The “King of nuts”

The year 2002 was the year I learned that macadamia was the “King of nuts” and the most valuable. Take that almonds and hazelnuts!

Despite being milk chocolate, I really liked these. The chocolate was rich and creamy and not overly salty like American milk chocolate, and the macadamia nuts were nicely roasted and went well with the chocolate.


Chocolate for charity

My friend Jesse gave me a couple of bars that his mother had found.

The chocolate was just so-so, but hey, it’s for the kids! And it was about this time that I was learning that average chocolate could go either way with me. Mix it with nuts or espresso beans, and I would like it. Mix it with dried fruit or leave it plain, and I wouldn’t. Good to know.

Rich Art chocolate

My friend Tiffany went to New York City in the fall of 2002, and she brought me back some elegantly packaged chocolates.

The dark chocolate wafers came in a little bag held shut with a wooden dowel and tied with a ribbon. I thought that all of this packaging might indicate a case of form over function, but I was pleasantly surprised that the chocolate was really very good. Also, note that the label indicated both the cacao percentage of 70% and the single origin of the chocolate, namely Venezuela. Soon I would see a lot of chocolate bars list both of these facts on their labels. It was information that discerning eaters of chocolate were demanding to know.

More Russian chocolate

My friend Larry asked Maria, a friend of his from Russia, to bring over some chocolate for me in late 2002. Here was one of my favorites.

This was very good chocolate, very dark and delicious. And it was whipped and airy, making it very easy to bite into and chew. And I don’t speak a word of Russian, but I did notice that there are five other flavors pictured on the back label! That gave me some bars to look forward to in the future.

BTW, Maria would later become Larry’s fiance and then his wife. They now have several children together, and he and Maria would donate many more delicious bars of Russian chocolate to my collection.