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Treat Yourself With Gourmet Chocolates
By Michael Haydon
You know the world is changing when the cognoscenti start to talk about gourmet in the same way other connoisseurs talk about wine. It used to be the norm that wine critics held sway using terms like gravel, blackberry, sweaty saddle and honey peach to describe a particular wine. These days a similar practice is being adopted by gourmet connoisseurs. There are top line producers of chocolates who are actively encouraging this trend by sponsoring tastings. At my local wine shop I have seen Shiraz filled chocolates at outrageous prices. The peculiar terminology or terroir that used to be the preserve of the wine industry is definitely changing and so are prices.

It will come as no surprise that some Italian manufacturers like Amadei, which makes the Porcelana and Chuao ranges of gourmet chocolates, are leading this push. Terroir is the terminology that describes the peculiar taste characteristics of a particular wine region.

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Prices can be as high as $100 a pound.

When prices go this high the comparison with wine is well and truly justified.

What if itís Just Too Expensive?

Luckily there is a large range to choose from. You donít need to go straight to the top. Also, itís a matter of taste. Just because a is the most expensive does it really mean it is the best? Well it depends on what you like. Remember when a block of Cadbury plain milk was the standard? Now there are so many alternatives I guess the only way to see what you really like is to go ahead and try them all!

You could start with Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, and possibly small local producers. This is where it gets exciting. As this new breed of chocolatiers begins to grow, you may find a local one producing well priced high quality gourmet chocolates.

You can even try to make some yourself. Imagine bringing out your own specially developed chocolates at your next dinner party! Youíll need the best ingredients and maybe have to take a course but can you imagine a better way to spend a few hours. The rewards are out of this world!

You can find most of what you need online, and remember, tasting the products that are available to you can be a wonderful past-time. You will soon develop your own preferences and you can buy as much or as little as you want when testing new gourmet chocolates out. Soon you will be in heaven.
Michael is the owner of Chocolate Lovers, the BEST site for all things chocolate. You will also find great chocolate based gift ideas at www.ChocolateMad.com

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