While we’re pretty passionate about chocolate, sometimes we meet someone whose dedication to the topic seriously impresses even the chocolate fanatics at chocri.
Recently, I spoke with Corinne DeBra- Corinne made an interesting commitment to sample a new chocolate bar each day, and she spoke about some of her more intriguing chocolate experiences. Below is the first half, where Corinne talks about how the challenge came about, some of the more interesting chocolate finds she’s seen, and blogging her love for chocolate.
In 2006, Corinne DeBra was your average chocolate fan when her daughter challenged her: "I bet you can't eat a different chocolate each day for a year.” Now it's 2010 and she has yet to miss a day in her chocolate quest. Corinne has eaten more than 1300 chocolate bars in more than 1300 days. She maintains a spreadsheet of the varieties she finds to ensure that she never eats the same chocolate bar twice. She was kind enough to take time out her her chocolate project and discuss her experiences with us.
You set out to win the bet, which you’ve done successfully. What compelled you to actually attempt this challenge- and why have you kept going, even after you’ve won?
I wanted to see if I could commit to anything for that many days. There were days when I was frustrated with the administrative aspects and blogging about it, but after you get to a certain point, you just keep going and hunting new chocolates.
Then I realized that I wasn't going to run out of chocolate, so I wanted to prove to myself I could keep at it. In a sense it is a dedication to fun my in life, to something creative. If I can do this for 1000 days, what else am I capable of... you know?
You list your best and worst experiences per year on your blog, but throughout the project, which chocolates were your most (and least) favorites? (Ed: Corinne hasn't tried chocri yet!)
For my least favorite, I'll have to go with insects covered in chocolate. Although people tell me I should’ve tried ants- maybe I just didn't have the right kind of insect?
As for a favorite, that's so hard. Perhaps a recent experience when I traveled to Alaska. I did research ahead of time and found this Salmon and Anchovy Truffle. You couldn't get that anywhere else. I like going to remote areas and trying out what they make with their native ingredients, small businesses trying out something creative."
Did you ever pass on a chocolate?
[sigh] People find out what I'm doing and they start buying me things. Often it's a chocolate that I’ve already tried. I don't actually eat excessive amounts of chocolate- maybe an ounce a day, even if that's more than most people. I'm not interested in eating all the chocolate, especially if it looks like bad chocolate, or if it doesn't contain a lot of real chocolate.
Can you taste a difference between regular and fair trade, organic and/or single origin chocolate?
Single origin can be very distinctive in some cases, with a flavor arch like wine- with a beginning, middle and end. Fair trade and organic is more difficult. There is a correlation to a certain type of taste, sometimes related to texture, but it's unpredictable. Often fair trade and organic chocolate are more artisanal, and that affects the texture.
Tune in next week for part two, where Corinne gives us the scoop on chocolate from different regions, perseverance, and her future chocolate plans!