Some fresh, quirky Valentine’s chocolate ideas
With Valentine’s Day just one week away, the pressure is on for young women to choose the right gift for their special someone.
Although there is nothing better than a gift from the heart, what could complement a genuine gesture better than novelty chocolates?
Valentine’s Day seeped into Korea from Japan during the 1980’s as a day when women gave chocolate to their lovers. In Japan, this special day began in 1958 as a marketing scheme created by a chocolate company. Tezukuri-choco, which means hand-made chocolates, is considered the most appropriate present to give to your lover. Giri-choco, which means obligation chocolate, is chocolate that given out by singles to other singles. Novelty chocolates are not only fun for singles, but add flavor to any romantic relationship on this day of love.
For a laugh
At first glance, it is hard to tell that French chocolate brand Michel Cluizel’s products are chocolates.
The company goes all out in their effort to bring their sardine chocolates to life - scales, eyeballs and all. And their baguette chocolates even have slits to fool unsuspecting receivers.
If you want to play a prank, look no further than Michel Cluizel’s “Balle de Golf” chocolates. Not only are they wrapped inside a genuine-looking golf-ball box, the dimples are even incorporated into each chocolate ball. Give a box of these to your husband before he goes out golfing with his boss.
The price ranges from 13,000 won ($11.70) to 24,000 won per box.
Michel Cluizel products can be found at the Gourmet and Beaute located in Bangbae-dong, southern Seoul. Call (02) 6205-1605 for more information. You can also go to Lotte Department Store’s main branch or call (02) 771-2500.
Search for freshness
These chocolates will grab your attention immediately. The main chocolate is pink and mixed with dried raspberries and blackberries. They come courtesy of the Swiss chocolate brand Laderach.
It’s all part of the “fresh chocolate” trend originating from traditional European chocolates, which blend fresh nuts and fruits into melted chocolate.
Laderach’s fresh chocolates come in an assortment of flavors - everything from combinations of real orange peels and almonds to pistachios.
What makes these chocolates appealing to consumers is their freshness. The company says they are only good for six weeks.
A 200 gram (7 ounces) box goes for 20,000 won. Laderach stores can be found at Gwanghwamun (02) 3789-3245 and near Gyeonghee Palace (02) 722-3245.
For a twist
A large selection of chocolates are available at the Foodjjang Web site (www.foodjjang.co.kr). At first sight, most of these chocolates are indistinguishable from ordinary ones. But their uniqueness is apparent once they hit your taste buds.
Four types are particularly notable. The first is the Turin cherry chocolate, which is a whole cherry covered in rich milk chocolate.
Kirkland raisin chocolates also pack a surprise - which actually isn’t much of a surprise if you bother reading the name.
The third chocolate we recommend is a Japanese brand, Huruta’s Blueberry, which has a burst of blueberry flavor in each piece.
The fourth also comes from Japan. The brand Kinako is known for its mochi, a rice cake made of sticky rice. Chocolate covers the mochi cakes, providing a hardy black-bean powder taste.
If you are a risk taker, check out www.renewallife.com.
Renewal Life’s specialty is taking dried fast-fermented bean paste and wrapping it in a layer of chocolate. The off-putting smell of the paste is said to disappear once inside your mouth, giving way to a peanut-like aftertaste.
By Lee Sang-eun [firstname.lastname@example.org]