You might not believe it from looking at this blog, but I do try to find some semblance of balance with food. Yes, I do of course eat chocolate, drink wine, and devour a range of baked goods both impressive and frightening in scope. But I also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. I don’t believe in denying yourself access to certain food groups (unless out of medical necessity): that’s just going to end with you face-down in a family size sticky toffee pudding with a tub of Pringles in one hand and a bottle of gin in the other, feeling bad about yourself.
I’ve always believed in the 80:20 rule: if you eat healthily 80% of the time, you can indulge for 20% of the time. Yes, it’s often not so simple in practice, and there are definitely times when my ratio has been more like 50:50… or 30:70… well, we don’t have to go into it. But, in essence, I’m on board with the cliched but sound maxim: everything in moderation. That’s why I’m very into the concept behind new monthly subscription box service, Dolce Twenty.
Dolce Twenty champions the idea of choosing quality over quantity when it comes to indulgent foods: if you’re going to have a treat, then make sure it’s something you’re going to really enjoy. Their subscription boxes curate products from artisan producers across the country. The idea is that you get to discover new products and brands, as well as enjoying high quality sweet treats. I am totally on board with this. If I’m going to have a brownie, I want it to be a completely blissful brownie, rather than a dry and dusty disappointment. You’re much more likely to binge your way through your baking cupboard (what do you mean not everyone has a baking cupboard?) if you’re not feeling satisfied with your snacks to begin with.
Dolce Twenty currently offer three different subscription box sizes – mini, small, and sharing – to suit a variety of households and budgets. I was lucky enough to be sent a sharing box to road test. What a treat it was to find a tempting box full of delightful treats in the post for a change (alongside bills and junk mail, of course, because life isn’t kind enough to only send you confectionery in the post).
In the spirit of saving luxuries, I haven’t worked my way through the whole box yet. Believe me, that shows an impressive degree of restraint on my part. But everything I have tried so far was delicious. I let a friend have a piece of the Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Fudge (because I’m kind), and she agreed with me that it was particularly tasty. My favourite discovery has been Coco Chocolatier, an Edinburgh-based chocolate company. Their sample in the box was exceptional, and they also have some of the prettiest packaging I have ever seen in the chocolate world. I’m looking forward to working my way through the rest of the box over the coming weeks (okay, fine, days).
If I have one criticism, it’s that the box was quite heavy on fudge (three fudge products), and I wouldn’t have minded a bit more variety. I absolutely love fudge, but my husband isn’t a fan (I know! He says it’s too sweet!?). Luckily I was there to nobly eat his share of fudge, because I’m a wonderful person, but having three varieties of one type of product could be an issue if that product isn’t something you love. That said, Dolce Twenty are a very new company and they are still building relationships with their suppliers, so I am sure that, as time goes by, their selection of sweet treats will only expand and become more varied. And it was very tasty fudge.
All in all, I think Dolce Twenty are a great start-up business. I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow and develop. And in a world where everything often seems a bit rubbish these days, I think it’s a relief to occasionally get home from work and find a box of sweet treats waiting for you.