What’s New

20 July
Ice Cream Done Right with Chocolate
chocolate ice creamJuly is National Ice Cream Month and today, 20 July, is National Ice Cream Day, which is an easy excuse to offer a quick primer on making chocolate ice cream at home as the perfect summer day activity.

Subjectively adding to the newsworthiness of the idea is a recent press release from downmarket ice creamer Baskin Robbins. Their research found that chocolate is the best at bringing the happy. While BR doesn’t bring any real science establishing the dominance of chocolate ice cream, MORE…

11 July
Brazilian vs. Netherlands Chocolate to Decide Third Place?
futbolA lot of complaints about today’s game to claim World Cup’s third place, featuring despairing host Brazil and The worn-to-a-quick Netherlands. Interestingly enough, among those weighing in is former German star, Der [hopefully only briefly] disgraced and displaced Kaiser, Franz Beckenbauer.

No secret: this is a game played for the greater glory of the advertisers and the money that flows into the kingdom of maligned FIFA Godfather Sepp Blatter. Rather than putting the players through another grueling (possibly soul-sucking) opportunity to end their campaign with a loss let’s consider a Choc-off, which, honestly, in many ways makes as much sense as ending a game of fluid and dramatic movement based on the stationary puppet show of the stupid penalty kick shootout. Chocolate reveals the strengths of a nation’s MORE …

7 July
Celebrating Columbus & Chocolate Makes More Sense
ColumbusIt is silly to celebrate Italian-navigator-sailing-for-Spanish-royal-glory Christopher Columbus as discoverer of the United States of America on an October Monday. Nevertheless, there is something to be said about recognizing the Genoan for the much more important role he played in bringing chocolate to Europe, which then sent it back this way.
But, mostly, we don’t.

Even as he brought cacao beans with him upon return from his fourth voyage in 1504 Columbus doesn’t get the nod as a prime player in the drama and joy of development of the magic bean. Today, July 7, “international chocolate day,” we honor instead Spanish Franciscan Friars who by means history does not chronicle MORE…

26 June 2014
Chocolate Pudding One and All, 2014
chocolate puddingCelebrate National Chocolate Pudding Day with a contemplation (and, soon enough, with the chocolate pudding itself). Alone, pudding can mean nearly anything

Its dictionary definitions are a bit more (well) definitive, but not much more. Basically, it can be almost any dish someone finds delicious [i.e.,edible, for some] but is usually soft, sweet, creamy or thick and served as a dessert … unless it has some sort of protein baked in.
And even pudding’s history is a bit murky. However, More …

16 June 2014
Qs & As with Amy Singh, Chocolatiere, Activist, Educator
Amy SinghAmy Singh, at least partially frozen forever on the internet as the pre-teen chocolate savant, is growing up. The 22-year-old graduated this past May from Boston University with a double major in International Relations and Economics, but there will always be traces of her as a young girl celebrated for her chocolate making skills, not least for her 2007 public service video created to raise awareness about the presence of third world child labor in cacao’s journey to first world shelves.

Prior to the PSA, the sister of three and child of a pharmaceutical company engineer and a nurse, had been recognized for educating her own taste buds and others, and developing her own homemade chocolate brand. However, that video showed how her journey was evolving from an interest in how chocolate affected her to how it connected the world. It was a vision she pursued at BU, with one of the highlights of those four years being invited to give a Ted Talk in Prague, which she told an interviewer was her first public presentation about chocolate since about age 11. More …

8 June 2014
Chocolate Wealth Vs. Taste
$1 million chocolateThe focus of much of the world’s attention — at least in terms of chocolate billionaires — is on newly sworn-in Ukrainian (and Roshen’s chocolates) President Petro Poroshenko. Noteworthy: he is not in a financial/taste-satisfying class all his own. Other chocolate billionaires populating the Forbes list of the world’s richest include Italy’s (and Nutella’s) Michele Ferrero, with an estimated $27 billion collection of chocolate moolah, and the Virginia sibs John, Forrest Jr., and Jacqueline Mars (as in Milky Ways,Snickers, M&Ms, etc.) who weigh in collectively at about $60 billion.

Other than making us big-bucks-envious, however, those aren’t the most interesting chocolate billionaires… or based on much of what they have built their fortunes on the ones with the greatest taste. Those with the greatest attraction are usually small blobbish balls of (usually but not always milk) chocolate, caramel and crunch (various nuts, rice cereal); they can also be brownied. There is a bit of tradition that they not just be inflation-adjusted, but actually differ from “chocolate millionaires” in that the millionaires get their crunch with shortbread cookie and not nuts. However, inside “the Google,” recipes for the millionaires and billionaires are all mixed up (something we can never imagine happening on a Forbes list), with pretty much anything involving caramels and chococolate and some kind of crunch .

Oddly, and with what we can only assume is an unintended slight at either very wealthy people (or a particular order of shelled reptile), to some these billionaires/millionaires are also turtles.

Anyway, we’d be happy to be the subject of the generosity of the people, but are currently working on some new recipes … and, of course, the correct naming.

24 May 2014
Speechifying with Chocolate
darkCan there be a touch of hype when talking chocolate? There can be,but we are almost always happy to move beyond the silliness on behalf of taste and entertainment. Which is why we heartily recommend listening to claims about how a chocolate bar has led to a revolution in teaching math, and, not to put too fine a point on it, HOW CHOCOLATE CAN SAVE THE PLANET!!!!!
The good folks making the claims did so at Ted Talks, a series of short presentations that often enough are seen in videos going viral that feature an animated presenter who begins with a counter-intuitive assertion or fringe experience and then as PowerPoint slides in the background hover makes his or her way to a larger — if sometimes and somewhat limited by real life — truth. To be fair, sometimes the TTs are performance art for aspiring high brows and other times they are just another platform through which someone promotes their brand. However, that shouldn’t take away too much from these celebrations of cacao. MORE…

18 May 2014
Chocolate and Cheese, If It Please
chocolate & cheese adIt seems there is a day to celebrate nearly everything chocolate (Thursday was National Chocolate Chip Day; see the Almanac for more). But ’tis untrue. There are still chocolate and cheese combos to honor.

Actually, there are a host of chocolatish delectables more , but this particular un-embraced celebration is brought to the forefront by the recent announcement from British grocerpalooza Tesco that they are expanding their chocolate-cheese offerings. The first thought is “why?” The taste of a good chocolate is distinct with undertones and subtle aroma notes. That taste of heaven makes for an unlikely fit with a delicious bit of cheese, often a standout highlighted by esters and overtones on display like the new girl trying to stand out and drum up a bit of business in Amsterdam’s Rossebuurt. Of course, the answer turn is easily discovered with a quick Google (as most answers are): lots of folks love this sort of thing — whether it is the idea or actual flavor will not be argued here, today.

Particularly when you are trying to steer a few piastres into the till it seems worthwhile to accept MORE…

14 May 2014
Was the Golden Ticket Really Necessary?: How Are Today’s Chocolatieres Promoting Their Products?
Ryan Bennett, Guest Writer

By now, everyone is familiar with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and whether you saw the original movie from the 1970s or the 2005 remake, or enjoyed the book that’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, you probably fell in love with the idea of owning your own chocolate factory, too.

You’re probably familiar with the premise of the story: Mr. Willy Wonka, “the most amazing, the most fantastic, the most extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen” came up with the stellar idea to release Golden Tickets in Wonka chocolate bars. These Golden Tickets would grant five children access to his chocolate factory, and, in a surprise twist, one of the children would be invited to join him in running the company.

The Golden Tickets proved to be a clever marketing strategy, boosting More…

4 May 2014
Awaiting America’s Great Chocolate Soap Opera
woman biting chocolate barThomas Marshall, America’s 28th vice president and one-time Indiana governor, may be remembered for nothing except for stating his belief that “what America needs is a good five-cent cigar.” But he is remembered.

In that spirit, let the CAC suggestion go forth unto the interwebs that “what American needs is unlimited segments of a good five-minute chocolate-themed soap opera.” Hopefully it will get us remembered, or, more importantly, spark some quality entertainment for those downtimes between choco-bites. This is not to ignore the work already done in this area from the beginning of telenovela Dame Chocolate (Give Me Chocolate)

to the end of its too-short life. MORE…

14 April 2014
Chocolating Up Passover
chocolate matzoCacao, along with religion, are connecting ancient rituals and today’s concerns through chocolate seders. The explored theme is that as part of the Jewish Passover celebration (beginning this evening at Sundown) of Jews escaping slavery in ancient Egypt observants find links from their history to the abuse of children and adult workers  who struggle to survive on the path from harvesting to relishing chocolate.

Among the prominent proponents of the connection is Rabbi Deborah Prinz, author of On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, as well as a supporting Haggadah, generally the libretto for the evening’s seder ritual.

The idea of a chocolate seder is not Prinz’s alone to push. More …

11 April 2014
Choco-Click Here
a href=”http://www.cupidalleychoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/no-pregnancy-chocolate.jpg”>no pregnancy - chocolateChoco click bait. Chocolate porn. It’s not the only thing driving traffic to Huffington Post (or as enormous as sin such as not paying writers even as they rake in enough Benjamins that they could without sweat put one in a writer’s g-string instead of so many more stuffing into Arianna’s designer bags.
It’s admittedly a small and personal crusade. And not that we’re necessarily jealous (okay, we would like the traffic), but what the Cupid Alley Chocolatieres website probably needs is a regular series of posts featuring lol cats with Hitler mustaches explaining how eating chocolate guarantees eternal fabulous love and sex, while [stereotype alert!] ladies lose weight in the wrong places and gents gain muscle in the right ones.
Maybe it would help to regulary add some Justin Bieber and Amor de Chocolat MORE ….

29 March 2014
Choco-Hype, Healthily Speaking
darkThere is joyous screeching again about dark chocolate as the panacea for whatever ails you. It includes excitement about how dark chocolate promotes healthy teeth. Hyperventilating is also encouraged by headlines howling the news of a study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Mars (not that there is necessarily an undue amount of self-interest here in how taking a couple high-concetrate flavanol-extracted dark chocolate pills (or fake) a day will buck up the old ticker, which follows up a report on dark chocolate helping to restore flexibility to arteries for 44 Dutch fathertubbies by preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels.

Not to diminish any unfettered joy with some ick, but the key seems to be something about how gut bacteria feast on dark chocolate and (better living through chemistry) how that produces burgeoning good microbes.

Speaking of “good microbes,” MORE…

16 March 2014
St. Pat’s, Excess and Chocolate
St PatrickThis year we are wrestling over what and how to celebrate with chocolate on St. Patrick’s Day. It has always been one of our favorite holidays, and we have long known that the American version embraces the ridiculous over the serious — with effect great enough to change how the holiday is observed in Ireland.

Part of why we love the holiday is aspirational. It would be great to be able [somehow] to  trace our roots to the out-of-work, immigrant Irish chocolate-maker John Hanan, who in 1765 imported cocoa beans from the West Indies into Dorchester, Mass., to refine them with the help of American Dr. James Baker (of BAKER’S ® chocolate). Another part of our feelings for the holiday is loving the idea of a guy who can chase the snakes away (even if some say there never were any), and who Arthurian scholar Norma Lorre Goodrich believes was also Merlin of the Round Table. MORE…

4 March 2014
Chocolating Mardi Gras
a href=”http://www.cupidalleychoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/galette-rois-chocolat-02.jpg”>galette-rois-chocolat-02For too many people chocolate is only about excess. Even though they refuse to consider subtleties, we still feel compelled to dedicate to them a few words of advice on celebrating Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, and the IHOP co-oped National Pancake Day) with caloric cacao celebrations.

We note that many of this ilk also consider the Mardi Gras parade as an excuse for personal excess. They will do anything to collect a few more plastic beads. However, everyone will be much happier with focus on perfecting a holiday-appropriate Chocolate King Cake, perhaps taking inspiration from Cajun Chef Ryan MORE…

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