Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate

In these uncertain political and economic times, what we need is some unconditional happiness.

What we need is chocolate.

I’ve been meaning to write about chocolate for months now (it being in the title of this blog) but got so distracted by various book-related shenanigans that I’ve been remiss in my duties. I apologize.

So, at long last: Chocolate! Here are my four favorite kinds:

1. In the standard bar category: Chocolove’s Chilies and Cherries Dark Chocolate Bar. Why do I love Chocolove? Let me count the ways: (a) it’s yummy (b) I love dried cherries and the subtle spice from the chilies (c) these bars come with a POEM inside the wrapper. Yes! It’s true! Chocolate + Sonnet = Perfect Joy.

2. In the odd-looking bar category: Lake Champlain Chocolate’s Five Star Bar in Caramel. I eat this bar in slices, like a piece of cake. It’s flavored with honey and vanilla and is just sooo good. My friend Steve Almond has a whole section in his book Candyfreak about Lake Champlain Chocolates—if you haven’t read Candyfreak, you must. Especially on Halloween. With a Five Star Bar in your mouth.

3. In the pretty chocolates category: Marie Belle. There are no better-looking chocolates in the world. I would like to live inside a box of Marie Belle chocolates. If you find yourself in NYC, you have to go to their cafe on Broome Street and drink their hot chocolate. It’s like drinking an entire chocolate bar.

4. Last, but not least, my favorite chocolates in the entire universe: Pierre Marcolini. My friend in France, whom my daughter is named after, introduced these to me ten years ago and I’m forever in her debt. She’s originally from Belgium, and we stayed at her family’s house in Brussels. I loved Brussels—I’d never seen so many chocolate shops in one place in my life. (Plus, how can you not love a place that serves french fry sandwiches?) In Brussels we ate chocolate constantly—spread on our toast for breakfast, and squares of it were served with coffee in every cafe, and then of course the Pierre Marcolinis every night for dessert. There’s a Pierre Marcolini store in NYC, but not one in Austin, which is probably for the best considering how much they cost. But if anyone ever feels like sending a certain exiled-in-Texas writer a box of Pierre Marcolinis, I will marry you. (Especially if your name is Nate Silver.)

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