Happy New Year! My name
is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the January, 2005 edition of
For Chocolate Lovers Only! Each month, you’ll
find a recipe or two, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate
specialties. This month, I ask you to join me in praise of the humble
banana. Plentiful, inexpensive, nutrition-packed, and good-tasting;
it’s no wonder bananas are America’s favorite fruit.
Best of all (for our purposes), bananas go beautifully with chocolate!
In this edition, you’ll find a few ways to use the two together.
Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: If you pay
any attention to chocolate in the US, you know that one of the biggest
trends in the past decade has been the move toward darker chocolate.
Everyone is doing something bittersweet these days; some chocolatiers
seem to do nothing but bittersweet. So what do you do if you love
good chocolate but find that your tastebuds are overwhelmed by the
really dark stuff? You look to Iowa. More specifically, you look
to Bochner Chocolates, in Iowa City. Eric Bochner,
the chocolatier, doesn’t believe that bitter goes with chocolate,
and his products reflect his philosophy. In his own words, dark
chocolate is “one of the many tools in the chocolate tool
chest, and we try to fully utilize the whole bunch of tools rather
than…rely on just one”.
What to order? The selection appears to change on an almost-daily
basis at this point, so you might be pulled into a discussion about
what you’d like. If a caramel piece is suggested, trust me;
you want it. I’m not the world’s biggest caramel fan,
but the Caramel Truffle, with a supersmooth center of perfectly-textured
caramel, a milk chocolate shell, and an exterior of crisp flakes,
was just about perfect. Other winners included a Banana Truffle,
a Pistachio Truffle, and a Coconut Truffle. Bochner Chocolates
offers pieces other than truffles, of course, but I think
they do truffles extraordinarily well. For those who are big on
appearances or foolishly planning to give these chocolates as gifts
(really, who deserves a box of good chocolates more than you do?),
note that Mr. Bochner has an eye for design as well. Some of the
chocolates are airbrushed with edible coloring, such as the silver
and red dome containing a cinnamon ganache center. Bet you didn’t
realize you could have your art and eat it, too! Bochner
Chocolates has a boutique at 1419 Waterfront Drive in Iowa
City. If Iowa isn’t nearby, check out the website, at www.bochnerchocolates.com,
or call the company at (319) 354-7900.
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.