Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the March, 2002 edition
of "For Chocolate Lovers Only". Each month, youíll find
recipes, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate specialties.
Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: What do Amsterdam
and Des Moines, Iowa have in common? If you think the answer is
nothing, then you are not familiar with Chocolaterie
Stam, a small company whose roots trace back to the Netherlands
in the 19th century. Today, there are two Stam stores in Des Moines
and several more in Amsterdam run by members of the Stam clan, making
this truly a family business. Offerings include chocolate bars,
sugar-free chocolates, molded chocolates (take a look at the pretty
swan centerpiece), and wedding favors, not to mention the croquant
chocolate oublies, which are a combination of crunchy toffee sugar
and ground hazelnuts accented by milk or dark chocolate.
I ordered Chocolaterie Stams copper ballotin,
a plain and old-fashioned box tied up with a fetching ribbon. The
chocolates inside are a cross between American and European styles.
Many are larger than their European counterparts, but there are
a number of elaborate shapes Ive never seen in American chocolates.
The extensive use of hazelnuts in centers is a delightfully European
touch, but the peanut clusters and caramel-pecan tortoises are distinctly
American. I cant recall the last time I had so much fun with
a split personality! The chocolates taste fresh, and
the ingredients used are of good quality. The nice people here will
work with you, too; I specified certain types of chocolates I did
and didnt want in my ballotin and had no trouble. One caveat:
although a small pictorial guide was included, it was difficult
to read and didnt show all of the chocolates in my box, so
you may have to guess about some centers. If you havent finished
(or started) your Easter chocolate shopping, this is a business
you ought to know about! Chocolaterie Stam can be reached
by phone at (515) 282-9575 or (877) STAMCHOC (the latter is a toll-free
order line); by fax at (515) 282-9763; or at their website, www.stamchocolates.com.
Chocolate School of the Month: Richardson Researches, Inc.,
of Hayward, CA uses limited class sizes and a hands-on approach
to teach people about various aspects of the chocolate and confectionery
industries. Terry Richardson has a lot of experience under his belt,
and, whether youre an individual seeking knowledge with an
eye toward starting your own chocolate business or a corporate employee
who wants to better understand the technology of confectionery,
youll find a course here to help you. These courses are not
cheap, but then they are not casual overviews into their subjects,
either, and they are designed for those who are serious about what
they do. Dont look at the list of products youll make
in the Gourmet Continental Chocolates class, or youll have
to sign up for it immediately! You can contact Richardson Researches,
Inc. by phone at (510) 785-1350, by fax at (510) 785-6857, or via
their website at www.richres.com.
Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion? You can
reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because I receive too much junk e-mail, please specify that youre
writing regarding For Chocolate Lovers Only. Thank you!