Chocolates That Break the Mold
By Kimberley Coughlin
This Valentine’s Day I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some seriously fancy chocolates. My sweetie surprised me with champagne truffles from Francois Payard. You might not have time to run to an authentic chocolatier, but you can still score some quality chocolates at your local grocery story. Here are some suggestions for chocolates that go the extra mile by offering something special to complement their sweetness: Awake Caffeinated Chocolate: The added benefit? Caffeine. Awake offers two vices for the price of one! The first time I tried their caramel flavor (your options are caramel or milk) I thought, “Oh boy, this is trouble.” According to their website, Awake offers “as much caffeine goodness as a cup of coffee (or a 250ml energy drink)” and, in my opinion, it tastes better too! Plus the packaging is super cute; perfect for the significant other who is also a night owl. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures: The added benefit? Protein. Any health expert can tell you that peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and “good” fats. When it comes to peanut butter cups I am extremely specific. They must be Reese’s brand and they must be their Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures — they have the perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio. The chocolate on the regular sized cups is spread too thin in the middle and the minis don’t have enough peanut buttery-goodness. I also like them chilled — like a fine wine — because I hate when the chocolate gets allover my fingers, but that’s a personal preference. Peanut butter cups are also a great way to say to your sweetheart, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” Endangered Species Chocolate: The added benefit? Charitable donations. Valentine’s Day is the original Hallmark Holiday, so it may seem a bit cliche to give chocolates, especially if you’re loved one is all about the bigger issues like animals and the environment. Thankfully there’s Endangered Species Chocolate, a company that is all about making an impact. According to their website, they’re just a bunch of chocolate lovers whose goal is to “source natural, ethically traded chocolate as a carrier for an environmental message.” Their sales generate funds for conservation efforts worldwide, which means that their good deeds make you look philanthropic and thoughtful at the same time. They even put interesting information about the endangered animals featured on the packaging on the inside of the wrapper. Personally, I’d go for the milk chocolate, the packaging is otter-ly adorable. What’s your favorite grocery store chocolate that breaks the mold?