Wednesday, August 19, 2009

EMPS: The Chocolate Shop

For this week's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot # 51: Candy, Carly wants us to photograph candy. I seldom indulge, unless you count the candy one finds in certain kinds of ice cream. But when I do buy candy, it's almost always chocolate. And when I think of chocolate, I think of a shop I drive past nearly every day but seldom visit. It's called Choc-Alot.

Choc-Alot in the glare of the late afternoon sun

Choc-Alot is tucked away in a neat older shopping center at Broadway and Wilmot, the Mercado. This is a place that makes its own chocolate, in a dizzying variety of shapes and flavors, and even custom designs. Want some chocolate with a personal message on it, or in the shape of a dog, an angel or a high heel pump? You can get it here.

The store's owner, Sean McMillan, tells me that Choc-Alot is one of the few surviving candy shops in Tucson. McMillan, who lists himself as the store's "Sugar Daddy" on his business card, further points out that some candy purists don't consider chocolate to be candy at all. Their definition of candy is something in which sugar is the main ingredient, which isn't quite true in the case of chocolate. At least one proponent of this view, from what Sean has read, also claims that milk chocolate isn't "really" chocolate.

But I don't care about such esoteric discussions. The very reason I love chocolate is that it's not just flavored sugar. There's something special, almost exotic, about the cocoa-based candy, especially the high-end stuff. I'm not the sort of chocolate snob who goes for the super-high-percentage dark chocolate, but dark-chocolate-with-stuff-in-it tends to be my favorite.

I bought a black forest truffle, two pairs of chocolate covered cherries, almond bark, cranberry bark and an orange cream, all in dark chocolate. I gave one pair of cherries to my friend Cliff at Safeway, and all but a little of the almond bark to John. The rest... well, I managed to make it last a couple of hours, anyway!

The photos were all taken with either the automatic or "easy" setting, some with the macro setting on. I have saturated most of the photos somewhat to fight the glare. No special effects this week. You don't get to see me eat the candy. Sorry.

Be sure to check Carly's blog Ellipsis every week for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot! And don't forget the Weekend Assignment every Friday, right here at the Outpost.



Suzanne R said...

Oh, yummy -- I love specialty chocolates! And don't try to tell me that chocolate isn't candy. That will never fly with me! It looks like you got some lovely pieces, Karen. I bet you enjoyed them!

Jama said...

I think I would go crazy in that shop, not so much of buying for myself but to photographed them and give the chocs away since I tend to stick to just a few brands I like.

Chocolates contained a lot of sugar , so in my book they are candy!

Carly said...

Hi Karen :)

YUM :) We have See's Candy, and if we are up to the long drive, Solvang, California is practically all chocolate! LOL. Oh my, it all looks so good. While I am not that into chocolate, I could go for a little nibble right about now.