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A Healthy Valentine

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The Aztecs believed that cocoa was the elixir of the gods and I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with them. My love of chocolate was a big reason why I was so happy to see a big jump in the variety of chocolate truffles being sampled at last month’s Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.

truffle.jpgOkay, so these misshapen delicacies aren’t really healthful in the sense that the more you eat (like broccoli), the better. In fact, they’re not chocolate at all, but rather ganache rolled in cocoa. But these melt-in-your-mouth nuggets are good for you in the sense that, for a few blissful seconds, they can take your cares and worries far, far away.

Truffles of the sweet variety borrow their name from the famous and rare fungus, which they closely resemble in shape and overall appearance. Unlike their namesake however, these truffles are an ideal end to a sumptuous meal or a perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of coffee or eaten directly out of the box — gooey fingers and all!

Flavored chocolate became all the craze a few years back and the sacred truffle was no exception. It comes in standard flavors like caramel, mint and espresso, but also appears with unique flavors like champagne, pomegranate (perhaps the truffle maker’s attempt to include something that has a healthful reputation) and pear (ditto). If you prefer a crunchier texture, try the truffles with bits of caramel, mint or espresso chips.

This treat once reserved for the well-heeled is now available to any who care to indulge (or in some cases, overindulge) and be seduced by its sublime texture and rich flavor. It is the “Calgon, take me away” available in the candy or specialty aisle of your favorite food stores.

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