What does chocolate mean to you? What is your favorite chocolate? Sweet? Savory? Spicy? There are so many varieties! My latest discovery is NewTree Chocolate...specifically, their dark chocolate bar with thyme, grilled flax seeds, and crisped rice. http://www.newtree.com/en_us/shop/chocolate-bars/thyme-bar.html My first bite threw me for a loop. It was unexpected! I wasn't quite sure what to think, so of course, I had to try more in order to formulate a decent opinion. Mmmmm....yummy! I've also tried their regular dark chocolate bar and it is just as addictive as the one with thyme. Unlike many other chocolate bars available in the United States, this one gives you a burst of flavor without any lingering residue in your mouth. It's clean and pure with no waxy or oily feel after you swallow. Now, I did buy this at one of those types of stores that sells such items for low cost...usually because the item is being discontinued or some slight error in packaging has occurred. I checked it out and discovered a horrible rumor. Word on the internet street is that the NewTree dark chocolate bar with thyme is being discontinued. This falls in line with most of my chocolate experiences. Before this, my favorite chocolate bar was one which contained a filling made of red hot chili peppers combined with cherries to make a sweet, spicy filling. I can no longer find it on the market. It seems as if our country isn't ready for the true taste of chocolate. That saddens me. If only we could get people to try more pure forms of chocolate, I think this could change and we'd have a wider selection to choose from. There is a certain, extremely popular brand of chocolate that I detest. To me, it smells like vomit and tastes weird. I've detected that odor in other chocolates, but never so much in the particular popular brand that I so very much dislike. Why does it smell like that? Why does it taste so gross to me? I wanted to know, so I checked it out. My brief study on chocolate making taught me that the brand in question, among certain others, uses sour milk in their product to give it a longer shelf life. However, the effect of souring milk is that it releases butyric acid. Butyric acid is released in vomit. It also is what makes people's noses wrinkle when they stand too close behind someone who just ate a bad burrito and is doing their best impression of a fog horn. No wonder it makes my toes curl to smell this in something a company expects me to eat! For them, it means they're saving money by not using as much cocoa butter. For me as a mother, it simply makes me want to throw a cloth bib over my shoulder and burp the poor candy bar. I'm currently in the process of discovering and trying the many different uses for chocolate, such as for desserts, standing alone, mixed into sauces for meats, or used in powder form and mixed with chili pepper powder to use in drinks or cooking. It's a fun trip and I look forward to continuing to learn. So, those are my thoughts on chocolate. What are yours?