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For Chocolate Lovers only
 


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 to www.chocolateshow.com. 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: sdziadwm@nac.net. Please specify that you’re writing about chocolate, or I might think it’s spam.

 





 
Related Links:
The Chocolate Show:
Making Friends with Wine and Chocolate
StarBrewers
Forum - IS ANYONE GOING TO THE CHOCOLATE SHOW???
Cookbook: "Chocolate American Style"

Published: October 2004



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