White & Dark Chocolates
Laughing Gull Chocolates
My name is Andy and I am Lindsay’s fiancée. I’m also the Chief Economist at Laughing Gull Chocolates. My friends step back from the chocolates and nervously laugh when I tell them my role, but it’s a position in name only. I don’t do any of the chocolate cooking or baking.
Since we started dating, Lindsay has taught me many things about eating and making chocolates. This has been a wonderful experience, as I’ve always loved white chocolate. On long drives, I often buy a Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream: a flat, white board of creamy, melt-in-your-mouth Oreo.
But then Lindsay told me that no, white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. It’s primarily made of cocoa butter, which is separated from cocoa solids using the Broma process. Though, most of the time, she said, white chocolate products include fillers for cocoa butter due to its high cost.
Incredulous, I looked up the ingredients of the Hershey Cookies ‘n’ Cream on the internet. I was not happy with what I found. What have I been eating? Processed corn and artificial flavors, supplemented with a healthy dose of palm oil and, finally, as an apparent afterthought, cocoa butter? This whole time I’ve been eating conglomerate of subsidized grains, rain forest tears, and Artificial Colors?
From the moment I saw the ingredients list, I was floored. I had been mistaken for so long. I was embarrassed. What was I doing this whole time, eating white chocolate? Why didn’t I know any better? My brother loved dark chocolate from the start. Shouldn’t I have followed his lead?
“Have one of these truffles,” Lindsay said, offering me a box of truffles that she made the night before.
Though I enjoy trying new foods, I was nervous. What if the chocolates are too bitter or too sweet?
I looked down at the box of four truffles. Two of the truffles had lines crossing their domed tops: one white, one pink. Another pair had crushed salt. The last one had a black dot.
“A cookie crumb from the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream!” I exclaimed. “How’d you get that?”
“It’s a nib,” Lindsay replied, smiling. “A chocolate nib.”
“It’s the roasted cocoa bean chopped up,” she replied.
“Oh.” So it’s not the cookie crumb from the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream. I was disappointed. “What’s that one with the salt?” I asked.
“It’s salted caramel,” she replied. “This one is raspberry and the other is coffee,” she added, pointing at the ones decorated with the pink and white lines, respectively.
“I’ll have this one,” I said.
The Salted Caramel. My rationale was simple: I had always loved caramel bull’s eyes. When I was younger, I liked to eat the caramel and save the white centers to eat together at the end. Of course, I never dared do this with anyone watching.
I took it out of the box and looked at for a moment. I haven’t had a truffle since I tried the pharmacy truffles at my great grandma’s house, and those weren’t very good. What is this one like? Is it any different? Is it soft or hard inside? Is it smooth or chunky? Does the caramel add enough sweetness to overcome the bitterness?
Thinking these questions, I jumped right in and ate it.
I was floored from the get-go: the Cape Cod salt-infused ganache of dark chocolate that was just sweet enough to show off the underlying bitterness of the direct-trade chocolate. I expected the ganache to have the character of the truffles that I had tried at my great grandma’s house: either over-sweetened syrup or a chalky sphere that tastes like a planet looks. But no, neither guess was true. The ganache’s gritty saltiness highlighted the sharp sweetness of the chocolate, which seemed to instantly melt in my mouth.
And, of course, I haven’t stopped eating them since.
Inside the PodExperiments in Cooking with Cacao Pulp and a PodThe last couple weeks of July brought great packages to Laughing Gull Chocolates. You may have seen our social media post last week about receiving a red backpack full of goodies as part of our grant...
Chocolate Independence Day RamblingsDepending on others this Independence Day, or, Xocola'j Those that know me understand that chocolate is not merely my profession; chocolate has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. Chocolate is ingrained...
Chocolate Gifts Guide for Father's Day 2020Sweet Treats to Eat and Virtual ExperiencesWhen I was young, no one could make me and my sisters laugh like my dad. As I got older, I learned resilience from my dad, and learned how to laugh at myself. We practiced softball...