mix strawberry and black pepper and clothe it in chocolate? Only a genius of a chocolate maker....... sigh......
As you can see from the photo above I brought a little home for myself. Yup all for ME! Well it's going to be a loooong winter so I need something to help my mental health and wellbeing.... Does fruit covered in chocolate count as one of my "five a day"? I wonder if I could apply to be their chocolate taster for new flavours........ a girl can only dream - sigh. At least I can buy the goodies online - I already have the site bookmarked. Oooh I just checked it and it said "Your shopping cart is empty" - I shall soon have to remedy that. Well maybe in a week or two. (Visitors please note - do not expect to be offered any of my supply of chocolate - bring your own!).