UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
I've never been much of a chocolate person- or really a sweets person in general. But lately, I'm exploring the vast world of chocolate. Did you ever read the New Yorker Buford article about cacao farming in the rainforests of Brazil? Pretty fascinating.

Wandering through any gourmet market these days you'll find rows and rows of luxurious, beautifully packaged, expensive DARK chocolate. Very dark. Here are some snazzy 75% cacao bars Lauren got for me for my bday, from a company called Vere, which is located on 27th street in Manhattan. You can even visit their factory on Fridays!


Certified organic, minimal ingredients, "Handmade in Ecuador", but branded and packaged nicely in NYC.

Amy and I thought the packaging was a bit finicky. The faster you can get to the chocolate, the better!

The bar is a perfect size- just a few bites, which is all you really need for such a dark bar. The cayenne and cacao nibs one was my favorite. Amy tried to explain to me what nibs are exactly, but sounds like just a fancy term for roasted, crushed cacao beans? The crunch of the nibs adds texture- I really enjoyed this.

Kumiko gave me a box of fancy German chocolates, Merci, from a company called Storck. She had to special order them online- she's obsessed with them.

An assorted variety of cute, short bars. Milk, dark, praline cream, hazelnut, dark mousse, marzipan, coffee. Amy says the German love their marzipan (sugary almond paste stuff that has the look and texture of coconut).

More packaging, but still cute.

Here's the coffees- lined with a white chocolate. It was just very smooth- they all were. Not too sweet. Again, just smooth, that's what I remember most.

Ok, and here's my absolute obsession, the Lotte Rummy chocolate from Japan. It's dark chocolate with rum-soaked raisins- genius! Someone was visiting from Tokyo and gave me a bar as a gift- I'm hooked. Now whenever anyone goes to Japan, I ask them to get me 10 bars. But I guess now you have to special order it online cause they stopped making it! Kumiko recently gave me a few bars to shut me up.


The combination of the raisins, the liquor, the chocolate- it is just a delight. I try to contain myself and just have a little bite at a time- it's hard. Perfect with a glass of red wine!


At the end of the day, it really is just the little things that count.
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4 comments

  • FYI, Lotte is a Korean company, so I’m sure you can find the Rummy bar in Korea or maybe some huge Korean Supermarket in LA or NYC.

    Sounds Delish!!!

    spring flowers on

  • Wow! Lotte is a Korean company? That is very interesting. All these years I’ve been thinking that a Japanese company invented Koala’s March cookies.

    yoko on

  • I hope you will try incredible edible anus next time. http://www.edibleanus.com/

    Bisous-kiss-asshole… rimming?

    Yamahomo on

  • omg the edible anus??? that is so intense.

    Koala no March!!! throwback!

    kayoko on

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