Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the February, 2002
edition of "For Chocolate Lovers Only". Each month, you'll
find recipes, tips, and recommendations for great chocolate specialties.
Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: Sometimes, a name
can be a little misleading. When I first heard about this month's
recommendation, ChocolateoftheMonth.com, I was sure they
worked only on a series of 3-, 6-, and 12-month plans to deliver
chocolate to fortunate recipients. Well, they do have such programs,
and an impressive selection of them, but it turns out they sell
many other chocolate goodies outside of their monthly plans, too.
Cakes and cookies (including the Cecilia Bartoli almond cheesecake
covered in dark chocolate); caramels and toffees; and truffles are
only some of the categories you'll find represented. There are even
chocolate-related books (my favorite is Murray Langham's great Chocolate
Therapy, a small volume that is terrific fun for any gathering
of chocolate lovers).
At least a couple of the companies whose products are sold on the
ChocolateoftheMonth.com site have appeared in this column
before, so you know I like them. Of those I haven't tried, I really
like the idea of the trompe l'oeil white chocolate ravioli, and
those chocolate-covered potato chips in the Gourmet Snacks section
sound very appealing. Custom orders are accepted (including for
monthly packages), and the nice people behind this site will try
hard to help you find the right gift for any occasion. I'm betting
that you can find something for just about anyone for Valentine's
Day-or almost any other celebration or occasion-on the ChocolateoftheMonth.com
site. Online ordering? But of course! Their name is their address:
www.ChocolateoftheMonth.com, or phone (703) 359-1400/fax (703) 277-9667
to place an order.
Chocolate Book of the Month: Have you ever given any serious
thought to how that chocolate bar you're about to devour originated?
Perhaps you've wondered how it was made, or what type of chocolate
most Americans, or French, or Germans prefer? Or maybe you've never
been curious about any of this, but if so, I have a book that will
change your mind. Maricel Presilla's The New Taste of Chocolate:
A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes is amazing!
There's information on everything from the subtleties of chocolate
flavor to identifying cocoa to how to taste chocolate. If this all
sounds too technical, be reassured; it merely makes for fascinating
reading. Lots of illustrations and some recipes round out the book
nicely. Published in 2001 by Ten Speed Press, this would be a perfect
gift for your favorite chocolate-lover.
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.