Snad, I hope you never see this on my dining table again – for many reasons. Normally I’d have sent you a photo of a wrapper. But the fact is, I can’t finish these bars of Maria Tepoztlan chocolate / xocolatl, made by Villa Vainilla.
|You can taste the gritty reality of life in Mexico!|
My parents were fooled into their purchase by the pretty boxes with Fair Trade stamped on the outside, while they did some last minute shopping as they left Guatemala - obviously without their reading glasses because the chocolate is apparently from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I say “apparently” because I’ve been virtually driving around the back streets of Merida for days, using Google Street View, looking for Villa Vainilla’s factory in Cuidad Industrial. I can’t find it.
This chocolate is grit held together by possibly some sort of industrial lube or peasant toe jam (not listed in the ingredients) that coagulates in your mouth and finally dissolves (but not fast enough) so you are left with just a mouthful of debris that honestly feels like something swept off a floor. I even can taste someone's banana peel, in the dark chocolate and cinnamon bar - overt banana peel. And the bars are boxed and then sealed in foil. So I'm thinking the banana peel is actually in the chocolate - not because my parents were smuggling bananas into Canada (which they weren't).
I wish wish I wasn't polite and didn't try so hard to appreciate the chocolate for my parents’ benefit - as if it was a taste that I was going to acquire or explore. After my folks left my place, I inspected the ghastly product and saw hacho en Mexico written on the box and immediately cracked a Montezuma joke. Six hours later, I was running from my bed to the toilet. I thought my two day bout of Montezuma’s Revenge that followed was most likely from the chocolate, but it could have been because I mocked the Aztec King.
Then, when I was feeling better, I did something really stupid. I thought I should have one more bite of the chocolate to see if it was as bad as I remembered it. It took three hours for Montezuma to pay another visit. I have no one to blame but me - but I wanted to make sure I was being fair. Villa Vainilla didn't deserve my quest for fairness. Even if their chocolate didn’t cause me to spend sleepness nights sitting on the toilet – it still tastes like shit.
I read in the Nutrition Advisor that Montezuma drank 50 cups of unsweetened cocoa a day. A mug of homemade hot chocolate today, made with a good brand of cocoa, has about 3.8 grams of fibre in it - so one can imagine how much more fibre would have been in Montezuma's (I always assumed that all that fibre was the truth behind Montezuma's Revenge). His cocoa was probably much like Maria Tepoztlan's debris filled chocolate - this is probably really authentic Aztec chocolate - but then Aztecs used to do things like genital blood-letting before leaving for work in the morning, enjoyed human sacrifice, and Aztec burglars used to carry around the severed arm from a female who died during childbirth because they believed that made them invisible (did I just make that last bit up - I don't think so) - anyway - it stands to reason then, that their chocolate wasn't very good, either.
|Less revoltingly stinky than the chocolate.|
I'm still sick. It took all my will to open the boxes of chocolate and just take a picture. I'd rather have opened my box containing the shrunken head I bought last week - and he makes my entire house reek - I'd rather kiss my stinking little Amazon on the lips.
From Kirsten Koza (www.kirstenkoza.com)