Last Monday in the rain we were wandering around the West Village and stumbled upon Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven. We would have ended up there at some point during the month but the timing seemed fortuitous. We were cold and wet, with a Wicked Mocha calling our names. The mocha was good, rich and thick although not as wicked as we may have wished. Chili spicing on a menu sounds assertive and it is somewhat disorienting when it is muted and soft. We wandered around the store which was wall to wall chocolate bunnies (the day after Easter), because of the rain it was somewhat gloomy and dank. This feeling was exacerbated looking at the hundreds of bunnies that we knew would soon be melted down and turned into something else. The shelves seemed sparsely filled and the room cavernous. The chocolate display was very pretty though and added a splash of color and cheer to the environment. Then I discovered a small round tin of peanut butter filled dark chocolate covered pretzels. Chocolate covered pretzels are a favorite. As a child/adolescent I loved champagne truffles but as I got older I gravitated toward things that were less sweet. The edge of saltiness in the pretzels makes my chocolate taste that much better. When it first came out Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby was my favorite ice cream primarily for the peanut butter filled chocolate covered pretzels. As I stood in Jacques Torres with that tin of pretzels in my hand, the memories swirled through me and I was compelled to take it to the cash register and bring it home. They were good, better than the ones I remember in my Chubby Hubby. The pretzels appeared to have been baked with the peanut butter inside and the pretzel itself was light and surprisingly delicate. The chocolate was smooth and rich but also tasted faintly of vegetable oil. An unexpected sensation and not an entirely welcome one. And the pretzels were salty. Very salty. The first one gave me pause as the crunchiness faded and the flavor of peanuts and salt lingered in my mouth. I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted another one. I really wasn't sure whether or not I liked the chocolate coating. But the flavors lingered, beckoning as the salt faded slowly from my palate. A few minutes later I reached for another one. Again the punch of flavors and textures, crispy, creamy, chocolate-y, nutty and SALTY. The salinity was still in my face but not quite as unpleasant as the first time. The third and last pretzel made me realize two things. They were addictive. My salt tolerance had kicked in. Although the flavor was still quite aggressive, I was growing less sensitive to it. The impact of the flavor was wearing off but the dehydration induced craving remained. I set the pretzels aside. Two bottles of water later I was still thirsty and mulling over the concept of seasoning. I've definitely had meals where the salt levels were high in the first few courses and then seemed to level out as the meal progressed. Perhaps my palate had simply adjusted and dulled. The combination of salty peanut butter and salty pretzels was a bit too much, but if one or the other item had been less seasoned, together they would have been perfect. The three bite rule had revealed itself here, it was as much as I could handle without falling over the edge into unpleasantness. Which is not exactly the context in which we like to see the rule, but there it was. Even when you think that you don't like something, especially in a restaurant, it usually takes a few bites to be sure. In a tasting menu, by the time you make your decision, often the food has been finished, or close to it. If a reaction is so visceral that it forms in one bite then the offending dish must be truly unpleasant. The pretzels didn't cause that reaction. Someone else could love them, but for me three bites were enough for a lifetime.