Israeli chocolate

A friend of Larry’s took a trip to Israel at the end of 1994, and he brought back two chocolate bars. The first one I didn’t care for. It was very generic dark chocolate, with a bland flavor profile.

The second one was much better. It was a little dry, but much more tasty than the first one.

This ends the bars from 1994. I was only adding a dozen or so labels a year at first, but this would accelerate in the coming years, especially when I started having “chocolate eating meetings” at work.

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Chilean chocolate

In October of 1994, my boss Tom got back from a trip to Chile, and he brought some fantastic dark chocolate back with him. The first was a delicious bitter sweet chocolate, far less sweet than dark chocolate in the U.S.

I was beginning to notice something here. Chocolate bars in the States have way more sugar in the them than imported bars. They are almost like candy than dessert items.

The next bar looked like milk chocolate, but it was rich and dark and filled with ooey-gooey mint creme. Yes, ooey-gooey is the technical term for this substance. You can look it up on Wikipedia.

And the last bar was the pièce de résistance, a bar of exquisite dark chocolate taste. It was very smooth and melted in my mouth as I ate it, a sign of lots of rich cocoa butter in the bar. Eighteen years later, I still remember how good this bar was!

I have never been to Chile, but I would like to travel through South America some day, tasting all of these bars again.

More liquor-filled chocolate!

I was in Trader Joe’s in March of 1994, and I found more liquor-filled chocolate sets.

This set had completely different liquors than the one I found before Christmas. I think my favorite was the Amaretto di Saronno one, but I still prefer my amaretto in orange juice. Just a little amaretto can make the cheapest, most bitter OJ taste like the most delicious juice you are have ever tasted. And equal amounts of amaretto and spiced rum mixed with cola tastes exactly like a cherry coke. It’s amazing that the liquor taste completely disappears!

Wait, this is a chocolate blog. Anyway, I liked the peach schnapps bottle too, but the other ones were too harsh and overpowered the taste of the chocolate.

Hershey’s 100th anniversary

As I said, 1994 was a banner year for chocolate. Among the bars that I discovered, I found these retro-looking packages at a local grocery store.

I have never been a big fan of Hershey’s bars. I will eat a Special Dark if there is no other dark chocolate available, but I avoid their milk chocolate. I find it tastes cloying and overly salty, and the aftertaste makes me want to drink a glass of milk to get rid of it. Still these 100th anniversary wrappers were cool-looking and reminded me of a trip my family made to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania in the late 1970’s.The park had a lot of antiques and old photos from the late 1800’s, showing how chocolate was made back then. We went on the park rides and learned about chocolate making, but the famous Hershey kiss factory tour was closed that day. I didn’t mind, but my mother was disappointed. She wanted to see how they were made.

All in all, these old-fashioned wrappers were quite nostalgic.

A gift from Paris

In January of 1994, my boss Tom went to Paris, where he was overseeing the recording  of Omar Sharif doing the voice-overs for a bridge game our company was making. Tom had heard about my chocolate book, and he brought me these chocolates back from his trip.

I had always associated the name Tobler with the triangular Toblerone bars, which were always sold at my high school by the drum corps for fund raising. I enjoyed eating these chocolates, more for the pictures on the wrappers than for the milk chocolate. Still, as milk chocolate goes, it was pretty good stuff, and I thought “hmm, the French know their chocolate”. But surprise, these are Swiss chocolates! It turns out that they are sold in a variety of airports with pictures of local scenes on them.

I really liked these images, but I wouldn’t make it to France myself until 2006. I bought a lot of chocolate when I was visiting Paris and Sarlat, but there’s a lot of chocolate to cover between 1994 and 2006.

Bring it on, 1994

My chocolate eating swung into high gear in 1994. As friends and family heard about my collection, I began to receive chocolate bars as gifts whenever anyone would travel. My roommate Larry found this German bar when he went home to Chicago for Christmas.

The chocolate was just OK, being kind of bland for a dark chocolate, but the wrapper was gorgeous! I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover.