One of the things I’m regrettably good at is getting melted chocolate or coffee on things, which is always a pain to wash out. Valentine’s Day meant chocolate for a long time, and still does. For many, it means red clothes and lingerie and sometimes gift guides. There’s more red lingerie out there than I can physically lift, but I’ll touch on a few favorites.
The most important advice about Valentine’s Day lingerie (or anything you’re wearing for a special occasion) I can give: Don’t wear anything you haven’t before. Trying something new or surprising someone else can be fun, but getting a fit or comfort issue when you have fun or festive undergarments is not a surprise I’d enjoy. If there are people who want to buy lingerie for others here, I say buy it early and let the recipient break it in before Valentine’s Day.
Here’s a gift guide that’s a little different for a lingerie blog. It should fit anybody!
TCHO is based in Berkeley, California. They source their own beans, and most of their products are organic and fair trade. This gift set has all their signature styles: four different dark chocolate varieties and two milk. The little squares are a wonderful serving size. Plus, the mechanical heart is pretty awesome. They’re mail order or in San Francisco at the Westlake Center.
Theo is a Seattle company, bean to bar (they control every aspect of the chocolate making), completely organic and fair trade. They also have a factory close enough to my apartment to make the air smell delicious when the wind’s blowing right! I’m not a huge fan of these seasonal flavors: one is Holy Lego Man is that enough cinnamon bomb and the other is more sweet than I like it, but they are definitely different and fun to try. The bars are available in Seattle in grocery stores, I’ve also seen them in Boston grocery stores. My guess would be that they’re available all over America, but you can mail order them. $8, or $4/bar.
Stone ground chocolate has a different texture than the way chocolate is usually made in the US. Taza gives us chocolate where it originally came from, Mexican-style: ground with granite mill stones. The result is intense: granules of chocolate flavor in the best way. The factory is in Somerville, Massachusetts, but their distribution seems to be nationwide in grocery stores. You can also buy online. $15.
All of this a bit rich for your blood or taste? Here’s the best taste-for-money product I’ve ever found in chocolate:
Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% dark chocolate
Over a pound of high-quality balanced-taste Belgian chocolate with a bit of a bite. Goes with anything, works great for baking. And the packaging is red, so why not make it for Valentine’s? $5/pound plus bar (or $2 for a three-pack of 1.67oz mini bars) at Trader Joe’s if you have one. If you do not, you can probably find it on Amazon, but it may not be as sweet a deal.
…yes I am in fact eating it right now.
Do you enjoy chocolate? Are the occasional posts on chocolate or baking something you could tolerate/want to see more of? Sound off with a comment!