Saturday, 16 August 2008

Conditioning

The season has ended, and with a good few months before I contemplate racing again, chocolate has once again entered my diet (along with beer, coffee, fry ups and biscuits (though most of these were enjoyed in a single day as I attempted to get myself through a two-day audit of our shiny new Environmental Management System with my sanity and sense of humour intact)).

My preferred 'session' chocolatier, Green and Blacks, are no doubt enjoying resurgent profits, and my waistline is blooming. It's difficult not to over-indulge slightly when there are so many delicious flavours to choose from. Maya Gold (the orange, slightly spicy one) is my favourite and, being organic and fair trade, I can kid myself it's not a hideously unethical purchase. I try not to think too hard about the food miles whilst chomping my way through a bar or two. I'm rather a fan of Green and Blacks and their butterscotch, raisin and hazelnut, cherry, almond, mint, ginger, milk, white, dark, etc. varieties of chocolate. Mind you, I was most perturbed to see a sign in the Whole Foods Market (posh food shop in Kensington) advertising a special offer on Green and Blacks Olives with Garlic.

Ugh. Olive and Garlic chocolate?? It'll never catch on, I thought, as I picked my way through the store to see in the flesh this chocolate chimera. I'm a veteran of bizarre food combinations, a victim of the so-wrong-yet-so-right mixture of free alcohol and people trying to sell delicious and flavoursome foods which is the Good Food Show. Garlic ice-cream? Yup, tried that. Grim. Not to be recommended. Garlic sausage and strawberry jam - tried that one too. (Not at the Good Food Show, I might add. This was a favourite sandwich combination of a former colleague. I forget his real name, but his nickname was Doom.) Anyhow, much searching later, I failed to find the olive and garlic Green and Blacks.

I was a little disappointed. I was rather looking forward to feeling justifiably outraged that a company I credit with having reasonable taste would generate such a foul and ultimately wrong flavour of chocolate. I therefore felt only slightly stupid to notice on my way out that the same sign stood next to a display not of chocolate, but of olives. But of course. Green and black olives with garlic.

D'oh.

15 comments:

rachel clarke said...

I've seen curry flavour, olive flavour or even bacon flavour chocolate, but never garlic flavoured. But it has to be out there somewhere!

Kahless said...

You can get chocolate coated garlic!!

I read your post this morning and at the supermarket I bought a bar of Green and Black's milk chocolate. I'll let you know what I think when I eat it!

But Why? said...

Rachel,
Bacon? Noooooo!

Olive chocolate I could go with. Curry flavour, I could hack. But meat...? In chocolate...?

...

On second thoughts, I may have to hunt down a bar and give it a go. Chocolate and bacon both feature high up my list of favourite foods, after all.


Kahless,
I can't say the same about the chocolate coated garlic. Much though I like garlic, I would rarely think of snacking on a clove or two. Good luck with the Green and Blacks - I hope it's to your satisfaction!

Gael said...

: )
Though having spent an incredulous few minutes in
Cyber Candy

yesterday, I'd believe just about any confectionary combo

But Why? said...

Gael,
Do they have bacon chocolate?? I may have to pay a trip there...

Random Reflections said...

As outraged as I would have been there would have been part of me tempted to try that chocolate...

Having watched much rowing this weekend, I may have some questions for you. I just need to remember what they are now though!

But Why? said...

Random,
At your service. I may not know the answers, but I'll happily make something up...

DJ Kirkby said...

I don't believe your waist line is expanding...my fave choc of all is the chilli chocolate, it is gorgeous.

Random Reflections said...

Well, two of the questions are:

- why did the rowing eights have a cox whereas none of the others did?

- why are the rowing eights (particularly the men's) seen as the top race?

I had lots of questions, as I was watchign the rowing. I should have written them down.

I assume you will be one of the Olympic rowers in 2012??

But Why? said...

DJ,
I think it must be - other than racing last weekend and going for a run last night, thanks to an injury I've done nothing which remotely resembles hard work for a couple of weeks, and I've been eating all sorts of rubbish in huge quantities. It's good to be training again, tho - was beginning to feel a bit icky and restless and not sleeping very well.

(I may have to get a bar of chilli chocolate for a post-erg treat...)

Random,
Well, I think the unexciting answer to the first question is that the coxed pairs and coxed fours events have fallen out of the olympics (replaced by lightweight events in (I think) '96). There are certainly plenty coxed boats about on the Tideway, and speaking as someone who's currently geting to grips with steering a coxless boat, I'd rather have a small, shouty person doing the thinking and steering for me, so that I could get on with the business of rowing. can't think of any technical reason why one couldn't have a coxless eight, but I certainl wouldn't be volunteering to steer it!

Not sure why the eights attract so much attention, tradition, I guess... They're the fastest boats and also a great spectacle to watch. I suppose there's a sentimental attachment to eights, as they're probably the first sweep boats that most rowers clamber into.

And, err, no. I might make it to Dorney to watch, though.

Rob Clack said...

Bacon chocolate I could go with, but not garlic I think.

On a related topic, have you tried basil-flavoured ice cream? Delish. The recipe I extracted from a (now defunct) local restaurant (fabulous food but at outrageous prices) said in summary:

Make some real custard and while it's hot, steep a bunch of fresh basil in it while it cools. Remove the basil and stick it in the icecream maker to freeze.

Of course, those first four words hide quite a lot of work with eggs, cream, vanilla pods, sugar, the bain marie, etc. but the result is definitely worth it.

Rob Clack said...

By "stick it in the ice cream maker" I mean, of course, stick the custard in the ice cream maker, not the bunch of basil. And I write user manuals for audio equipment!

But Why? said...

Rob C,
Ahhhhhhh. Sounds gooooood. Seriously gooooooooooooood.

I had green tea ice cream in Japan. Sounded hideous. Tasted heavenly. I imagine basil ice cream is a similar experience. Must try it sometime (though I would have to invest in an ice-cream maker (or pay a visit to the folks) in order not to go beserk from the near-constant but intermittent stirring requirements).

Rob Clack said...

Green tea ice cream....ice cream or sorbet or water ice or what? I'm sure you can see where I'm going.

But Why? said...

Rob C,
Definitely ice-cream. I guess it's a similar approach as used for the basil (green-tea-infused custard, anyone?) but I have zero ice-cream-making experience. 'Twas truely yummy, tho'.

Having now done the necessary googling, I can report 277k hits for the search string 'green tea ice cream recipe'.

Have fun!