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Covered in chocolate

…five food items tasted.

A few weeks ago one of my coworkers came across quicos—chocolate-covered corn nuts—at his local wine shop. He mentioned these odd confections to another one of my coworkers; she promptly told him to return to the wine shop, right then, if possible, purchase said quicos, and bring them into work for a tasting. Thus was the CIC (Covered-in-Chocolate) meeting born.

The meeting took place last week. My three coworkers and I met in a conference room, displayed our CIC items, and then tasted and ranked them. The rankings weren’t identical across the board, but no items differed more than one place between the four judges. I won’t go into who brought what, but I will mention that I carted in the big loser.

Here are my results—worst-to-best.

Chocolate-covered cashews, see a larger pic at maxpixpix on Picasa

5. Milk Chocolate Cashews, Godiva Chocolatier. I was surprised and a bit disappointed that these weren’t better—cashews seemed like a shoo-in for high covered-in-chocolate honors. Sadly, the mild-flavored nuts were completely overwhelmed by the chocolate and all four tasters were left underimpressed. Suggestions for improvement varied (dark chocolate vs. milk; thinner chocolate coating; saltier cashews), but as they stood, the milk chocolate cashews anchored the bottom of everyone’s list.

Chocolate-covered coffee beans, see a larger pic at maxpixpix on Picasa

4. Chocolate-Covered Kona Coffee Beans, Island Vintage Coffee. An old standby, how can you go wrong with chocolate-covered coffee beans? Answer: You can’t. The only reason the beans came in fourth place is from familiarity. These Kona coffee beans were coated in semi-sweet chocolate and made a nice finish to our chocolate-covered event.

Chocolate-covered gummi bears, see a larger pic at maxpixpix on Picasa

3. Chocolate-Covered Gummi Bears, CocoaBella Chocolates. Not being a fan of gummi bears, these came as a big surprise to me. The revelation? Gummi bears coated in chocolate are good! All gummi products should come this way.

Chocolate-covered corn flakes, see a larger pic at maxpixpix on Picasa

2. Chocolate-Covered Corn Flakes, Jaques Torres Chocolate. Coated in little mounds (as opposed to individual flakes)—what made these really work were the crunchiness of the cereal and the delicious dark chocolate. The corn flakes were second-place in my line-up because of one missing thing…

Quicos, chocolate-covered corn nuts, see a larger pic at maxpixpix on Picasa

1. Quicos, Chocolate-Covered Corn Nuts, Farmstead Cheeses & Wines. …Salt! What these little nuggets of cocoa-dusted joy had over the corn flakes was salt. The quicos were also a bit crunchier than the corn flakes—they did start out as corn nuts, after all. Despite the corn nuts looking like something a rabbit might have left behind, the were by far my favorite of the covered-in-chocolate items.

We adjourned with chocolate-covered fingers and a vow for another meeting in the future. On the agenda… covered-in-cheese, perhaps?

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