The world is full of chocolate lovers. That is a great relief to the multiplicity of chocolate manufacturers around the world. Still, many of these chocolate lovers do not like to settle for just anything that happens to have a little cocoa and sugar in it. They demand what is known as gourmet chocolate. But what is gourmet chocolate and what sets it apart from the rest of the pack?
In contrast to the mass-produced chocolate products that we pick up in the supermarket and discount stores, chocolate is created without the production line mentality. Using time honored base recipes, chocolate makers experiment to come up with blends of ingredients that will excite the palate, taking the experience of eating chocolate well beyond a quick candy bar. As an example, cocoa beans from only the finest plants and prepared under the most stringent of conditions are used. The result is a rich full flavor that creates a foundation for the ultimate gourmet chocolate.
The same attention to detail and quality is applied to all the other ingredients used to create gourmet chocolate. Dairy products, special infusions of mint or other flavors, and sweeteners must be more refined that what one would buy for use at home. Many gourmet chocolate makers still employ the on-hands approach of previous generations. While the high standards result in far fewer units produced over the course of the workday, most would agree that the result is well worth the time and trouble.
As can be expected, gourmet chocolate costs more than your run of the mill chocolate products. The more unique the finished product, the higher the price tag. In spite of this, there are plenty of people who are more than happy to enjoy the mellow taste of a chocolate that does not leave a bitter aftertaste, or exhibit the clinging sweetness used in lesser products.
Gourmet chocolates are a great way to celebrate any special celebration with the chocolate lover in your life. For more information about chocolates, search the Internet or visit a local gourmet food shop in your area. You are sure to find something special.
The History of Hershey Chocolate
The name of Hershey chocolate is well known to generations of Americans. It is incredible to think that it all began when Milton Hershey started making sweet chocolate in 1894. He called his company, not surprisingly; the Hershey Chocolate Company and many would say that the rest was history. But the amazing thing is that over a hundred years later his company is still making excellent chocolate products. They have continued to bring out new items and win the hearts of chocolate lovers throughout the Untied States.
In 1907 it was the Hershey chocolate Kiss that made its first appearance. This droplet of chocolate was wrapped in silver foil. In 1921 it became an automated process that put the foil on and in 1924 the name was trademarked so that the Hershey Kiss was protected. They followed this success with three new chocolates over the next fourteen years. During the depression the Hershey Chocolate Company survived quite well. They were able to get through this terrible time without laying any employees off and still make a small profit.
During the Second World War the Hershey Chocolate Company made ration bars for the soldiers. Then in 1956 they bought the H.B. Resse Candy Company. This was after a seven relationship during which time Hershey put the chocolate on Reeseís peanut butter. The sale followed the death of Reese. Then in 1968 they changed their name to Hershey Food Corporation and branched out from just chocolate products.
As they walked into the new century Hershey became the top manufacture of chocolate and other confectionery products in the United States. They were still making their own chocolate but had arrangements with other confectioneries to carry licorice, toffee and other kinds of food products. This much loved candy maker is still going strong, selling their products in over ninety countries with an incredible four billion dollars in yearly sales. To think it all started out with that first Hershey chocolate.
Make a Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Are you looking to make a romantic evening for you and your partner? Setting the atmosphere as you choose what to wear and then look for something special to sit in front of the fire with to add to the ambiance of your evening. A glass of champagne accompanied by a bowl of strawberries is always romantic, but what if the treat you serve is a chocolate covered strawberry? Isnít that just one more step towards decadence?
You neednít worry about finding this delightful treat at a store near you, though you should be able to find a chocolate covered strawberry at any gourmet chocolate store you go to. But wouldnít you enjoy making them yourself. That way you could serve the chocolate strawberry still hot if you want to or chill them if that is what you prefer.
Finding a recipe so you can make the chocolate covered strawberry yourself is quite easy. There are unlimited recipe sites on the Internet and all you need to do is spend twenty minutes surfing the web to find one that suits you. They all require that you buy some chocolate, whichever kind is your preference; you can use bittersweet, dark or white chocolate for this gourmet treat. From there some recipes call for adding a couple of ingredients to make the chocolate creamier. Once this is done you simply dip the fresh strawberries into the chocolate, hold them up and let the excess drip off. Then you place them on a sheet of wax paper to dry. Wax paper is used because the chocolate wonít stick to it. Serve them right away if you want them hot or chill them if you want to serve them cold.
This delightful treat can be prepared by either a man or woman to delight their partner. As you pick up the chocolate covered strawberry to serve it to your partner youíll see the gleam of surprise and then pleasure, as they taste the treat youíve made. What a delightful way to begin a romantic evening that has started off special with chocolate covered strawberry dishes — and then end it that way, too.
The Variety of a Chocolate Gift
There are many different gifts people would like to receive. Receiving one of those gigantic $4,000.00 television sets would probably be a supremely appreciated gift. However, it is likely that not too many people can afford to purchase a $4,000.00 TV set and even fewer people would enjoy having to carry one. And think of the size of the gift wrapping that would have to surround such a beast. Yes, people opt to give far more practical and affordable gift such as a chocolate gift.
Now, this is not so say there is no chocolate gift that is wildly expensive. In reality, there are quite a number of stratospherically priced chocolates. However, there is also a large volume of rather inexpensive versions of a chocolate gift. Some of these, believe it or not, can fall under $6.00 a box! But, regardless of the price, the mere fact that one is presenting a chocolate gift to a loved one will endear them to your generosity. No one dislikes chocolate. Absolutely no one! Therefore, a chocolate gift is the best medicine for the problem of what kind of gift one should buy.
A chocolate gift can come in a great number of varieties, twists, shapes and sizes. Chocolate drinks, chocolate bars, chocolate covered cherries and chocolate laced strawberries, etc. The list literally goes on forever and ever. This is one of the main reasons that chocolate makes a great gift idea. The versatility of chocolate allows it to be molded to fit a number of products so it can appeal to a number of tastes and favorites. Some people will love the chocolate strawberries but not the chocolate cherries. Since both products exist, then there is no dilemma. Try that trick with vanilla. Choice makes finding a gift a great deal easier.