Monday, September 22, 2014

It's My Husband's Fault

Chöks (donuts)

“What you see before you, my friend, 
is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”
~ Katherine Hepburn

I lied again. Technically, I really didn't lie because I said I might talk about the Boqueria, the castellars, and the correfoç soon. Soon doesn't necessarily mean tonight.  Actually, soon does not in any way mean tonight, but I don't think you'll mind as I'm talking chocolate and sweets. Blame my husband.

"Let's walk down here," Mike said to me Saturday morning.  I had nothing better to do, and he had the apartment key, so I went along.

We walked down a couple of alleys behind our apartment, and when we emerged on a main street, I saw an amazing site in front of me.  "Ooooo, look," I exhaled.  Across the street from where we stood was a beautiful store extolling the virtues of chocolate.  Chök. The Chocolate Kitchen.

The window at Chök

Staring at me from the huge window in front of Chök were stacks of Kronuts and Chöks (donuts). I looked inside and saw more Chöks calling my name.  Come in here, Cristina. Come in and see us.

Chöks on the wall

I have to tell you that I had been very good on this trip.  Before Mike joined me in Bologna, I had only two gelatos. Two.  Since he arrived 10 days ago, I've had five.  I've also had more chocolate since he got here than I had all six weeks added together, and that includes the jars (Yes, yes.  Plural. Two. Jars.) of Nutella that I had in Bologna. We were standing in front of Chök because *he* wanted to walk a different way.

"I have to go in," I said as I headed through the doorway.  Behind the counter were rods holding different kinds of Chöks. The counter groaned under the weight of cookies, truffles (18 kinds!), marshmallows, churros, and chocolate salami.

"What do you want?" Mike asked me.  I wanted it all, and had he not asked me, I would NOT HAVE BOUGHT ANYTHING.  But, he asked, and I had to be polite and get something so he wouldn't think I was rejecting his kindness.

"What are *you* getting?" Letting him decide first gave me a few extra seconds to decide.

Cookies and chocolate salami

"I think I'll get one of the cookies (above)," he answered after thinking a bit.  Now, you can't tell by looking at the photo, but those cookies were the size of his hand. I couldn't resist. We both ended up with chocolate chip cookies dipped in chocolate.

"What's that?" I asked the guy and pointed to what looked like chocolate muffins with a bit of chocolate on top (below).

"Chocolate muffin stuffed with Nutella," he told me. 

"Oh, my goodness." I almost passed out.

"You don't like Nutella?" he wanted to know.

"I love it," I said, and Mike simultaneously said, "She loves it."

Raspberry and Nutella stuffed muffins

 I was glad I got the cookie because had I not, I would have had to dive into one of those muffins right then and there.

"Come back tomorrow," the guy said to me, "sometimes we have muffins with raspberry sauce."

Chocolate-covered marshmallow logs

The cookies were wonderful. Chök doesn't use a lot of sugar, which is a good thing. The had added a bit of orange peel to the batter, and it blended so well with the dark chocolate chips and dip. I had to hand Mike my cookie after five minutes or so.

"Take this and hide it from me," I insisted.

"Don't you like it?" he wanted to know.

"I love it, but I'd inhale the entire thing if you don't take it." I shoved it in the bag he was carrying. "Keep it away from me."

Chök suckers (and muffins on left)

 He kept it for the rest of the day and hid it in the refrigerator when we got back to the apartment.  I found it after dinner and ate some then and the rest before bed. Who wants to let a good cookie get stale or, heaven forbid, go to waste?  Not I.  I'm sure those of you who went to St. Nick's Elementary School would agree that the Sr. Agnes Marie, O.S.U., would have a fit if I wasted food because there are starving children all over the world.  If Mike had hidden it better or eaten it himself, I would not have had to eat it myself. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

PS  If you're interested in reading about Chök, click here.  Some of the site is in Spanish, and some's translated, so flip through the pages.

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