Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the October,
2004 edition of For Chocolate Lovers Only!
Each month, you’ll find a recipe or two, tips, and recommendations
on great chocolate specialties. Because I know a great many
brewers, I’ve recently become interested in the idea
of pairing chocolate with beer. The problem here is that I
don’t like beer. The solution? Bring in people who do,
and who know a thing or two about both of these essential
food groups. Welcome to the Chocolate Oktoberfest
edition, with guest columnist Pete Slosberg, of Pete’s
Wicked Ale and Cocoa Pete’s Chocolate Bars, and guest
recipe developer Mark Smith (his recipe for Chocolate Cream
Stout is at the end of the column). Pete and I have a few
different opinions on chocolate, but I believe it’s
beneficial to hear contrasting intelligent opinions on any
topic, especially where food is concerned. Take it away, Pete!
Chocolate Recommendation of the Month:
As Pete’s been nice enough to do this column, I thought
it only fair to tell you about his Cocoa Pete’s
Chocolate Bars. The fact that they’re interesting,
good-tasting products makes that an easy task! Each “bar”
is a series of four slightly-attached chocolate “hemispheres”,
in milk or dark, hiding a flavor surprise within. (Initially,
I believed that the shape and configuration of the bars made
them ideal for sharing, but once I tasted them I knew that
wasn’t gonna happen!) Right now, Cocoa Pete’s
Chocolate Bars gives you a choice of four flavors.
Caramel Knowledge, with a caramel-coffee center, and Berry
Berry Dangerous, with pieces of dried strawberry, are done
up in a good dark chocolate. For fans of less intense tastes,
Pete presents two choices in milk chocolate that actually
tastes like chocolate. Try Nuts So Serious, with hazelnut
butter and pistachio, or my favorite of all, Maltimus Maximus,
with delicious crunchy bits of brewers’ malt.
In addition to the obvious care that went
into deciding upon these combinations, I like the funky and
clever packaging. These are not cheap supermarket chocolate
bars, but they shouldn’t be; they’re too good
for that. Great if you want to treat yourself or a friend,
these would also be wonderful for holiday-time stocking stuffers.
Distribution is sporadic if you don’t live in northern
California or Washington State. However, I can get these at
a local natural foods store, and you can always order them
online. For more information, surf over to the Cocoa
Pete’s Chocolate Bars website, at www.cocoapete.com,
or call (toll free) 866-ASK-4-PETE. Check ‘em out!
Upcoming Chocolate Event:
If you don’t have your tickets yet, what are you waiting
for? New York City’s Seventh Annual Chocolate
Show is but a few weeks away, ready to fill your
brain with theobromine. As always, you’ll be able to
purchase and order holiday gifts, and there will be a cookbook
store with author signings. Exhibitors will include newcomers
such as Valerie Confections and CKBY’s Couture Chocolates,
Inc., along with veterans like Guittard Chocolate (if you
haven’t tried their products, you really must) and New
York City’s own The Chocolate Bar. Yes, of course there
will be the usual all-star demonstration lineup, with participants
ranging from Jacques Torres to Nick Malgieri to Fran Bigelow
(of Fran’s Chocolates).
This year’s Chocolate Show
will run from 11 to 14 November (if you enjoy a little haute
couture along with your chocolate, you’ll want to check
out the Second Annual Gala Opening & Fashion Show, the
evening of 10 November). The Chocolate Show
will be open from 10 am to 7 pm daily. Admission prices are
$21.50 per adult, $16.50 for seniors 65 or over or students
with ID, $11.50 for children 6 to 14, and free for kids under
6. The location will be the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West
18th St., between 6th and 7th Avenues; the adjacent Altman
Building will also be part of the Chocolate Show
this year, which should help alleviate last year’s overcrowding
problems. Circle those calendars now; this is one event you
don’t want to miss! For more information, head over
See ya there!
Chocolate Event of the Month, U.K.:
You know a chocolate lover who’s been very good lately
and loves to travel, don’t you? Of course you do! Check
out those last-minute travel websites, grab that well-behaved
chocolate fiend, and head off to the U.K. for Chocolate
Week 2004, to be held from 4 through 10 October…better
hurry with those arrangements! There will be talks, exhibits,
tastings, dinners, and more; someone’s even doing a
special chocolate-sake pairing! The Royal Garden Hotel is
offering packages for chocolate lovers, too. Although there
will be events throughout the UK, the majority will take place
in London, as you might expect. Chocolate Week 2004
will attempt to raise awareness of (and some money for) Sense,
an organization devoted to helping those with both aural and
visual disabilities. For more information, head over to www.chocolateweek.co.uk.
Click on “What’s On” to get a better idea
of events happening on specific days or particular areas.
Upcoming Food Event, Philadelphia
and Cleveland: Behold, there cometh two weekends
to make the hearts of food-lovers rejoice in the Philadelphia
and Cleveland environs! The Food Network (yeah, the one you
watch on cable all the time) is sponsoring The Great
Big Food Show, to be held near Philly at the Fort
Washington Expo Center November 5th through 7th; near Cleveland,
head to the I-X Center, November 12th though 14th. You’ll
find demonstrations by national and local celebrity chefs
(including Alton Brown in both venues, Bobby Flay and Paula
Deen in Philly, and Mario Batali and Rachel Ray in Cleveland).
You’ll also find wine-tasting seminars, kitchen gadgets,
exhibits by cooking equipment manufacturers (Viking Ranges,
KitchenAid), and, better still, product samples from specialty
food companies. There’ll be some old culinary friends
of mine at the Philadelphia show, including Wild Fruitz Beverages,
Stonyfield Farm, Inc., and Palazzolo’s Gelato and Sorbetto
(sharing a booth with Caviar Assouline). Sur La Table will
be at the Cleveland Show, in addition to Original Juan Specialty
Foods, Pierogi Palace, and Great Lakes Brewing Company. This
is the first year of The Great Big Food Show,
and it promises to be exciting as well as fun! Admission charges
and show times vary by location. For more information, visit
the official website, at www.greatbigfoodshow.com.
Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion?
I’d like to hear it. E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please specify that you’re writing about chocolate,
or I might think it’s spam.