by Stephanie Zonis
Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the November (Thanksgiving) 1998 edition of "I Love Chocolate."
The holidays are upon us once more, and this edition includes some good ideas for holiday entertaining. Because I'm always urging my readers to get their kids involved in cooking, there's even a recipe specifically for children (or those who are novices in the kitchen).
I hope you will take the opportunity this month to cook or bake something. It needn't be fancy--a pot of soup or a seven-layer cake are equals on this scale. Bake some cookies for a new neighbor, surprise your family by making a pot of chili, or treat yourself to some homemade bread. and please, please don't use mixes! I realize there are supposed to be some decent mixes out there, and I know we are all strapped for time these days, but it's such a basic thing to be able to prepare your own food, and there are too many people who don't know how to do that these days. And never once have I had anything from a mix that tasted better than that same food when homemade. So organize your own "domestic safari"; navigate your way around those books you've been meaning to get to, maneuver carefully past the cat, get a machete to tackle those dust bunnies--but at all costs get into the kitchen. You might just find that you like it in there.
Late last May, a friend and I toured a chocolate "factory" (smaller than my apartment!) in New York City. While there, I learned a few things about one man's quest for perfection in chocolate. The results are the products of Christopher Norman Chocolates, Ltd.
Christopher Norman makes some of the most beautiful chocolates I've seen in a long time. The shapes themselves are beautiful, and the pieces tend toward the ornate, but they are never too busy or too fussy-looking. Almost all of the work here is done by hand, too, not just the decorating.. And, having taken a good look around this place, I can testify that the ingredients used are of very good quality, but you can tell that merely by biting into a truffle or petit four or praline.
There are some standard flavors—Brazilian espresso and Grand Marnier, for example—but when was the last time you had a chocolate filled with mango in a white chocolate creme? How about a walnut rosemary chocolate in a covering of Belgian bittersweet (Christopher Norman's signature piece)? Or perhaps a zabaglione center would be more to your taste? The variety available is more than sufficient for even the most discriminating consumer. New additions to the line are small chocolate bars, ranging from an unbelievable hazelnut gianduja (with bittersweet chocolate) to a glorious white chocolate-macadamia.
I hardly need to remind you that the holidays are upon us once more. As usual, my recommendations for gifts for special people run to chocolates. Besides, Christopher Norman calls their chocolates a "fin-de-siecle necessity", and who am I to argue? These chocolates are very expensive, but they will make a wonderful impression between the beautiful gift wrap, the gorgeous chocolates themselves, and, most important, the great way they taste.
You can reach this company by
phone at (212) 677-3722 or via
fax at (212) 677-8687, or write to them at
Christopher Norman Chocolates, Ltd.
75 Bank St., Suite 2-K,
New York, NY 10014-5911.
There is no web site, but you can reach them via e-mail at: CocoaKings@[email-address-removed]. Christopher Norman will ship chocolates anywhere. Give them a try; you won't be disappointed.
The Chocolate Show is coming to New York City!
Friday, 27 November through Tuesday, 1 December, The Chocolate Show will be at The Puck Building, 293 Lafayette St. (corner of Houston St.). There's been a change in hours: the show will be open Friday, 27 November, from 2 pm to 7 pm; Saturday, 28 November, from 11 am to 10 pm, and Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (29 November through 1 December) from 11 am to 7 pm.
Chocolate companies scheduled to attend include: Alexandra & Nicolay, Valrhona, Li-Lac, Perugina Brands of America, Martine's, deGranvelle Belgian Chocolatier, Dove, and others. Jacques Torres, Rose Levy Berenbaum, Nick Malgieri, Colette Peters, Carole Bloom, Pierre Herme, Elaine Gonzalez, and Francois Payard are only some of the chefs and authors already signed on. There will be music, seminars, demonstrations, cookbook purchasing opportunities and signings, tasting booths, and interactive exhibits; the organizers are trying to make this a truly family-oriented event. Admission price is ten dollars per person, eight dollars for seniors over 65 or culinary students with ID's, and five dollars per child under 12. For more information, please call (212) 695-2475. Don't miss it!
'Til next month,
Yours in chocolate,
Copyright © 1998 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.
This page created November 1998
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