yum: a review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the PR firm for president's choice, and they offered to send me a basket filled with all sorts of goodies from their new holiday collection, including salted chocolate covered caramels, non-alcoholic sparkling wine, fruitcake with whiskey, and MANY other things that sounded extremely yummy. I like to believe that I had just come out of a very long meeting, and was very hungry, which is why I said yes, but really, I cannot resist free food. Especially free food packages that appear to be 50% chocolate. So late last week, I arrived home to find a GIANT (no literally, it was giant) Fedex box deposited on my doorstep (thanks for just *leaving* it there , fedex, with no signature or anything. I'll remember that next time I order something expensive and need ot choose a shipping method). Inside was a veritable food wonderland - chocolate, sauces, tapenades, sparkly wine-esque things, fruitcake (UGH, brett's fave), and more.

It's been a busy few weeks here, so we've hardly had time to dive into any of it, but we're having a few parties this weekend and next, so I'm expecting to make this all part of the spread (even the fruitcake...that should be interesting). There are a few things we have opened, though, so I'm reviewing them below - not *just* because they sent me a basket of free stuff, but because these are things that I had been looking at at Loblaws, and if I was, somebody else was, wondering if they were thumbs up or thumbs down. So now, the verdict!

What can I say about these chocolates other than we ate the entire first layer within a day of these appearing in our house? Lana describes them well over at Boyfriendly Cooking, but they are just the perfect blend of soft caramel, dark chocolate, and tasty sea salt on top. Not too salty, but salty enough that you don't want to eat more than a few because they'll make your lips pucker...in an "I just ate delicious caramels" way. They certainly helped me get through a very tough week with some very late nights getting ready for ladyfest. Which is now over....so I can resume eating the rest of the caramels now.

Every time I have stood in the tea aisle at Hartman's lately, I have looked at this hot chocolate. Picked it up, read the back, put it in my basket, taken it back out, read the label again, admired pc's new packaging (because really, it's cute! They must have fired their boring old agency), and put it back on the shelf. Because really? $6.50 for a little tin of hot chocolate? I mean, I know...it promised to be 'gourmet', it promised to be mostly 'high-quality' chocolate, and it also promised (gasp!) 14 grams of fat per cup. YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT. So I never took it home.

Now that we have it at home, I've made one cup, with soy milk instead of regular milk and I have to say....so not worth $6.50. Or 14 grams of fat. Maybe I'm just not a hot chocolate snob, or maybe I just have unique tastes, but I think the powdered hot chocolate - hello carnation instant! - tastes better. Less syrupy, less chocolate pudding, and thank goodness....less fat. So, now I know, not only just because I have a 90% unfinished tin in my house, that I can just walk right on past this product in the tea aisle without any remorse or temptation.

Chocolate mousse cups. Two words: Christmas Chocolates. They were ok. They were not fantastic. They could have used more care in presentation instead of looking like they came off a factory conveyor belt. Were they ok? Yes. Were they moderately tasty? Also yes. But would I buy them over other chocolates I know and love? Probably no.