Celebrating a food holiday you’ve already honored previously is bittersweet. Literally. November 7 is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day.
OK, so it’s not exactly the same as National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day (July 8) -but it’s almost identical to National Bittersweet Chocolate Day, one of our first challenges way back in January. Bittersweet chocolate is, by its very definition, bitter. It contains less sugar and more cacao for a rich, intense flavor that is best suited to baking. It is sometimes lumped together with semisweet chocolate and the two can be used interchangeably in most recipes, though semisweet chocolate does contain a little more sugar. The darker the chocolate the healthier it is for you, so eating bittersweet chocolate is akin to snacking on three broccoli florets. OK, not really, but we can pretend, right? Almonds are a natural pairing: 40% of the world’s almond crop goes to the chocolate industry.
To celebrate, we split a Hershey’s bittersweet chocolate with almonds bar. I am not a fan of dark chocolate, and found it much too bitter (truth in advertising!) for my liking. Wouldn’t you know it, Tara liked it. For once, the tables were turned. I think this would have been better used in baking rather than eaten plain.
- Types Of Chocolates (myveda.wordpress.com)
July 8 is National Milk Chocolate With Almonds Day. Not to be confused with November 7, which will be National Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day. And yet, as I’ve stated before, we are left without a National Ketchup Day. Hardly seems fair, does it?
But my job is not to question these food holidays. Even though I’ve been doing so mercilessly, whenever something strikes me as odd or unjust (hello, dual coq au vin holidays). Also, hint: check back one week from today, because I’ll be bitching again.
Chocolate and nuts are a great combination, like Sonny and Cher or Simon and Garfunkel: each is fine on their own, but put them together, and the combination is velvety smooth and a little crunchy. The flavors really sing. Literally. The combination dates back to at least 1742, when a cookbook by Eliza Smith, The Compleat Housewife, was published. Clever title, by the way. Nice little pun, Eliza. Kind of like what The Beatles did in the 60s. Smith’s cookbook featured a recipe for Chocolate Almonds that was, essentially, chocolate-covered almonds. It probably didn’t require a lot of culinary skill to whip up, but I’m sure it tasted good. Probably the most popular iteration of this classic duo is the Almond Joy candy bar, created by the Winjamy Candy Manufacturing Company in 1946 (they later merged with Cadbury in 1978 and were sold to Hershey’s in 1988). “Sometimes you feel like a nut/sometimes you don’t” became one of the most annoyingly catchy commercial jingles in history during the 1970s.
To celebrate the holiday, Tara and I felt like nuts, so we had an Almond Joy bar.