Monday, March 16, 2009

pour l'amour du chocolat...

I have decided in my next life I am going to be a chocolatier. Isn't that a wonderful word? Chocolatier. Chocolate is the perfect example of onomatopoeia. The word sounds rich and sweet and creamy and -- simply divine. I would have a chocolate shop full of the world's best chocolate. Something like Oriol Balaguer out in Barcelona or Cacao et Chocolat in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés section of Paris (6eme Arrondissment). Cacao et Chocolat, for one, sells many types of confections from the ones called Zope that are filled with chocolate ganache infused with cayenne pepper (which was spectacular, may I add), Pralinés covered in milk chocolate, several choices of dried fruits enrobed in a heavenly Mayan chocolate to the extra sinful Quetzal, a dark chocolate temptation filled with tequila and a touch of lime. 

At my store, wait a minute --stores, I would have dark chocolate covered ginger, white cacao with hints of jasmine and mocha melties, and amaretto and champagne (brut and rosé) and cognac truffles. I would have dame blanche and crême fraîche and orangettes dipped in dark chocolate. And I would have hazelnut creams and maraschino cherries dipped in milk chocolate, and all sorts of fruit jellies -- apricot, mandarin orange, strawberry, raspberry -- all dipped in dark, white and milk chocolate. 

Can you just imagine?

I am addicted to chocolate, and my favorite is the Vosges Haut.Chocolat Rooster Truffle, which is Taleggio cheese + organic walnuts + Tahitian vanilla bean + bittersweet dark chocolate. Yes despite the complexies of the ingredients it is hands down the greatest thing chocolate-related I have ever come across in my life. 

I have a friend who is even more addicted to chocolate than I am. For Lent every year he gives up chocolate. The other day I saw him eating some chocolate cookies, and I said, "You're going to be struck by lightning! Those are chocolate! Haven't you given up chocolate for Lent?"

"These are not chocolate", he said, "These are cocoa."

... Um ... okay ...whatever!

Well, I haven't given up chocolate for Lent, so I am off to have a cup of hot chocolate to combat the last remnants of New York winter-- with marshmallows.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt”

~Charles M. Schultz, cartoonist of Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang

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