Whether it’s as an occasional after-dinner treat or a daily fix, few people can resist chocolate. It dates back to the first century B.C. when the Olmec civilisation from Mexico discovered the addictive qualities of the bean of the kakawa plant. We call it cacao these days, and with our world seemingly becoming more wowserish each day, it’s surprising no one has yet suggested banning it.
Before that happens, you really should visit Kakawa, to see how chocolate should be made. In the back of this small shop you can watch the whole process if you have time, but few people manage to get past the counter, where the little chocolates sit like jewels in the windows of Tiffany’s.
You first select a box size – there are five, from four chocolates up to 50 – then Jinsun Kim will don her white cotton gloves and fill it for you. There’ll be no fighting over favourites with this box of chocolates, as you only choose the ones you like. Although to dislike any would seem churlish; they’re really that good. Kim and her partner David Ralph – chefs by training – both left the world of hatted restaurants two years ago. They decided to make a future together in chocolate and we are the beneficiaries.
Apart from the boxed selections (you can order chocolates separately for just under $2 each) there are other temptations. The hot chocolate drinks are sublime, as indeed is the iced chocolate, while the ice cream sandwich is like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Just don’t admit to anyone that you’re hooked, lest chocolate joins the list of banned substances.