My sister and I like to call anything that blows our taste buds out of the water "life-changing," because we honestly believe that our lives have changed for the better since tasting said item. I have a chocolate cake recipe that is pretty "life-changing," and our friend Michelle makes the best rolls I have ever tasted--appropriately called Love Rolls because you can't help falling in love with the baker on eating them. I had another "life-changing" experience a few weekends ago when we were down visiting Mr. F.'s sister and family in Raleigh, NC.
We were walking around downtown Raleigh, NC when Mr. F.'s brother in law pointed to a small, inconspicuous shop. "They have the best chocolate you have ever tasted," he said. "We should stop by after dinner to check it out." I will admit, I was a bit skeptical. The best chocolate? Really? People really misapply that term "best." On our way home from picking up some pretty phenomenal pizza, we walked past the shop again. "Should we go in?" asked Mr. F. Honestly, I was this close to saying no. In fact, my momentum was moving me forward towards our car where I could finally sit my pregnant self down after walking around town for an hour. However, Mr. F. made the executive decision, and we crossed the street to check it out.
Like I said before, the shop itself was pretty unimposing. The store was small and my initial read on the chocolate display was that it was pretty skimpy. Again, had I been by myself, I would have looked around and then left without purchasing anything. Mr. F. however, started ordering chocolates, and not to be out done, I added in my preferences as well. To top of the experience, we ordered a mug of hot chocolate.
We drank the hot chocolate first. OH MY GOODNESS! Seriously, hands-down, the best hot chocolate I have ever drunk. Mr. F. agreed and although we were already two blocks past, we decided that it was good enough to return to the scene of the crime to purchase the hot chocolate mix I had noticed in the store. It was AMAZING.
The chocolates came later though they were not to be out-shown. Magic happened in my mouth as I ate them. Magic in the form of little ballistic fireworks of gastronomic pleasure. These chocolates were works of art, both visually and gastronomically. My life was seriously changed in the moment of eating them, and I honestly started to question my reasoning behind ingesting all the inferior chocolate in which I had previously indulged.
I know this doesn't particularly help you, especially if you never have reason to make it to Raleigh, NC. However, if by some small miracle you find yourself in that neck of the woods, do yourself a HUGE favor and check out Escazu Artisan Chocolates. You will be glad that you did.