IT’S CHOC A BLOCK
Admitting you don’t really care for chocolate can feel akin to revealing one also feels nothing for puppies or sunshine: there’s something antisocial about it, somehow. But there it is – I don’t have a sweet tooth and the bar of 70 per cent cocoa lying untouched in my fridge is probably older than some kindergarteners. (One exception to this: An ice-cold Snickers on a really bad day.)
That does not make me any less excited about our cover story on page 30 this week, however. Whether you scoff a bar in seconds, or are a cheese-plate-for-dessert kind of person, you won’t fail to be impressed by the passion of the four UAE-based chocolatiers we spoke to.
Did you know there’s an underground craft-chocolate movement? A brother-and-sister duo in Ras Al Khaimah making handmade bonbons? A man who will carve your face out of Belgium’s finest? Creativity and entrepreneurship leading to food – now that’s sweet. In other believe-it-or-not news, you can now do hot air ballooning and falconry in one fell swoop, providing much-needed sightseeing variety for both humans and birds of prey. We sent our senior picture editor Verina up, up and away, although it wasn’t without some trepidation, as you’ll read on page 18.
Looking for a challenge but don’t want to drive into the desert at the crack of dawn? We got one of the UAE’s pub quizmasters to put together an end-of-year brainteaser quiz just for Friday readers on page 40. Do write in and let us know how you get on.