Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to Write Chocolate off Your Taxes

The simple answer: review it for a blog.

Well, don't quote me on that. Being a published author, I could probably get away with it by calling it a promotional expense. I do give away candy at booksignings, but I imagine one day the IRS will catch up to me and wonder aloud why I would distribute whole Vosges bars to readers. Then I'd have to bring people in to verify I did just that, and those people would have to be bribed...with actual Vosges bars. So maybe there isn't a simple answer for that.

I do like to Twitter about chocolate though. Just the other day I answered a post from somebody who had tried one of the Hershey Cacao Reserve treats and was disappointed. Now, I have no memory of trying that brand myself - I've been busy collecting more exotic brands for sampling, but I ended up in a brief exchange with the woman whereupon she asked me for a recommendation. This, of course, required some research.

Now, don't think all I do every day is wolf down chocolate. I've admitted before that I keep a stash, but the reason the stash remains large is because I gradually chip away at it. Everything in moderation, and I estimate I limit myself to about two ounces a day, which is plenty for me. It's just enough to enjoy and review properly.

For this fellow tweeter, I suggested a dark around the 70% span. If you've shopped for dark chocolate before and haven't paid attention to the percentages, you'll know it does make a difference. This past week I've alternated between a few bars: one milk called Galaxy, which is a foreign import from Mars UK; the Chuao Caracas Dark (60%) with almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios; and the Equal Exchange Very Dark (71%) solid. Three different levels of cacao - three different tastes.

Galaxy, as expected, was quite sweet with a taste I've come to identify with European chocolate. It reminded me a bit of the milk Aero without the bubbles - smooth texture and lingering sugary aftertaste. The Chuao, by comparison, had a sweet flavor as well, not interrupted by the presence of nuts. I haven't had many bars in the 60% range - usually in the fifties and seventies and beyond, and I'd have to say I didn't much care for the flavor it.

The Equal Exchange was my favorite of the three - dark and rich and smooth with a bold snap and nose. Held long enough gave it sort of a citrus aftertaste. I find I prefer darks in the 70s, and it was what I suggested to my Twitter acquaintance.

I do have an EE bar in the 80% range somewhere, I'll have to report here later. In the meantime, look out for a blog on Romantic Inks on chocolate and writing.

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