As the year comes to a close, I'd like to acknowledge a few people.
Thanks to Patti G. and Paul M. for their help and for taking a
chance on me, and thanks also to my family, especially my parents,
for their continuing support. In addition, I'd like to encourage
all readers of this column to get into their kitchens and cook
or bake something. Anything will do--a pot of soup, some cookies,
a pasta salad. And if you have children, by all means get them
involved (several recipes in this column are perfect for kids
who want to help). Your kitchen should not be an unknown realm
Recommendation of the Month: December's Recommendation is
Michel Cluizel Chocolates. This company is one of the last
independent, family manufacturers of superior chocolates left
in the world, and their chocolates are just beginning to be introduced
into the United States. I tried a few samples at a food show last
summer, and I have been anxious to tell you about them ever since.
The chocolate is not overly-sweet, as is so often the case these
days, but it has a full, rich taste, and the texture is one of
perfect smoothness. Delicious!
The December holidays are upon us again, and if your shopping
is not done, I can heartily recommend some of these special chocolates
for the special folks on your list. Michel Cluizel Chocolates
offers an amazing variety of bars, bonbons, and other treats.
Perhaps the easiest way to find some of their products is at:
www.cybershop.com (click on "Gourmet Food", then on "Chocolate/Candy";
Michel Cluizel products are on page 5 of 6 as of this writing).
In the New York metro area, the chocolates are carried by ABC
Stores; Dean & DeLuca; Agata & Valentina; and Wine Ventures (Tenafly,
NJ). In the midwest, head to Zingerman's Deli (Ann Arbor, MI).
In the south, A Southern Season (Chapel Hill, NC) and For The
Love of Chocolate (Richmond, VA) carry Michel Cluizel,
the former in their catalog only. Out west, look in the Norm Thompson
catalog (Portland, OR), and the stores called Food For Thought
(Santa Rosa, CA), Cocoa Beans (San Francisco), and Honolulu Chocolates
(Hawaii). I promise you that these are chocolates worth searching
Book of the Month: Enid Futterman's Bittersweet
Journey: A Modestly Erotic Novel of Love, Longing, and Chocolate
(Viking Penguin, 1998) is a cross between a present-day love
story and a journal of one woman's attempt to find emotional fulfillment.
The story is set in the great chocolate cities of the world, and
it abounds with examples of chocolate as a metaphor. Gorgeous
photography, a few recipes, and a source guide for the chocolates
mentioned are all part of the book. If you enjoy modern fiction
from a woman's point of view, pick up a copy; as this is a visually
beautiful work, it would make a nice gift book, too. For you online
shoppers, Bittersweet Journey is available at: www.amazon.com;
www.barnesandnoble.com; and www.borders.com.
Do you have a comment, question
or suggestion? I'd like your input into this column. You can reach
me at: firstname.lastname@example.org;
please specify that you're writing regarding "For Chocolate Lovers
Only". Thank you!