Theobroma–“Food of the Gods”
Two weeks ago, I decided I wanted to be the real Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
Two reasons: 1) because it seemed like fun, like when I decided to play with monkeys not long ago, and 2) because I wanted to learn the little-known art of eating and choosing chocolate, which I could then share with you. It’s a simple way to seriously upgrade your Valentine’s experience.
Since I use Scharffen Berger gourmet chocolate for most of my truffle making (70% cacao), I tracked down their most famous chocolate maker, Brad Kintzer, and convinced him to take me behind the scenes for a tasting.
Below are four video clips that explore everything from pairing with scotch and the taste trail of dark chocolate to the importance of blending cocoa beans for the perfect chocolate…
Here are a few cool facts about chocolate to pique your curiosity:
1. Anandamide (from “ananda” in Sanskrit, which means “bliss”), a messenger molecule sometimes called the “chocolate amphetamine,” is unique in its resemblance to THC, the active psychotropic in marijuana.
2. The chief stimulant in chocolate, an alkaloid called theobromine, comes from the latin genus theobroma, which means “food of the gods.”
3. In the US Department of Agriculture’s ORAC ((Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) chart, raw cocoa powder is at the top of the antioxidant list with almost four times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries.
How do you take a a bean that not intended to be eaten and reveal more than 1,000 flavor compounds, which is rivaled only by coffee?
Let the real Willie Wonka explain how to satisfy — and make the most of — your sweet tooth this Valentine’s Day.
Thanks to Gennaro Strangis for helping me with camera work and eating a few kilos of chocolate 🙂
PART 1 – Introduction to Brad and the spectrum of chocolates
PART 2 – Tastings and flavors, “semi-sweet” vs. “bittersweet”, and percentages of cocoa content
PART 3 – Pairing with Scotch, choosing, and tasting nibs
PART 4 – Experiencing the candy store
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For next week:
Odds and Ends: Get Goodies from Me for Valentine’s Day, Cosmo Thinks 4HWW is Sexy…
V-Day Goodness from Me:
Would you like a big and beautiful Joseph Schmidt Valentine package from yours truly, replete with all the best chocolates they have? Or, if chocolate’s not your thing, some delish Ginger Snapdragon cookies from LizLovely? Just give me three bullet point reasons in the comments no later than 5pm PST Tuesday, and I’ll choose one of you to join me in sweet indulgences. If you really want to win, put up a video on YouTube with “4hourvalentine” in the tags and link to it in the comments. Have some fun 🙂
Cosmo and Sexy Time for 4HWW:
You may have noticed in this month’s Cosmo that, between “Arouse Him Like Crazy” and “Great Butt and Thighs,” The 4-Hour Workweek is voted on pg. 38 as “sexy” in the monthly “Sexy vs. Skanky” list. Yeeeeah, baby! Thanks to Vanessa for the tip off. Larger size here.
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