Saturday, December 13, 2008

Journalism of jealousy

The New York Times has a long history of reporting on the rarefied reaches of conspicuous consumption. Normally, I'm pretty well inoculated against it.

In my twenties, I went to a champagne and caviar tasting, and I hated the "best" champagne. It was a Roederer, and it tasted so yeasty that I imagine it must have been similar to licking out an ale tun. My favorite caviar was the $7 an ounce stuff farm-raised in Jackson, Tennessee.

Sure, since then, I've had a chance to educate my palate (ha!), but I still like a $10 California cabernet. I'm not even a whiskey snob. Though I've had drams of scotch out of $50 bottles, I prefer the sweeter, simpler Irish for daily enjoyment. And there's not a damn thing wrong with Jack Daniel's.

No, the snobbery that I am here today to confess is about chocolate. My name is Lovable L., and I'm a chocoholic.

Although I know I'm an addict, I have no desire to clean up. I may need to get dark spots out of my clothing on a regular basis, but I'm still a high functioning chocoholic.

Give me chocolate, and you'll be my friend. But don't come at me with your sugary crap that needs food coloring to compensate for its lack of cacao. Milk chocolate? Save it for the children. White chocolate? Oxymoronic devil spawn of disappointment, fit only for decorative use.

Hardly any chocolate that's less than 60% cacao is worth eating.

I have to confess that I don't know anything about chocolate other than what I like. And what I like is a piece of pure bar chocolate pressed with my tongue against the roof of my mouth, where I can quietly taste it long and hard until it's gone.

I also must confess that this self-consciously funky bicycle trip through Paris sampling more artful chocolates makes me just a little jealous.

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