Friday, January 14, 2005


As mentioned in my last post, I had read a piece at Inblognito that got me all hot ’n’ bothered about the latest Assault on Dietary Discretion from our friends at Starbucks. I’m talking about Chantico, friends, the Obscene Hot Chocolate Beverage from Hell that was rolled out on January 8. [Say what you want about Starbucks coffee - love it or hate it - but Dis Shit Ain’t Coffee.]

Hot ’n’ bothered, yes: especially after reading Queenie’s lurid description of the experience:
calling a Chantico a “hot chocolate” is like calling the recent tsunami “a wave”; yeah, they’re both moving water, but one wets the hem of your trousers rolled, and the other will knock your fucking house down and maim you for life.

How could I not try one after reading that, obsessive chocophile that I am? So what if that little six-ounce cup has (cue Christopher Lloyd voice) “1.21 gigafats? 1.21 gigafats? Great Scott!”

Actually, it’s a “mere” 390 calories in that deceptively tiny cup, but, trust me, a little goes a long way with this high-test chocolate. Chocolate: not cocoa. It’s loaded with cocoa butter, a component that is absent from cocoa. That cocoa butter jacks the calorie count up, but it also gives this stuff a silky, slightly unctuous mouthfeel that puts it way over the top.

I ordered my Chantico - named after the Aztec god of “extreme tastiness,” or perhaps of “jiggly fat asses” - and savored it, sip by sip. And man, this is one serious cup o’ choc. Intense, bittersweet. Not for sissies - or Swiss Missies.

And yet, the earth didn’t move beneath my feet in quite the same way it did for Queenie. Maybe it’s because, as good as this stuff is, it has serious competition.

If you’re ever visiting in the Boston area - or if you have the great good fortune to live there - get thee hence to L.A. Burdick in Cambridge and order their hot chocolate. It is perhaps a hair less intense than Chantico...but you get a lot more of it, and it’s overwhelming enough as it is. I don’t think there’s a finer hot chocolate anywhere.

But to get an honest-to-Gawd L.A. Burdick hot chocolate, I’ve got to get on the Aerial Bus. To snag a Chantico, all I’ve gotta do is drive one mile. Nah, better run that mile - because that stuff, excellent as it is, is Big Fat Ass in a Cup™.

Hey, how about a contest? The Great Chocolate Beverage Smackdown, featuring Chantico, L.A. Burdick, and Dagoba Xocolatl. I am pleased to offer my services as judge, jury, and executioner.

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