Choctál

Mr. Henry is brand loyal. For decades he has kept the same barber, tailor, dentist, doctor, mechanic, and partner in marriage. For decades he has used the same personal products – the same soap, the same shampoo (the 2-in-1 kind, nothing fussy), and nearly the same toothpaste (now opting for one with more peroxide). He would still be buying Noxzema shave cream had they not removed most of the menthol and “improved” it into a goopy, flowery mess.

Change for its own sake pains Mr. Henry. (It is impractical, after all, to be an iconoclast unless you find some new, genuinely improved icon as replacement.) Though a religious and political firebrand, in personal habits Mr. Henry more closely resembles a hound curled up by the fireplace.

Notwithstanding these noble instincts, when first he tasted Choctál, in an instant he knew he would stray.

Heading for the ice cream locker at Zabar’s, he literally stumbled over the Choctál lady blocking the aisle. Peeved, he tried to sweep right past her. Doesn’t Mr. Henry KNOW that chocolate ice cream always disappoints? After years of disappointment, he no longer grouses about the lingering aftertaste of Hershey’s syrup lurking in every common brand. Now to satisfy his chocolate ice cream needs he simply shaves Scharffen Berger bitter onto Häagen-Dasz vanilla. Can there be a finer, simpler postscript to a meal than this?

choctal-group-300.jpg

Yes, there can.

With one reluctant spoonful of chocolate from Ghana, he was a goner. Overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and shame – guilt at having strayed from his allegiances, shame at what little self-control he foresaw he would marshal – he bought three pints at a serious $7.00 each. Because it is an ice cream made with gelato technique, that is, with less air, the intensity of Choctál satisfies after only a single scoop. The price, therefore, is not outrageous.

The taste is absolute heaven.

cacao.jpg

There are four flavors of chocolate, each from a single region. The darkest is Dominican, a spiraling, swooning ascent into chocolate valhalla.

The most enticing to the Henry household was Ghana, which, though still a dark chocolate, concludes with a bright, joyful, almost fruity finish. The Madagascar vanilla is unequalled in delicacy of aroma.

When he recovers from rapture, Mr. Henry will face the inevitable melancholy. First, he will worry about his waistline. Second, he will brood. Will this mid-life dalliance lead to more perilous infidelities? His remorse will surely be dark and bitter.

7 Responses to “Choctál”

  1. La BellaDonna November 2, 2007 at 9:27 am #

    As long as what’s eating you is more dark and bitter than what you are eating, you are probably going to be all right.

  2. Twistie November 2, 2007 at 11:00 am #

    Must. Control. Chocolate. Craving.

    Ah, who am I kidding? I’ll be trying it soon, I know. A truly excellent chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures and I refuse to deny myself something that spiritually satisfying.

    Besides, something like this is all the better for being a rarer treat. The anticipation makes it all the more delicious.

  3. Glinda November 2, 2007 at 6:21 pm #

    Mmmmm, sounds wonderful.

  4. Cat November 3, 2007 at 6:54 pm #

    Coincidentally, a friend of mine highly recommended this very same ice cream to me just a week or two ago. I have not tried it yet, but only because I haven’t had time to go to Central Market. Soon.

  5. Ariun November 4, 2007 at 11:07 pm #

    BellaDonna, that’s the wittiest comment I’ve ever read, it goes perfectly with Mr. Henry’s post. I make obeisance to your superior intellect and kiss your toenails, if you let me, of course.

  6. krogdirekt November 15, 2007 at 6:44 am #

    A truly excellent chocolate

  7. La BellaDonna April 4, 2008 at 10:35 am #

    Ambling luxuriously through Mr. Henry’s elegant prose, I stumbled upon Ariun’s comment as an unexpected treat.

    It is not a superior intellect; merely a facile one. But I thank you for the compliment, and in turn, will at least warn you that they are gilded.

    We will think of it as a gildy pleasure!