Rainy Day Chocolate
I’ll admit I was procrastinating. It was early morning. I had just returned from driving my daughter to school and sat down in my little chocolate room to check emails. I glanced over my shoulder and there it was…my beautiful chocolate aroma kit from Projet Chocolat with a collection of 24 magical scents neatly tucked inside its elegant box. I could have gone right back to work - or bed - but instead, on this cloudy, damp Friday, I reached for my fragrant treasure trove, which inspired an impromptu tasting for one. Smart move.
It’s easy to forget that we are sensual beings. There are so many distractions! However, I am fortunate to have the kind of job where, in order to do it well, I must engage my senses. Not only do I engage them…I luxuriate in them. I slow down to see what messages they bring. I stop to smell the roses on my walks. I listen to the birds. I touch my cat’s velvety ear and expect to be bitten (she’s a biter). I allow the chocolate to melt leisurely in my mouth, however long it takes. Slowing down is not always easy, but it makes sense.
I’ve been tasting a lot of chocolate lately, adding well over a dozen new products to the Barometer collection. This morning I wanted to contemplate the dynamic, irresistible flavor notes in some of my recent additions while inhaling the corresponding scents from my aroma kit. Each distinct fragrance enlivened me and served as a prelude to my flight of chocolates. Here’s what happened: I took a whiff of two divine potions fragrant with pepper and cherry and chose the Cuna de Piedra 73% Comalcalco, Tabasco Dark Chocolate Bar. Next up was an intoxicating little jar alive with the delicious scent of tropical fruit, inspiring me to reach for the Odyssey Chocolate Bolivia Wild Harvest 70%. I continued the aroma and flavor journey with seven small bottles (clove, pepper, cherry, honey, vanilla, wood and nuts) to set the mood for the luxurious To’ak Bourbon Cask Aged 2017 Harvest 76% Dark Chocolate. The scents labeled “butter” and “creme brûlée” put me perfectly in the mood for the SOMA Brown Butter Rum (dark milk) Chocolate Bar. This was a memorable flight. Just the act of mindfully combining scent with taste turned this cloudy, ordinary day into a technicolor celebration.
If you’re honoring a beloved person or celebrating a special event this month, I bask with you in your joy. I must mention that this time also marks a period of great sorrow in my small South Orange and Maplewood NJ community where a teenage boy full of brilliant promise was recently killed. There is sorrow for some this month that no amount of mindfulness or chocolate can reverse or repair. Please know that my heart is in solidarity with yours whether you’re in a state of joy or grief. Wishing peace to all, and sending you love as enduring and expansive as the long days and starry nights of summer.