100% Cacao for the New Year
During a previous time in Taiwan, I bought 99% Cacao chocolate made in Russia. Though I bought 100g, it came in 5 g pieces. If I ate three, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. This is from somebody that can eat 80% Cacao chocolate pretty much continuously.
31 December 2007, I got back to Taipei. As I usually do, I did not book a hotel room, preferring to leave it to when I actually arrived in a place. No point in forcing my schedule around hotels – I’d rather spend an appropriate amount of time in one place before moving to the next. Anyhow, I did not find any places available that were in my preferred price range. Given that New Year’s Eve is a special night, I figured there wasn’t any point on spending money if I would not even be in the room.
A lot of people in Taipei attended the fireworks celebration by the 101 Tower. It may be the last year it happens. This year, the 101 Tower will finally be fully occupied. More tenants means more difficulty securing permission from each one to use special lighting and equipment for the special celebration. I could see the 101 from a different place in Taipei, so it was there I stayed as the year changed to 2008.
For that night, the metro was to be open 24 hours. But even going to the 101 Tower after the celebration, the amount of people was staggering. I ended up getting to the 101 Tower slightly before 2am. It turned out that Jason’s, my favourite supermarket in the world, was still open. I took the opportunity to stock up on Japanese green tea. I bought no less than four different kinds of 100% Cacao chocolate.
I just want to add when I left the area by the 101 Tower at 3:30am, the subway station was still packed with people, even with empty trains coming every two minutes and extra staffs controlling the crowds:
Not until today did I actually try the 100% Cacao chocolate. I was afraid it would mess up my sleep schedule during the English camp, which with the next several weeks, is the time where I will be doing my most important teaching work during my current contract. Not to mention a much higher amount of teaching than I normally do during the regular semester. Today the English camp ended. The principal of the school took all the teachers out to a quite good vegetarian buffet. It was delicious, so I ate a lot.
I did not sleep until 5:30am for the New Year, since I went to a 24 hour bookstore to buy books as long as I was going to stay up. I slept for only two hours then. I haven’t caught up on my sleep since then. With all the extra food, I figured it would be the perfect time to try the 100% Cacao chocolate. It isn’t even the evening, and I am about to doze off.
First of all, the back of the box notes the chocolate is perfect to use in baking cakes and to be tasted to enjoy the fruit of pure cocoa. Certainly, this was more enjoyable than eating Hershey’s Cocoa Powder. It is less bitter, but no less strong. Though it is shaped like a chocolate bar, it would be easy to make into a powder. Taking the bar out of the box gently, I managed to break the bar in three different places. Extremely brittle. I still feel sleepy.
I should note that the chocolate is not the fruit of the cocoa plant – the fruit is white, not entirely unlike Buddha’s Apple/Custard Apple (釋迦) surrounding the actual cocoa. I know because I’ve eaten the fruit of a cocoa plant in the Philippines before. The cocoa needs to be processed before it will become cocoa powder or a chocolate bar.