Last week, my pal The Dancer stopped by to pick up some educational reading before her imminent trip to Iceland. Since I've always been a fan of Nordic climes, I've accumulated a pile of books on various Nordic topics. What I didn't expect was that she would present me with an envelope of raw cacao beans (shelled and flattened, apparently). I opened the envelope, sampled one and staggered back from the recoil of its flavor force.
Once I recovered, I stuck them in an empty jar that had once contained Paul Newman's salsa. A few days later, I opened it, took a whiff and staggered back from the aroma. This raw cacao is strong stuff.
When I told Perfect Tommy about what I'd scored, he told me I could make my own chocolate. I regarded this with suspicion since the idea of making sweets summons up images of molten sugar, hot pans and potentially nasty burns. Seeing my look of aversion, he followed up with the suggestion that I could just keep them in the jar and show them off to sundry guests as a curiosity. This sounds much safer, at least until I find some recipe that I'm willing to work with.