14 October 2014
Funeral Cakes, Death, Chocolate & More
October is National Dessert Month, and also in its build up to Halloween, a celebration of death in various but still appetizing forms. What could be a better time than to talk about the choice between cake and death, as Eddie Izzard does,
or a touch more soberly to discuss (Chocolate) Funeral Cakes?
28 September 2014
Beginning with Charlie and Chocolate
A new Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book cover appears gratuitous, not least because the book biz is hurting enough without shooting itself in the face with artwork.
But maybe it is genius?
Perhaps it’s a diabolical plan to spend a bit for a new, outrageous cover in the British market that is so off-putting as to inspire worldwide publicity and drive book buyers to pony up for other copies of Charlie? It may be the fiftieth anniversary of the title, but that doesn’t mean it can’t use a bit of push to get off the shelves. (Maybe instead of the ugly cover they should have made more of the lost chapter?)
In that spirit, MORE…
16 September 2014
Perhaps the best piece of business wisdom — certainly an item from the Top 5, and yet usually ignored — is that a customer who presents a problem is one ready to buy more stuff and gives the company a chance to cement greater loyalty.*
In that spirit, and with the hope that #BitterChocolate will soon apply only to actual high-percentage-cocoa-solid and low-percentage-sugar “baking” chocolate, noted here are some current, saddening challenges for the world of chocolate. MORE…
6 September 2014
Chocolate Trendy Data Foodie Frenzy
The current IBM ad campaign highlights a chocolate, soybean, apricot burrito concoction. Its conceit is that taste is just the sum of correctly connected data points, in this case via the company’s “Chef Watson,” not yet out of Beta and available primarily to foodie sites like Bon Appetit.
However, is concocting the counter-intuitive recipe using chocolate something that needs to be left to Big Data? This, after all, is still a collective that can’t seem to define itself without confusing a goodly portion of its audience. MORE…
27 August 2014
Labor Daying with Choc, Veg & Fru
Unsuccessful is the search to find a natural connection between Labor Day and chocolate,which is as good a reason as any to create one. But why shouldn’t work be honored and summer’s end commemorated with a chocolate themed repast featuring vegetables and fruits despite this being a day most people (boringly) think has to be only about charred meat?
It is the season for a sort of [vegetative?] thinking. Vegetables and fruits are ripe in stores and on farms stands, making it the perfect time to clear up the confusion that seems often to exist when parents and young children deal with chocolate and vegetables … assuming you need another reason to eat well. More…
11 August 2014
Chocolate for Breakfast, the Summer Meltdown
Chocolate for breakfast is the sort of brilliance that occurs when you think too much … or when summer suffocatingly swelters and you just can’t think at all. It is a flash, a vision, a great soundbite whose endgame is often one of disappointment — why else are there unfinished Nutella jars?
So, despite whatever future regrets the rest of this post may offer, we’ll note that CforB does backstroke languidly through the zeitgeist. To enter into the swim, just dump chocolate chips MORE…
3 August 2014
Like chocolate itself, vacations are a recipe of ingredients both fantastic and real. Getting away, or just thinking about it, should taste of a dreamy unreality that rewards the mind for the body’s slogging through dog days of sun-blanching, humidity-drenching summer or cat (?) days of icy, sleety stormy soul-freezing winter.
This being the time of year when people take their summer or dream of their winter retreats, it seems right to consider traipsing from the more traditional path of choco-tourism (admittedly a naif travel niche) to span the cavernous divide between chocolate consumers such as a few Dutch captured-on-film, MORE …
20 July 2014
Ice Cream Done Right with Chocolate
July 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…
Brazilian vs. Netherlands Chocolate to Decide Third Place?
A 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 …
Celebrating Columbus & Chocolate Makes More Sense
It 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
Celebrate 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 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
The 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.
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