When in-between worlds and milestones, binging on Netflix goodies and rediscovering chocolate is way too good to be true. And yet, I have proudly done it: watched the first season of Stranger Things and ate Romanian pecan and ginger chocolate.
The series is a mixture of fond 1980s film and book memories, a dazzling cocktail of Spielberg, Stephen King, and Carpenter, back when we shared low expectations and tons of enthusiasm. It is indeed a kind of nostalgia approach meant to manipulate and conquer, yet it stands the kind of guilty pleasure you indulge into without any shred of remorse. It is appealing and challenging, a display of good acting, unexpected talent and excellent storyline. Without spoiling much of its ambiguous, yet twisty plot, I'll tell you it feels great to be surprised every now and then by some sci-fi and horror series.
The chocolate is a discovery of mine while taking the less trodden paths in a beloved city, searching for good coffee and getting in exchange great flavors. The bar is called PaulaAna, pecan nuts and ginger with a shred of bourbon vanilla and 34% cacao. In case you have not tried pecan nuts, you have missed on some balanced kind of nut that goes perfectly with candied ginger. They fill the bar in generous chunks and again, seem to get vanish in no time, lingering against the roof of your mouth and at the back of your mind. It brought back to mind old chocolate days and I shuddered at the thought of such addiction mercilessly replaced by coffee drinking. But I choose to believe chocolate is like old love, out of sight, forgotten to taste buds, yet hardly unremembered. Until new love settles in, right?
The lovely book of choice, meant to balance things and harden the spirit, is The Lonely City by Olivia Laing, a journey into the great minds of artists who have come to terms with their estrangement from the world or chosen to filter it through their own sensitivity. We stand alone, occasionally colliding with ourselves and the ones around, the perfect gregarious recluses we afford to embrace.