Something about the crummy holidays makes me want to drink hot chocolate. I really don’t drink it that much during any other part of the year, but for some reason, come November and December, I drink a lot of it (as well as stuff my face with as many other chocolate products as possible), and I’m always on the lookout for the good stuff because I have the hardest time finding a great hot chocolate. I refuse to get it from the green logo coffee place since it’s downright awful, I shun the industrial, supermarket mix with it’s corn syrup and non-dairy solids, and I never order it in restaurants since they use the industrial, supermarket mix. I used to order it in restaurants all the time when I was a kid, probably because I didn’t know any better. I just loved the whipped cream or the marshmallows they put on it and I liked to eat the topping all melty before it dissipated completely in the beverage. But once those toppings were gone, I didn’t really want the hot chocolate so much anymore (hmm, maybe I did know better). In any case, I’ve tried a few other supposedly gourmet brands like Godiva and Ghirardelli, which aren’t bad, they just aren’t great. So I’ve resorted to making my own with Dutch cocoa, sugar, vanilla and milk, which is good, but it just doesn’t seem that… special.
So I was doing my weekly shopping therapy, which I started on the recommendation of my credit card company therapist, who told me that doing it would improve my already great image and make me more approachable, and I wasn’t really looking for chocolate but you know how all the stores sell candy and chocolate nowadays? Well the HomeGoods store sells all these “gourmet” imported food items alongside their vases and rugs, and they have gourmet chocolate! But you have to be careful because a lot of it is just the cheap crap that the other countries don’t want, so you have to pick and choose carefully. Since I happen to be an expert at gourmet food, I can easily avoid the crap and get right to the good stuff. Anyway, I was looking on this shelf of goodies and this pretty little tin stood out amongst all the other rigamarole, and what caught my eye were the words Hot Chocolate Parisienne. Now I normally don’t agree with French food since it’s just sooo pretentious and snotty, unlike the French themselves, and I normally avoid anything French except kissing, but this looked really promising: hot, French, chocolate, what could be bad about that? Well, maybe the hot French part…
…but I put aside any ill feelings towards the poor bastards and took a look at the ingredients. Well not only was it not French, it was Belgian, which is worse! But the Belgians happen to make some of the most spectacular chocolate after the Swiss! I mean, that’s what they’re known for, right? That, and being the first to put mayonnaise on a french fry! So I thought, well how bad could they be since I love mayonnaise on a fried potato, which you can read about here. And anyway, it’s really made by this lady, Sarabeth, who is an American, who outsources the chocolate from Belgium, who in turn outsource it from the Caribbean or some other warm country, so it’s not really Belgian at all. So I brought it home and immediately opened it up and saw all these dark chocolate morsels mixed in amongst the Dutch cocoa and the sugar, so when you add hot milk to it, the chocolate morsels will melt in with the cocoa! It’s a chocolate double-double! Genius! I hand-whipped my own cream and put a big, fat dollop on top, and just like when I was a kid, I ate all the topping while it started to get melty, but I drank all the hot chocolate too, which means I do know better!
Turns out this lady Sarabeth started her business by making jam and now owns restaurants and bakeries and gourmet shops! But none of them are local, they’re all on the East coast, which is a shame since I’d like to eat more of her stuff. But she has a website where you can order some of her goodies, which is great! I wonder why her Hot Chocolate Parisienne ended up next to the rugs in the HomeGoods store though? Maybe she makes the rugs too… or outsources them from India. Anyway, I was thinking that since you’re all wondering what to get me for my holiday present, why not just fly me out there to eat at one of her restaurants? That way, you no longer have to lose sleep over what to buy your favorite person for the holidays!
See, I am becoming more approachable! Gosh, I can’t wait to tell my credit card company therapist about the progress I made this week!
Sarabeth’s Hot Chocolate Parisienne