For Chocolate Lovers only

Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the May, 2004 edition of For Chocolate Lovers Only! Each month, you’ll find recipes, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate specialties. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there!

Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: I must admit I’m not the world’s greatest fan of insects, but even I love ladybugs. They’re small and cute and beneficial—but do you know about the connection between ladybugs and chocolate? If not, I need to tell you about Endangered Species Chocolate Company. They offer, among many other items, a corrugated cardboard ladybug filled with 20 small squares of either organic dark or organic milk chocolate of surpassing quality. Each square is called a “Bug Bite”, is individually wrapped, and comes with its own miniature insect trading card. These Bug Bites are the perfect size for a little indulgence, and I’d think this ladybug could be a wonderful part of any Mother’s Day gift. Looking for something a bit more extravagant? Check out the 12 bar assortment (you choose the varieties) of 3 ounce bars in combinations such as milk chocolate with coconut (the Orangutan), dark chocolate with hazelnut toffee (the Black Rhino), or a dark and white swirl (the Panda Bar, of course!). If you prefer organic chocolate, there’s also a box of organic “baby bars”; you select them from four flavors, including Zebra (dark chocolate with tangerine) and Snow Leopard (milk chocolate with mocha).

I know I’ve mentioned Endangered Species Chocolate Company before, but they keep coming out with new and interesting products, such as Chimp Mints, delicious small squares of dark chocolate with peppermint. I also have no end of respect for this company. Jon Stocking, the head honcho, is The Genuine Article regarding both his chocolate and his commitment to animal species that are threatened. He has demonstrated that it’s possible to grow a responsible business with fun and worthwhile products while doing some good for serious environmental and wildlife groups. But enough of my rambling; it’s time for you to do some intense investigating of your own. It’s up to you to discover whether you agree with my claims about this chocolate, but I know you’re the equal of such an important task. Surf for the chocolates (and more) of Endangered Species Chocolate Company at (online ordering is available), or order by calling toll-free at (800) 293-0160; you can also find these products at many natural foods stores.

Non-Chocolate Web Feature of the Month: Are you a pepperhead? Does the mere thought of a batch of habanero-laced chili or jerky set your heart a-flutter? Is a day without chipotles like a day without sunshine? If so, you probably already know about the Ring of Fire, a web ring of linked chile-related sites. You never know exactly what you’ll find here; there are lots of small companies advertising their products, of course, but you’ll also see hot pepper growing guides, salsa and hot sauce review pages, and recipes. I’ve run across Bates Motel Hot Sauces, Most Wanted Foods (with their Armed and Dangerous Hot Pepper Sauce), the Arizona Chili Company (a whole new approach to enjoying chili at home), and even From Diablo’s Kitchen (cookies for chileheads). Most of the sites seem to originate in the US, but there are some based elsewhere; there are several written in German and at least one in Portugese (though I think that was one is from the Napa Valley). I can’t even eat hot/spicy foods, and I still love this web ring. If you’re not looking for anything specific, the best and most fun approach is to head over to and click on “Random Site”, then just keep surfing. It might not hurt to have your credit card with you, because sooner or later you’ll see something you have to try!

Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion? I’d like to hear it. You can reach me at: Please specify that you’re writing about chocolate. Thank you!