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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Chocolate Gift Baskets

The universally perfect gift: chocolate gift baskets

Is there someone out there who doesn't love chocolate? Granted, there are a few who don't swoon at the thought, but this demographic largely represents people who are allergic to the substance! Chocolate attains the status of sinful to those in a constant battle with added and unwanted pounds. However, you've got to indulge yourself once in a while. After all, you only live once, and a life bereft of the joys of chocolate is simply not complete. So, next time you're racking your brain for ideas for a gift, think chocolate gift baskets. Naturally, you must be sensitive to your recipient's issues. If he or she is constantly dieting, this may not be the kindest gift. Otherwise, a chocolate gift basket is the gift of choice!

If you're already a connoisseur of this delectable bean, you know where to begin your search for a truly gourmet product. If not, here are a few pointers to guide you in your selection.

If you enjoy chocolate, but have no detailed knowledge of the subject, you may puzzle over the new proliferation in chocolate bars, with labels proudly declaring cacao content. You may have noticed these large bars of chocolate, stating 60% or 70% and even 80% cacao content. The higher the percentage of cacao content, the more bittersweet the flavor. As an admitted and dedicated chocolate freak, I can tell you that 70% is my limit of snacking unctuousness. Beyond that, such chocolate belongs inside a croissant in delicate amounts.

So when you're shopping for a chocolate gift basket, you want to look for cacao content as a signal of ecstasy for the consumer. However, there's much more to a heavenly chocolate experience.

There's a good reason that Godiva and a number of other world famous chocolates have earned their righteous place in the world of chocolate divinity. For example, Belgian chocolatiers are so fanatical about their production methods, the best chocolatiers employ a heated truck delivery system whereby the chocolate is tempered only once, on its travel to the manufacturer. Chocolate which is tempered more than once is considered to be inferior.

French and Swiss chocolates are also world renowned. Europeans love chocolate and are quite persnickety about their chocolate indulgences. When looking for a chocolate gift basket, you just can't go wrong with a choice from a European vendor. If your giftee likes chocolate, they'll adore you for your discriminating choice from this market.

Now let's get down to the practical value of a chocolate gift basket. Did you know that chocolate contains antioxidants? Yes, it's true. In sufficient quantity, your chocolate gift basket can help ward off cancer! The problem is that you'd need to eat pounds and pounds to make a case for the health benefits. It's a nice thought, though a bit far fetched.

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