Even back to the Aztec days, when the priests presented cocoa seeds as offerings to their gods, people knew that there was something special about chocolate.
I've ALWAYS known there's something special about chocolate. Yup, I'm pretty sure that even in the womb, I was nudging my mom through the umbilical cord with urges for chocolate.
Back in January, I wrote a blog post entitled, "Living in Paradise" - and it was about a recent Consumer Reports article that ranked the best chocolate in the country.
The #1 chocolatier in the country is Norman Love Confections...and it's located right here in Ft. Myers.
Here's an article about Norman Love getting #1. Apparently, for the SIXTH time. SIX times. It must be pretty darn good!
Norman Love is located about a quarter mile from Fenway South, which is where we spent the afternoon yesterday, watching a bit of baseball...so it was only a logical procession to leave the game and head straight to Norman's.
Because I swear to you, I could smell that chocolate while at the ballpark. Really.
Baseball and chocolate within 1000 feet of each other...how good can it get?
So, we went first to the actual chocolate & pastry shop, where we were greeted by these little heavenly delights:
Oh, the decisions...I really wanted to say, "One of each, please!" - but that would have been gluttonous. Right?
What to choose? What to choose? TOO MANY CHOICES!!!
So, I settled for an even dozen...and oh, the joy of picking & choosing & pointing, while saying, "Oh, that one, please! And THAT one, too!"
There were also some delectable pastries in the window, and I apologize for my poor camera skills, as it was hard to get the perfect photo that did these babies justice:
Are these not beautiful???
After reluctantly leaving the chocolate & pastry shop, we walked next door to Norman's Artisan Gelato Shop, where we indulged in a little gelato:
What made this visit even more special (besides the wonderful, creamy gelato, of course) was meeting Norman Love himself. He was there, behind the counter, and he talked with us for about 10 minutes about his background, his passion and how it all came together for him.
My kids and I felt like we were in the presence of royalty - and in fact, I gushingly said to him, "You're like a rock star! In chocolate!"
As I gushed, Norman blushed. Maybe I did pour it on a bit thick - but how could I not, as I was savoring the Cannoli-flavored gelato?
Eventually, it was time to go - and Hubby pulled me, kicking and screaming, from the shop.
But I'll be back. Oh yes. I'll be back.
In the meantime, always keep a smile on your face, a rainbow in your heart, and some chocolate on hand.