Wednesday, December 19, 2007

fun birthday

My birthday party this year was a tripleheader, starting at 3pm and ending at 2am.

We started at the Scharffen Berger factory, where we had an hour-long private tour, during which we tasted three kinds of chocolate: the 70% bittersweet, the 62% semisweet, and the 41% milk chocolate. After we ended the tour (in the gift shop, naturally), we tasted two others: the 82% extra dark and the milk chocolate nibby. Apparently a "nib" is a cacao bean which has been roasted and peeled but not yet crushed. I found them yummy, but some people didn't like that they weren't sweet at all. I also managed to try smaller samples of the milk almond (41% with sea salted almonds), the 99% unsweetened chocolate, the limited edition (75% Antilles), and the 62% mocha, as well as the zante currents (chocolate-covered champagne grapes). In the end, my favorites were the limited edition and the nibby bar.

After selecting a few bars to take home for later, we headed next door to Cafe Cacao for more chocolate. I had a slice of the famous tribute cake, as well as a bite of the raspberry truffle cake, and some espresso, to wash it all down. I much preferred the tribute cake, which was barely sweet at all; it was pure chocolate-y goodness.

Immediately after chocolate came sushi, at East Bay favorite Sushi House. Somewhere between Berkeley and Alameda, I started to feel a bit lightheaded, probably from the huge overdose of chocolate and sugar. Luckily, once I got some sushi in my stomach, I was fine, except that I wasn't able to have my usual tempura ice cream for dessert.

Finally, a bunch of us finished up the evening at Music Tunnel, where the hard-core among us ended up staying until 2am again, before making our way home. It was a very fun day.

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