I love happy accidents and amazing finds. On this trip to Southern California, as we were driving into Costa Mesa, I saw a sign that said Chocxo. I pretty much knew it was a chocolate/coffee house and then I saw part of the sign said locally roasted. We were on our way to the local library to work, so I stopped in.
Chocolate and chilies, as we’ve discovered, go together. I’ve played with this dessert aspect in a chili chocolate mousse and there are several chocolate bars on the market that celebrate the marriage of these two foods, but what about the savory realm? There isn’t much documentation that states the Aztecs combined chocolate in their main dishes. Chocolate was a drink not an ingredient to be added to food.
I decided to experiment with the combination in the savory realm. I took quinoa (from South America) and added chilies and chocolate (from Central America and Mexico). The heat of the chilies plays off the chocolate and binds into the quinoa bringing a bite of contrast to your mouth.
Chocolate pervades every part of our society, from candy bars to hot cocoa, from truffles to molten lava cakes. Most of us enjoy a good chocolate bar any day of the week and a steaming mug of cocoa can warm the soul on a cold winter’s evening. Chocolate is the food of lovers, given on Valentine’s Day to show devotion. Supposedly cacao contains some aphrodisiac qualities, but before you exchange Viagra for chocolate, remember that this has not been proven yet.
However you like your chocolate, what exactly are you enjoying and why? Reams of paper and millions of computer bytes have been used to explain chocolate, argue its merits, and dispel or repute myths.
Even though July is National Ice Cream Month, Sunday (June 7th) is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. While this blog does not reflect my love of ice cream, I usually can’t get enough of the stuff. There are flavors I’m not fond of, but chocolate (especially with cherries) is ultimately my favorite flavor.
Sunday June 7th is National Chocolate ice cream day. Enjoy a cone at your favorite ice cream place, or make your own!The story of ice cream, and flavored ice, takes us back to ancient times. Flavored ices were the stuff of Kings and Emperors. Alexander the Great is said to have had flavored ices of honey and nectar delivered to him while in the fields. Roman Emperors dined with ices and snows flavored with fruits and other exotic flavors.
Yesterday I was reminded once again why the Partner does not go without chocolate. I found a recipe for a Chocolate Mousse that uses avocados, maple or agave syrup, and vanilla. My inspiration was adding a bit of orange zest. Chocolate and orange play nicely together, and since avocado is basically the "cream," I knew it would work well.