For Chocolate Lovers only  


My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the May, 2005 edition of For Chocolate Lovers Only! Each month, you’ll find a recipe or two, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate specialties. Let’s remember all of the Moms out there this month, and how much they’ve done for us over the years. Now, it’s time to get into the kitchen!

Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: It’s a perfect May morning---gentle breezes, singing birds, flowers a-bloom. You’re just thinking what a shame it is that you have to go to work, when your little scholar makes an appearance, feet dragging and face woebegone, almost demanding why he/she has to go to school, given that it’s practically summer. Has there ever been a satisfactory answer to this question? Well, no. But Wildlife Cookie Company can provide a treat that might make the situation a bit more bearable for all parties concerned. They make animal cookies. Not those sawdust-dry animal crackers; these are animal cookies. And they’re in cool shapes, such as coyotes, bison, bears, prairie dogs, and more. Better still, the cookies come in National Park-themed boxes, so you can do a little reading about any of a myriad of National Parks (did you know, for example, that roughly ten thousand climbers attempt to scale Mt. Rainier every year, and that the success rate is about 50%?).

Wildlife Cookie Company uses no artificial preservatives, colorings, or flavorings in their cookies. Lest you think these are just for children, I’ve seen adults devour multiple boxes on a brief road trip; there’s something about animal cookies that seems to bring out the kid in everyone. Where to find them? National parks, campgrounds, visitor centers, museums, hotels, and other places. You can also order by calling the company. The website will inform you that this company doesn’t currently sell to individual retail consumers, but that’s untrue, although there is a 12 box minimum (considering the boxes are two ounces each, you won’t have these stockpiled for years). A new concept for Wildlife Cookie Company are their personalized boxes, which would be fun for a party or even an office gathering. Two things to note: the only chocolate cookie offered is in the National Park Southwest theme box (we’ve got to work on them about this one!), and, although different animals are pictured on different boxes, the cookies inside will all be of the same half-dozen or so shapes. Surf on over to, or call (630) 377-6196, and check ‘em out.

Special Section: Organics/Naturals Trends

Just recently, I attended the country’s largest trade show for organics/naturals, with everything from dietary supplements to personal care products to foods. Below are some of the trends I spotted…

“Enhanced” waters. Waters containing everything from silver ions to vitamins and minerals were very big this year. I even saw one company marketing waters specifically geared toward women.

Agave nectar. A “next generation” sweetener, agave nectar is being used in a wide range of products. It’s claimed that agave nectar is safe for mild diabetes, as supposedly it doesn’t cause the spike in blood glucose levels that refined sugar does.

Noni juice. Touted as a cure for everything from hypertension to weak immune systems, this is the juice of a tropical fruit. There are some schools that support Tahitian-grown noni, some that believe in Hawa’iian-grown, and some that claim no difference.

Acai. Acai (the “c” is pronounced as though it were an “s”) is an Asian fruit, supposedly with remarkable antioxidant properties. Although it is very bitter on its own, when sweetened, it can taste great. I had a sample of acai sorbet (sweetened with agave nectar), and it was delicious.

“Safe” cosmetics. Already a big deal in many other parts of the world, this idea is finally beginning to catch on in the US. Many cosmetics still contain substances known to be potentially hazardous (including possible carcinogens), but thanks to sustained pressure by a lot of concerned cosmetics users, some of the industry giants in this country seem to have gotten a clue. Some of the smaller manufacturers of cosmetics have been turning out safer products for years now.

Probiotics. These are bacteria friendly to the human system, such as acidophilus. Fans of probiotics believe these bacteria can help with a wide range of complaints, especially those dealing with intestinal function.

Unrefined Coconut Oil. Now claimed to be a healthy fat, of all things. Never mind that it’s heavily saturated; coconut oil, when unrefined, contains large quantities of medium-chain fatty acids, especially lauric acid. Among other benefits, coconut oil is now thought by many to be antiviral and antimicrobial.

Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion? I’d like to hear it. E-mail me at: Please specify that you’re writing about chocolate, or I might think it’s spam.

...Published: May 2005