Forget the childhood warnings from your parents. Chocolate is one of life's few pleasures that's neither illegal nor expensive, and there's an amazing range of variations that can be consumed depending on individual circumstances.  Here's 3 recommendations from 3 countries that address 3 common scenarios:

Cadbury's Creme Egg (England)  An ageless classic, unquestionably one of the top consumer candies ever created.  Quite likely, the laws of physics in this universe do not permit a bigger sugar rush from a 40g container.  The thick milk chocolate exterior combines with the molten sugar interior to fully satiate your inner child's deepest sweetness craving.

Lindt Excellence 85% (Switzerland)  A grown-up palate demands sophisticated challenges.  Lindt's 85% is one of the few mass-produced chocolates that can go head-to-head against higher-end chocolates.  With 85% cacao, it's too bitter and flavorful to be casually consumed like most off-the-shelf chocolates.  As with Scotch whisky, it requires training and adjustment, but those that are patient enough to learn how to handle it will be richly rewarded.  A tiny sliver is enough to pack a long-lasting melt of deep and complex chocolate flavor, leaving you totally satisfied and maxxed out for the rest of the day.

CocoaVia (USA)  Instead of finding cures for world hunger and disease, the Mars corporation directed its top scientists towards a much more mundane goal: creating chocolate that will make people healthier and (crucially) won't taste like crap.  After years of hard work, they succeeded.  The CocoaVia product line is relatively expensive, but provides a decent-tasting dark chocolate experience that's endorsed by doctors due to its low calories and high level of antioxidant flavonoids.  Eat it up guilt-free, while praying that they won't discover some horrible side effect!

Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007
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