March 17, 2008

See's St. Patrick's Day Potato

In honor of St. Patrick's Day one of the jewelry contractors my company works with sent us a big box of chocolate. See's chocolate to be precise. Lucky gold coins and St. Patrick's Day Potatoes. Everyone else's first response is to rip open the box and start stuffing their faces. My first response is to go on the website and look for nutritional information.

Tired of waiting for a response to my email, I called costumer service directly. I was transferred once, to a woman who was very helpful. She told me that all of the candy and chocolates that See's manufactures themselves are gluten free and produced in a gluten free facility. The only exceptions are the decorated items; Easter Eggs, St. Patrick's Day and other decorated Candy Canes and decorated candies. She said that they do not make the decoration materials and cannot guarantee that they are gluten free, she believes that the facility they are made in is not gluten free. It was nice to talk to someone informed, she said that they have been receiving more and more calls on this matter in particular and she had a ready, educated answer for me.

And so we come to the much-anticipated St. Patrick's Day Potato. The girls in the office were agog when they arrived, almost fighting over them even though there were more than enough. I was told that, despite its humble appearance, this is a phenomenal treat. And it really does look like a potato, dirty and dusty, it even has 'eyes'.

The 'skin' is a packed mixture of cocoa and cinnamon and the inside is soft nougat with walnuts and pine nuts for 'eyes'. This tastes nothing like a potato. Good thing too. It's creamy and luscious and indulgent. I was afraid it would be too sweet, but the outer layer of cocoa and the walnuts inside balanced out the nougat and the cinnamon adds bite. Because I'm one of those 'healthy' girls, I got my spud in half and then cut a quarter and that was chocolaty sweet, satisfying enough that I don't feel like I have to eat the whole thing (which often happens with lower quality sweets). I packed this one up to enjoy for another day or two or three (I hope).

As much as I love chocolate I'm not a big indulger, especially since I had problems with so many that have 'malt flavoring' or it's kin. Being from the Mid-west, I don't have much experience with See's, although I see their chocolates in the Detroit airport now. If this is any indication of the rest of their chocolates, I'd say See's is an excellent choice for gluten free, delicious chocolate confections.

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