Merci Chocolates & A Food Gal Giveaway

Merci Hazelnut-Almond chocolate ingot is chockful of bits of nuts.

I admit that a drug store is not the first place I would think of to buy fine chocolates.

But Merci has me just about eating those words.

The German-made chocolates are available at select drug stores, including CVS. They are definitely a cut above a lot of chocolate confections found in the bins there.

Recently, I had a chance to try an 8.8-ounce assortment of its European chocolates, which retails for about $13.

The flat box opens up to reveal small ingots of chocolates in seven varieties. Each is individually wrapped in cellophane, so you can put a bunch on a candy plate to let guests choose their favorite.

The slender bars are coated in either smooth milk or dark chocolate. They have wonderful mouth-feel and are small enough to satisfy a chocolate craving without going overboard.

Among my favorites were the Dark Mousse, which has a fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth filling akin to an U-No bar. The Hazel-Almond is the perfect pick for nut fans like myself, what with its profusion of crunchy bits of nuts. The Coffee and Cream, which sports a dark top layer and a white bottom one, tastes very much like a shot of espresso with milky foam on top.

Who knew drug store chocolates could be so gourmet?

They come conveniently individually wrapped.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win an 8.8-ounce assortment of Merci chocolates, along with a fun “Red Carpet Kit.” It includes four champagne flutes, popcorn containers and a list of tips for making toasts.

Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST March 2. Winner will be announced March 4.

How to win?

In light of the recent spate of awards shows filled with acceptance speeches, tell me whom you would most like to give a meaningful thank-you to and why. Best answer wins.

Here’s my own response:

“It would have to be Holly Hayes, a dear friend and great editor who passed away a few years ago at a much too young age. When I was a news reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, she took a chance on me, choosing me for the paper’s next food writer/editor, even though I had never covered such a beat before. When so many others doubted her decision, and even I wondered whether I could do the job adequately, she believed in me. I owe any and all success since then to her. She recognized in me something that I didn’t even see yet. For that, as well as her kindness, thoughtfulness and good humor, I’ll always be grateful.”

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  • Great chocolates in a drug store? Who knew! Well, obviously you did! These sound really excellent – thanks for the heads up. I’ll definitely be on the look out for them.

  • I don’t know how I would choose a person – there are too many who are too special too me. But I would love to give some public adoration and gratitude to my two dogs, who love me truly, madly, deeply, and will always have my heart.

  • I’d like to Thank my mom . . . for her being a “great mean Mom.”

    I was at odds with her most times about almost everything. I just did not understand how come she and I saw me so differently. I did not appreciate much of anything that she taught me for so long.

    I knew she and my dad moved my sister and me out of SF away from all our friends to get better educations . . . that was ONE big thing I did appreciate.

    Now, after so many years after my Mom has been gone; I realize that her being mean was her way of teaching me to be a good person and to have a strong foundation to develop my own self. She also let me be the ‘spoiled’ daughter, trusting that I would grow into a person she would and could be proud of.

    I say thanks to my mom silently all the time now . . . it is too late to let her know I finally did learn what she wanted me to know in person.

  • I’d thank my Mom for teaching me to bake and instilling the love of it in me. She’s 85 and while she only bakes a couple times a month now, she enjoys a her twice-weekly baked goods from me. She’s a big Carolyn Jung fan and was happy I found you here. We both thank you for the many great years at the Merc and many more to come, here.

  • Oh Merci chocolates are available at Aldi here. Do you have Aldi in the US? A relative loves them although I haven’t tried them yet!

  • i would give a meaningful thank you to my husband. decorating cakes and baking is a very time consuming process yet he is so patient and supportive whether it involves looking after our baby when he is cranky or helping me with my photographs or even encouraging me to keep going when i want to just give up an cry..hehe 🙂

    btw, those sound like delicious chocolates… i will check them out at cvs!

  • I would thank my mother-in-law. She taught me how to cook in a whole new way.Always so helpful and patient as I was learning. She loved the Lord and showed his kindness everyday and I learned from that.We were such good buddies.

  • I already love these chocolates, so delicious.

  • I would thank my sweetie, because he’s fabulous.

  • Oh, I got these as a gift! They’re still in my fridge and haven’t tried them yet. Now that I read your blog, I’m more looking forward to them!

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