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18 December 2016 @ 09:01 pm
Darker than Black, Week 32: Ülker Bitter: Bütün Antep Fistikli Bitter Çikolata  
It's a yearly tradition from softlykarou and a friend and I--and I can say that, because this is the third year we've gone--to go to Svea in Andersonville for brunch. They have a Christmas Plate they offer for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas that's $16.50 for a giant smörgåsbord with pickled herring, cheese, ham, korv, limpa bread, potatoes, meatballs, tomatoes, and a glass of glögg. It's also the time of year that the owner comes out and sings songs whenever someone orders lutfisk. It's amazing and I'll be really sad if the restaurant ever closes.

This year, after we finished eating, we all went to the Middle Eastern Grocery Store next door to pick up some hummus and cheese (and baklava at my urging), and I noticed some chocolate by the cashier. softlykarou suggested it for Darker than Black but was worried because it was only 60% cacao, and normally that would be a bit low, but I want a bit of variety here and I have seen that chocolate before and wanted to try it, so we bought it. And then moved it to the top of the list, since the only other chocolates we had aren't as interesting as this one. I mean, it's in Turkish! Who knows what it contains! Certainly not me. I don't speak a lick of Turkish.


Square! A new milestone here at Darker than Black!

This was very good!

I wasn't sure what to expect, because unlike softlykarou I didn't realize that yes, there was English on the packaging. Most of it is in Turkish, but on the far side there's a translation "Dark Chocolate with Whole Pistachios," aka the nut I never remember I like until I'm actually eating it again. It's not as crunchy as I'm used to with nuts--the nuts I mostly eat are almonds and walnuts--and reminded me a lot of the macadamia nut chocolate that my father absolutely loves, or maybe more like marzipan. Which makes sense, since it's nuts and chocolate, and marzipan is nuts and sugar. The nuts blended in very well without the chocolate without the crunch or the salt that nutty chocolate often has.

It wasn't too sugary either, which was a real worry what with how I can tell when I accidentally eat softlykarou's 85% chocolate instead of my 90% chocolate because it tastes palpably sweet. Or maybe it's just that coming after dinner it was a good contrast. Regardless, I didn't have the reaction I usually do when I eat some of the chocolate that my co-workers bring in, a vague sense of nausea and regret (which is also the title of my favorite Cryo Chamber album). Here, it was only delight. I would definitely buy more of this next time we go for spicy hummus.


Look at that structure. It's like brutalist chocolate.

softlykarou's Opinion
I saw this at the middle eastern grocery and I've wanted to try that brand for a while. I like pistachios in things and I also grew up shelling them and eating them on their own. I was a bit tentative because it was only 60% which is a bit low for us here at Darker than Black. I am really glad we got it. Even if it's a bit sweeter, to me it wasn't so sweet that I forgot I was eating dark chocolate. I liked the crunch of the pistachios and it gave me that great filling feeling of eating dark chocolate after dinner. I'd buy it again!
After the giant brunch we had this morning, tonight was a simple meal of beef stew, slow-cooked over 24 hours, and a simple chocolate with nuts was exactly the right complement for it. I don't usually think of "chocolate pairing" as something that can exist, but it should. After a heavy stew with thick chunks of beef and root vegetables, I'm glad that our chocolate was something lighter. A heavier, more bitter chocolate wouldn't have gone over as well, I think.
 
 
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