Friday, April 4, 2008

Today's Chocolate

Today's chocolate is a .45 ounce miniature square of Russell Stover Private Reserve Vanilla Bean Brulee, with 70% Dark Cacao. It is a filled square, a dark chocolate shell enrobing a mild, vanilla middle that is primarily hidden by the deep taste of the chocolate. I don't know if it's because the square is so small and thin that I don't get the vanilla flavor, but what filling there is does seem to temper the sharp tang of cacao I'm used to experiencing.

I almost didn't buy these. I found a bag for sale at Rite-Aid. I normally associate Russell Stover with childhood holidays - we'd visit my grandmother in Louisville for Christmas, and my Aunt Doris always made much of having Russell Stover samplers, as though Whitman was a poor relation (looking at their site, I see Russ and Whit have merged since then, though they still haven't touched Hershey's in domestic sales). Being a kid, I could never tell the difference aside from the white boxes replacing the yellow gingham ones. That, and my uncanny ability to always select the dreaded jelly bon-bon.

So I see Russ has gone upscale with a "Private Reserve" line. I'm thinking, hoo-hoo. Somewhere in Kansas City is this secret vault where the good stash is, and after years of having to choke down syrupy cherry cordials I finally get to eat like the grown-ups. It's pretty good. I'm tempting to try out their other flavors.

Today's chocolate kiss: Russell Stover actually started out in the ice cream business, selling the Eskimo Pie.

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