Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chocolate with a dash of vanilla irony

At left is the chocolate stash now in my house. The next time you see me I will be several chocolate pounds heavier and quite happy about it.

There are some people who choose the flavor of chocolate over vanilla every time. Ironically, most of the chocolate we eat in desserts or candy contains vanilla, as an additive used to bring out the flavor of chocolate. One exception is a French chocolate bar named Chocolat Bonnat, and it's a fantastic discovery once you taste a 75% dark chocolate bar without vanilla and realize the influence vanilla has had on your chocolate taste buds all these years. (Btw I can't seem to find this for sale online now, so if in San Fran visit Cocoa Bella in the Westfield San Fran Center on Market & 4th.)

That is one of the great chocolate & vanilla ironies. The other is that people assume I prefer all-chocolate desserts when in fact lately I prefer chocolate in its unadulterated form, as pure chocolate candy, not whipped into a cloying mega-triple-fudge-whatever-it-is- with-fudge-and-chips-on-top. There is no particular reason for this revised palate preference, it just is, which is why I'm giving you the news now so you don't call me a choco-Benedict Arnold at some dessert time in our future. (Or perhaps the future is the next paragraph...)

In any event! This is why on Saturday night at the lovely SF restaurant Coi--their bar is a long plank of wood with stools facing a wall; there is no liquor or bartender there--when given a choice of a deep chocolate parfait with lime or a warm vanilla cake with strawberries for dessert, I chose the latter. The warm and buttery vanilla-flecked cake was really wonderful, a reverse molten chocolate cake. More restaurants should serve this, it's still considered rare and reminds you of how good a vanilla dessert can be.

And while we're talking about chocolate, if any LA-ers would like to take a stab at my Chocword Puzzle (a crossword puzzle about chocolate), just give a holler!

Next up: The Fried Chicken Report


  1. Awesome! I feel honored that you posted a picture of some chocolate from my Bday gift package on to your world famous blog (and, yet, somewhat guilty that I didnt' get you something more pure without the vanilla irony)! Alas, I am a simple man who enjoys his routine...I like my turkey sandwich on whole wheat every day of the week for lunch, my coffee black (and while the word caffe latte sounds fancy it is just a whole lot of hot milk), and my chocolate from a box called Ghirardelli (perhaps mostly because it reminds me of that wonderful SF Square where I can get the best Sundae in North America)!

  2. I still like vanilla in my chocolate Matt, and enjoying a little drop of Ghirardelli sunshine daily :)