The incomparable loveliness of hot chocolate

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Salamanca is jam-packed with lovely restaurants, galleries and cafes, as any Hobart local or visitor would know. A stroll along this strip in my lunch break on a sunny day (when there are not too many people around), is a favourite thing to do. Last week, I wandered into shops and galleries that I have not visited in a long time, and in some cases, ever. For that hour I felt as though I was on holidays, not just rushing out of the office to get lunch and rush back.

Often I catch up with friends for a ‘coffee’ in Salamanca, but ‘coffee’ to me is hot chocolate, yet “let’s catch up for a hot chocolate” has never really caught on. Compared to coffee, hot chocolate doesn’t get much of a look in. The cafes with signs out the front, enticing you with the promise of great coffee are abundant, but rarely do you spot a sign advertising hot chocolate. I think in winter this would be a great idea. The imagery of sitting in a comfy chair, nice and warm with your hands wrapped around a steaming cup of hot chocolate is powerful. It is what winter is about – small indulgences, cosiness and a few minutes of heaven. Hot chocolate is special in that way. Coffee cannot generate the same picture since for most who drink it, it is a multiple cup per day arrangement, not something to luxuriate in and warm your core. But I may be biased.

So this week, after planning a quick dash out to Salamanca for lunch with my sister, we had a change of venue plans and found ourselves at Zum. And while I did not know it then, I was in the path of some luxurious, chocolately goodness. After ordering lunch and deciding to stick to water (not being a fan of hot drinks with lunch), something told me to order a hot chocolate. I have had hot chocolates at Zum before, but not for a long time. The work of an éclair/hot chocolate blogger never stops, and an opportunity should not be missed. It proved to be the best decision of the day. While it was not made from melted chocolate (my strong preference), it contained a rich, chocolately sauce that was not watery like some others. Being a froth-fancier (which should be a new term), I was taken with the thick, creamy milk which nicely held the marshmallow (which I can only stand to eat in hot chocolates). My only criticism was that after a substantial lunch and the hot chocolate, I felt very ‘uncomfortable’. No fault of Zum. All my own doing…

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