Hmm, who was visiting me at this strange hour at night?
“Who is it?” I cautiously asked over the intercom.
“Delivery for Jessica Su,” said the voice on the other end.
Those words made me giddy with delight as I rushed downstairs to open the door.
“These are from your brother,” the man said. “I spoke to him this morning.”
There was something old-fashioned about this delivery, since the man “knew” the sender and the recipient. It reminded me of the pony express, or hand-delivered telegrams.
I ravenously opened the nondescript package and dug out two tubs of dark Valrhona chocolate, arguably the most exquisite chocolate ever! My brother, recognizing my taste for fine chocolate (pavlova or chocolate truffle cookies, anyone?), ordered it for my birthday. Supposedly, the Brooklyn-based supplier, L’Epicerie, has reasonably priced Valrhona (I don’t know much it costs—I don’t want to check how much my brother spent on me) and a friendly French customer service rep.
The chocolate is pre-measured into small pieces, so no chopping is required for melting. The grand cru guanaja has a wide variety of applications: ganache, coating, cakes, biscuits, mousses/creams and ice cream.
One three-gram (a puny 1/10 of an ounce) “feve” is more satisfying than 10 Hershey’s kisses. The clean chocolate taste is slightly bitter. (Bitter as in rich. Not bitter as in harsh.) These would make awesome truffles (from Alice Medrich’s Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts), gelato, or hot chocolate. Goodbye, City Bakery and your hot chocolate! I don’t need you anymore!